Doha / Information Office / January 14
HE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani praised the cooperation between the State of Qatar and the African Union in repatriating the irregular migrants in Libya back to their countries and reintegrating them in their communities, in line with the directives of HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani to launch a special fund to cover the costs of returning the migrants back to their original countries.
His Excellency said, in a joint press conference held at the headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with Chairperson of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat, the fund which the State of Qatar is contributing to with $20 million, will support the humanitarian and development work in the African Union countries and will alleviate the difficult living conditions of the irregular African migrants.
HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani said that the State of Qatar and the African Union work together in many other fields such as the efforts exerted in achieving the desired peace in Darfur region in Sudan and exploring ways of finding solutions to other outstanding issues in the region. His Excellency called for concerted efforts to find lasting and sustainable solutions to the issue of irregular immigration and the reintegration of immigrants returning to their countries.
In response to a question on prospects for solutions to the Gulf crisis in light of the visit of the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Doha on Sunday, His Excellency said the discussions took place with his counterpart on the matter, confirming that the State of Qatar continues to follow its principled position for dialogue that would restore the strength of the GCC, through unifying the Gulf system, highlighting the need for all parties to commit to the same.
On the goals of the visit of HE Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs in the Sultanate of Oman Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah, HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani said the visit comes as part of Oman's efforts to activate GCC committees which have been inactive due to the crisis. His Excellency confirmed the State of Qatar's readiness to support work continuation in these committees, despite the fact that the measures taken by the siege countries do not help joint work.
Qatar, His Excellency added, calls for the separation between the mechanisms of joint action and the differences that may arise between some GCC countries, while stressing continued support for such approach and not disrupting any of the Council's mechanisms or its committees despite current circumstances that are not helping.
As for the normalization of some countries with the Syrian regime, HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani pointed out that the reasons behind the freezing of Syria's membership in the Arab League still exist, as the regime is still indifferent to what is happening to the Syrian people, adding that normalizing relations with a regime that does not respects the rights of its people is normalization with war criminals.
His Excellency said that Qatar remains unchanged in its position unless there is a solution that satisfies the Syrian people, stressing that it will support any solution acceptable to the Syrian people.
For his part, HE Chairperson of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat appreciated the initiative launched by the State of Qatar to support and integrate African refugees in their original communities, which comes at a time when African refugees face the most difficult suffering in difficult living conditions that are worsening every day.
HE Moussa Faki Mahamat stressed that Qatar's efforts in this regard are a response to the violations faced by the African citizen at various levels.
He added that the initiative, which is a model of successful cooperation with the State of Qatar, will represent a lasting solution to the phenomenon of irregular asylum and will be the beginning of collective action to reduce the causes of the spread of this phenomenon exploited by smuggling gangs in different parts of the continent. He stressed that the phenomenon of irregular migration has a negative impact on all continents and supporting the refugee issue, which is a humanitarian issue, will save the fate of a large number of young people stranded in transit countries.
The Chairperson of the African Union Commission reviewed the Commission's efforts to resettle refugees in their countries of origin in cooperation with the European Union and the United Nations, where the Commission's efforts succeeded in resettling 30,000 migrants from Libya back in their home countries, adding that this is a small part of the number of refugees targeted by such initiatives.