Doha – Information Office – 01 May
HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani stressed Wednesday that there were a number of commitments that the State of Qatar placed, as part of its vision for chairing the Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD). These commitments included enhancing communication in the field of youth, education, culture, SMEs, and entrepreneurship.
His Excellency said, during a press conference at the conclusion of the ministerial meeting of the Asia Cooperation Dialogue in Doha, that the State of Qatar hosted a workshop on education and youth that was organized by Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development. It will also host Thursday an entrepreneurs forum to enhance partnership between member states. In September, there will be a cultural workshop held in cooperation with ACD.
His Excellency said that an ACD presidency term of one year was not enough compared to the aspirations of the State of Qatar and member states, stressing that Doha will remain an active partner for member states in light of the country's positive view of the future of the Asian continent.
HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs expressed hope of enhancing cooperation with all countries, stressing that the contributions of the State of Qatar will not end with the end of its presidency, and that its actions represent a starting point for enhancing cooperation in the future, particularly in the fields of energy and economy.
His Excellency stressed that the State of Qatar has been honoring all its commitments since assuming the presidency of the ACD's ministerial meeting, led by prioritizing the establishment of a partnership system between Asian countries, pointing to the State of Qatar's initiative to teach the Arabic language to non speakers as a method to bring the Asian countries closer together, in addition to hosting the ACD's 3rd summit in 2020.
His Excellency said that the Asia Cooperation Dialogue was not a place to discuss conflicts, but a platform for dialogue, partnership and cooperation.
At the beginning of the press conference, HE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, welcomed the accession of the State of Palestine to the Asian Cooperation Dialogue after its participation in the ministerial meeting was approved today.
His Excellency stressed that the work of the 16th session of the ACD was held in a friendly and harmonious atmosphere and that the meetings were fruitful and constructive and its results will reflect of the dialogue process and achievements during the coming period.
His Excellency pointed out that the slogan of the Doha meeting "Partners for Development" carries many important indications that build on the concept of partnership and dialogue among Asian countries, pointing out that the ACD is the biggest platform for dialogue in Asia.
His Excellency pointed out that the Ministerial Meeting focused on the importance of achieving constructive cooperation and hoped integration among member states, complementing what has been achieved in the past and the work done to consolidate relations among member states with a view to moving towards a broader level of partnerships during the coming years.
His Excellency said that the ministerial meeting emphasized the proposals of the member states on the 20 fields and the need to work towards finding effective implementation mechanisms and reviewing what has been achieved between member countries with the Secretariat over the past years.
His Excellency explained that the meeting also discussed topics of interest to member countries in terms of achieving common goals, especially the development of infrastructure and the promotion of trade and investment among Asian countries and overcoming obstacles.
His Excellency praised the role of the General Secretariat of the ACD for its cooperation and great effort in organizing this meeting and reaching these outputs, expressing his thanks to the Islamic Republic of Iran for its successful presidency of the dialogue last year, wishing at the same time the success for the Republic of Turkey who will take over the presidency of the dialogue in September.
His Excellency praised the efforts exerted by the Secretary-General for the Asian Cooperation Dialogue during his tenure in developing the joint work of the Member States, expressing his gratitude for the efforts of the sisterly State of Kuwait and the Kingdom of Thailand.
His Excellency said that the Gulf crisis between Qatar and some of the GCC states, in addition to Egypt, is a barrier to cooperation and communication at the regional level, expressing hope that the blockade countries will not politicize the cooperation fields because of the conflict.
His Excellency stressed that the State of Qatar remains open to and ready for dialogue and discussion in good faith, but noted that they still see the same behavior from the countries that imposed the blockade, one that is characterized by stubbornness and denial. His Excellency then expressed hope that these countries will return to wisdom one day, and come back to the table to talk about their reservations.
In response to a question on the position of the State of Qatar on Extending U.S. sanctions on Iran, HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs said that the State of Qatar does not see that unilateral sanctions will have positive results, and that resolving crises must be done through dialogue.
His Excellency added that in the region is exposed to many pressures and crises and must move beyond the crisis management stage in which it is currently living, and to find sustainable solutions to these crises. His Excellency highlighted that these solutions can only be through constructive dialogue between the parties of the crisis.
His Excellency urged Iran and the United States to sit down and find sustainable solutions to the problem because the region can not afford further crises and escalation.
Responding to a question on the participation of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia in the meetings inside Doha for the first time since the crisis, HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani said that the attendance of representatives from Saudi Arabia and Bahrain comes in the framework of their roles as members in the ACD, and added that the State of Qatar did not prevent any citizens or officials from the blockading countries from attending regional and international events held in the country. His Excellency added that the State of Qatar is actually committed to inviting them just like all other members, stressing that the State of Qatar will not politicize the presence of any international organization or meetings that it hosts.
His Excellency added that the State of Qatar participates in all meetings of international and regional organizations held at the blockading countries, a policy that they will not change. His Excellency also said that there attendance does not reflect what is happening in the crisis given it is limited. His Excellency then said that the representatives of the two countries are not charged with resolving the crisis, as it is something that must be done at the leadership level and through the mediation done by HH the Amir of Kuwait.
For his part, HE Secretary-General Asian Cooperation Dialogue Bundit Limschoon said that the Asian continent's large area and its vast resources were two of the reasons that led to the establishment of the ACD 17 years ago.
He said that it was not the first time that the State of Qatar has had the opportunity to host the Asia Cooperation Dialogue, as it already did do so back in 2006. He also pointed out that the 16th Ministerial Meeting reflects the leadership role played by the State of Qatar in its multilateral diplomacy. He stressed that the results of the meetings confirmed that the State of Qatar played a very important role in the economic and business arenas, and that the country links various Asian countries together.
Limschoon said that the slogan of the ministerial meeting is "Partners in Progress" is very important because currently there is no country in the global economy that can work alone. He added that importance of partnerships is what was highlighted at the meeting, praising the role played by the State of Qatar in this framework.
It was agreed to increase the number of members by accepting the request of the State of Palestine to become the 35th member of the ACD, noting that the dialogue now covers the entire of Asia. He also expressed his delight with the outcomes of the meeting, with the announcement that the State of Qatar will host the third ACD summit, saying that it will be a great opportunity to present a comprehensive report on work mechanisms for all the leaders who will be present in the State of Qatar.
He pointed out that there are a number of international organizations in Asia and that what the Asian Cooperation Dialogue is trying to do is to avoid mistakes made by the organizations, to ensure that the work of the dialogue is in the interest of the Asian countries in the long term and prosperity.