Munich / Information Office / February 15
HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani participated Saturday in a panel discussion in the 56th Munich Security Conference on de-escalation in the Gulf region.
Members of the panel were HE Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs in the Sultanate of Oman Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah, HE Minister of Foreign Affairs in the State of Kuwait Sheikh Ahmed Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Sabah, HE Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey Mevlut Cavusoglu, and HE U.S. Member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Christopher Murphy.
His Excellency reiterated the call of HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani for a binding regional security agreement in the Middle East and the need for cooperation to address collective threats.
His Excellency said that crises in the Middle East were interconnected and require comprehensive solutions. HE the Deputy Prime Minister then expressed Qatar's belief that peace and stability will be restored only when the regions countries agree to work together to reach consensus on key challenges, with regional players determining Security-related affairs, and stressed that security will be a pre-requisite to prosperity.
His Excellency noted that HH the Amir of Qatar spoke at this same podium two years ago, and shed light on the critical challenges happening in the Middle East and called for collective action to solve them. His Excellency noted that everyone can agree that the Middle East desperately needs sustainable regional security agreements to ensure long-term stability, highlighting that the State of Qatar has been ranked one of the safest countries in the world despite being located in a geographically turbulent region.
"As we scan the region for whats needed, we see that a successful Middle East accord needs to be: 1. collective and binding, 2. based on agreed principles of security, developed with rules of governance, dispute resolution, and accountability, 3. respectful of sovereignty and equality among its members, and 4. a commitment to non-interference in internal affairs," His Excellency said.
"It is precisely the manipulating interference, justified with political, social, and religious ideologies, that causes so much turmoil in the Middle East," His Excellency added before noting that it was these repeated interferences by adventurous rulers with risky miscalculations that lead to devastating consequences.
His Excellency noted that manipulating one another to achieve dominance, through direct or indirect interference, puts the region in a perpetual state of volatility. His Excellency then stressed that zero-sum games do not apply to diplomacy, especially in the Middle East.
"Instead of applying exclusion or oppression, we have a greater chance of achieving long-term security through direct, accountable collaboration and dialogue within a regional security framework," His Excellency said.
"With these foundational principles: collective, binding, accountable, respectful, and the regional members can agree on security rules, including: Modern security technology, such as early warning systems, CBMs, and establishing a non-proliferation zone; counterterrorism cooperation in stopping terrorist financing and money laundering, while enhancing intelligence sharing, with all parties operating with a clear non-politicized definition of terrorism; aviation and maritime security to ensure free and safe passage through the region; and a forum for dialogue on real, practical, and imminent threats.
HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs stressed that any future economic and political dimensions must be built on fundamental security.
"Once we deliver basic stability to the Middle East, we can build enough trust and confidence with each other to advance regional trade, development, and the productive use of energy resources," His Excellency said before adding that "we have seen firsthand that security is a prerequisite for prosperity. Furthermore, stability for the wider Middle East cannot be a reality without a separate legitimate peace process made directly between Palestinians and Israelis. Their peace process must be comprehensive, just, and lasting, and must be based on international law and UN resolutions."
His Excellency said that the world continues to talk about occupation in the year 2020, stressing that "a genuine two-state solution is essential, so the long-oppressed Palestinian people finally receive the right to self-determination and right of return, with East-Jerusalem as their states capital, based on the 1967 borders.
"Beyond the borders of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, we all know the many regional and internal disputes that would complicate this proposed wider, collective regional security agreement
from the war in Yemen, to the sanctions on Iran, to Syrias humanitarian catastrophe driven by war-criminal leaders, to the conflict in Libya, to the blockade of Qatar," His Excellency said.
"However, if each nation in the Middle East comes together in good faith and with a willingness to transparently commit, we can create a structured framework, with binding mechanisms and conflict resolution, where all states will be held accountable for achieving peace and sustaining security," His Excellency added.
HE the Deputy Prime Minister called on each nation of the Middle East to say "enough is enough," and take this critical first step towards regional development, reform, and integration. His Excellency then addressed nations outside the Middle East and said that the region needs their diplomatic help to get every Middle East country to the table, and to enforce international law.
"If we, the international community, seek to achieve global security and stability, we must preserve and strengthen the world order. We must go beyond managing crises, and instead utilize inclusive multilateral diplomacy to seek comprehensive and just solutions. We can only do this with binding mechanisms in accordance with the provisions of international law and resolutions, ultimately intended to protect civilians," His Excellency said.
His Excellency alluded to the fact that the State of Qatar called for a comprehensive Middle-East agreement two years ago, stressing that such a regional security agreement in the Middle East is needed more than ever to enforce basic security principles.
"With the international communitys help, and despite the gravity of the geopolitical tensions, together, we can achieve stability in the Middle East through collective dialogue and commitment," His Excellency said.
Replying to a question on efforts to resolve the crisis with Saudi Arabia, His Excellency said that the State of Qatar was open to dialogue, adding that Qatar was not responsible for the failure of talks.