Prime Minister And Minister Of Foreign Affairs Stresses Need For Agreement Ending Atrocities Committed In Gaza


(MENAFN- Gulf Times) HE Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani stressed that the best way to stop the ongoing fighting in the Gaza Strip, which the State of Qatar is demanding, is reaching an agreement, putting an end to the atrocities committed against civilians, and negotiating an agreement to release the hostages, considering that achieving this would enable an agreement to be reached within days.
During the opening session of the Qatar Economic Forum, His Excellency indicated that there is uncertainty about how to stop the war on the Israeli side, which is not inclined to this option, adding that when the talk is about an agreement to reach a ceasefire, a lot of politics say that they would go on with the war. His Excellency stressed that the State of Qatar would continue to work and pressure, along with partners to reach an agreement, provided that the warring parties help facilitate this as the issue is ultimately in their hands.
His Excellency pointed out that the negotiation process is long and stressful, as some momentum has been observed over the past weeks, but unfortunately things have not moved in the appropriate direction. The situation is currently going through a state of stagnation, especially after what happened in Rafah. His Excellency added that Qatar has not stopped its role as mediator despite facing many challenges in the past few weeks, which prompted Qatar to conduct a re-evaluation. Qatar did not want to be exploited as a mediator and wanted to make clear to everyone that its role is limited to mediation. Qatar is doing this and will continue to do so, saying that he believes Qatar has achieved great progress.
His Excellency also noted that what makes the negotiation process difficult is the presence of fundamental differences. There is one side that wants to end the war and then talk about the hostages, and the other side wants to release the hostages and continue the war. As long as there is no point of understanding between the two sides, it's hard to reach a result, warning that what is happening in the Gaza Strip requires saying, "enough." His Excellency added that looking at the disaster in Gaza, most reports confirmed that reconstruction requires USD 40 to 50 billion and will continue until 2040. This is only what the pictures show, representing 10 - 20 percent of the actual destruction, in addition to the risks of war or violence spreading in the region and this is what happened in the Red Sea and Lebanon, and it will increase as the war continues.
Regarding the Hamas movement's office in Doha, HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs indicated that the presence of a political office for the Hamas movement in Doha began in 2012 with the aim of creating a channel of communication between them, the Israelis, and Americans. He pointed out that this channel has proved to be effective in light of the various conflicts from 2014 until today, explaining that this office has played a major role, including the release of hostages (109 hostages) thanks to Qatari mediation in the negotiations, which is the only hostages' release operation during the ongoing war and did not come as a result of pressure or military action.
His Excellency considered that the continuation of the war requires a means of communication, and Qatar's vision and point of view see the necessity of having access for all parties to resolve the conflict. His Excellency stressed that the State of Qatar is not a party to the conflict, adding that Qatar's principles and policies that support the Palestinians in implementing the two-state solution have not changed, and as long as Qatar has the ability, it will help, as it has done so between Afghanistan, the Taliban and the United States of America, and between the various parties in Lebanon, Sudan, and others. This is at the core of Qatar's foreign policy (to build on mediation to help resolve and settle disputes between the parties and work to find a regional consensus).
Regarding the situation in the Gaza Strip after the war, HE Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani stressed that it is still too early to talk about this matter. His Excellency said that Qatar believes in a single Palestinian government responsible for the West Bank and Gaza. This Palestinian government must be formed by consensus among the Palestinians to lead the transitional process in the country, but the Israeli government's statements reject the existence of the Palestinian Authority. His Excellency indicated that with the total destruction of the Strip without a vision for the role of the Palestinian Authority, the situation will be difficult not only for Qatar but for the entire world. In this regard, His Excellency said that Qatar is working with its Arab partners, the Six-Party Committee, and the United States of America to think about the best way until the day after the war so that it does not affect the Palestinians and the Palestinian cause, and does not undermine the Palestinian Authority.
Regarding Qatar's investment plans and areas in the coming period, HE Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani stated that the sovereign wealth fund follows a diversification strategy, adding that the United States has been a significant market in recent years, and Asia is also attracting major Qatari investments. He added that the State of Qatar is looking to expand in emerging markets like Central Asia and Africa, while ensuring that investments are not high-risk and secure and offer guaranteed returns, especially considering these investments are for the benefit of future generations.
His Excellency added that domestically, the State of Qatar has launched its Third National Development Strategy, which is considered the third phase of implementing Vision 2030. He emphasized that while Qatar focused on infrastructure in the past 25 years, the current phase is about building on past achievements, pointing out that the core of the third strategy is focusing on human capital, unleashing its potential, and opening opportunities for the private sector, allowing the government to step back or withdraw, transitioning to a regulatory role.
His Excellency also noted that the government is working on creating an incentive program to encourage the private sector and foreign investors, focusing on logistical affairs, tourism, information and communication technology, financial services, and other sectors. He pointed out that essential sectors like healthcare and education witnessed significant progress in infrastructure investment, with room for improvement in the economic aspect of healthcare, research, and development.
Regarding investment in AI and semiconductors, His Excellency reaffirmed that AI requires massive investments in infrastructure and application, pointing out that Qatar is focusing on complementing the efforts of other countries, given ambitious projects in Saudi Arabia and the UAE. He explained that the focus is on improving core programs for AI utilization or infrastructure-related aspects.
His Excellency highlighted the ongoing infrastructure development and expansion, allocating part of it to research and educational institutions, and launching AI education programs. He pointed to the launch of the "Al Fanar" project, an Arabic AI initiative that is primarily based on gathering high-quality data in Arabic to enrich large linguistic models and preserve Arab identity, opening up significant prospects and opportunities in the Arab market, where application developers and others can use and develop it.
Regarding investment relations between the State of Qatar and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani emphasized the existing cooperation, particularly considering the vast Saudi market, which represents a significant opportunity for Qatari companies to establish business there. He pointed out that any development in one Gulf nation benefits the others due to the strong interconnectivity within the region, facilitating trade and business activities.
Concerning the economic future and attracting American and Chinese investments to Qatar amid intense competition between them, His Excellency stressed that attracting these investments constitutes a challenge, but for the region it is an opportunity, and just as Qatar is working to establish political peace, it hopes to establish peace economically as well.
Regarding the preference of dealing with a Republican or Democratic American administration, HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs said that the matter is no different for the State of Qatar because it has long-term relations with the American administration, regardless of its president, emphasizing institutional relations as the basis for bilateral ties.
His Excellency also pointed out that there are no significant differences between a Republican or Democratic American president regarding the Middle East. He mentioned working with President Trump during his tenure, where there were common approaches and shared views on some regional issues, but no points of agreement were reached at other times, similar to the situation with President Biden. He cited examples such as the Afghanistan agreement during the Trump administration, the evacuation operation under President Biden, and matters concerning the ceasefire in Gaza and other areas.
His Excellency reiterated that the need for security sits atop the hierarchy of needs in the region, adding that as long as there is war, regional security is threatened, and there will be no possibility of anticipation and prevention, therefore, Qatar, currently holding the presidency of the Gulf Cooperation Council, focuses on urging partners in the Gulf countries to consider the best regional security framework to ensure security and stability in the region.
In conclusion, HE Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani expressed, during the opening session of the Qatar Economic Forum, his deep concern about the escalation and continuation of war, and the uncertainty among some politicians who continue the war without any direction or destination, which enhances the risks of the war's expansion, emphasizing that security is essential in the region, and must be preserved as much as possible.

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Gulf Times

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