Sunday, 17 October 2021 09:11 GMT

FM urges re-engagement in nuclear talks with Iran


(MENAFN- The Peninsula) Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs H E Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani has urged Iran and the US to re-engage in nuclear talks, stating the region cannot afford a nuclear or arms race. 

“We are hoping that this happens as soon as possible because we cannot afford to see a nuclear or arms race in our region,” he said in an interview with Christianne Amanpour yesterday on CNN.

Sheikh Mohammed said Qatar does not support a nuclear programme developing in the region (Middle East), noting that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is a very important agreement.

“We are encouraging Iran to re-engage and be back in the deal. We are also encouraging other Gulf countries to engage with Iran directly to address other concerns,” Sheikh Mohammed said.

The US pulled out of the nuclear deal in May 2018, which then-President Donald Trump called“a horrible” deal. However, President Joe Biden stated his intention to rejoin the deal after being elected in 2020, but both parties have since failed to find common ground.

“The US role is important in the JCPOA re-engagement. We heard yesterday from Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi that they don't want to have a nuclear weapon, and that is what we share. We don't want to see a nuclear programme developing in our region. We hope that this statement is followed by re-engagement from both parties,” he added.

Regarding Afghanistan, H E Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs stressed that mistreatment of women in Afghanistan is unacceptable. He noted that Qatar cannot tolerate seeing“Afghanistan transferring into a breeding ground for terrorist organisations.”

“It's unacceptable for us to see any mistreatment of women in Afghanistan. Qatar, as a Muslim country with an Islamic system, has shown we can progress with the active participation of women. There's nothing in our religion preventing them from going to school or letting them just stay at home, which is not acceptable to us in the State of Qatar,” H E Sheikh Mohammed said.

Responding to a question on the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 preparations and reports of alleged workers' death on the tournament's construction sites, Sheikh Mohammed said“misleading information” has been fed to the public.

He stated that Qatar has made significant progress in the last decade in labour and human rights, and the government will take full responsibility to investigate any situation further.

“I think that the progress that Qatar has achieved in labour and human rights in the last 10 years is something ahead of the entire region. The ILO has publicly acknowledged Qatar's progress. Unfortunately, there has been so much misinformation and misreporting about the facts and the numbers. 

“The life of anyone living in Qatar matters a lot for the government, and we cannot leave it like this without any accountability. The government always investigates if there's any case of death and holds the parties accountable,” Sheikh Mohammed said.

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