Qatar And Turkiye Have A Strong Strategic Partnership

(MENAFN- The Peninsula) Mohammed Osman Ali |The Peninsula

Doha, Qatar: Qatar and Turkiye have a strong strategic partnership, rooted in mutual interests and cooperation across various fields, including defense and regional peace efforts. They share a unified stance on the Gaza crisis, advocating for an immediate ceasefire, humanitarian aid, and a two-state solution for lasting peace between Palestine and Israel. Both countries emphasise the need for regional collaboration to address conflicts and support Palestinian statehood. They condemn Israeli actions in Gaza as war crimes and support legal measures against Israel. Turkiye is committed to diplomatic efforts to ensure peace and stability in the region said H E Mevlut Cavusoglu, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkiye, during an interview with The Peninsula newspaper at the sidelines of the fourth Qatar Economic Forum, Powered by Bloomberg which took place from May 14-16 in Doha.

Turkiye proposes a guarantorship mechanism to facilitate peace and has taken measures such as trade restrictions against Israel and support for legal action at the International Court of Justice, he stressed. Cavusoglu called for a unified international effort to pressure Israel to end the violence and ensure humanitarian aid access to Gaza.

Talking about Qatar-Turkiye relations H E Cavusoglu underlined that "Qatar is one of our most important strategic partners and enjoys very good relations with Turkiye built on strong bonds and mutual interests. Turkiye and Qatar, historically, always stand by the righteous cause not only through the good times but also during difficult periods as well he said. There is strong political will at the highest level to strengthen our brotherly relations in all fields. There are also warm people to people relations which seals our friendship at all levels."

"While bilateral cooperation in various fields is in full swing, our cooperation and coordination on delicate regional issues continue as well. We work together to sustain peace in our region and beyond," Cavusoglu added.

Asked about areas that the two countries need to focus for enhancing ties H E Cavusoglu said,“We have close cooperation and collaboration in many areas. The number of documents we have signed through the Supreme Strategic Council has exceeded 100. We need to work for putting these agreements into implementation”.

The first meeting of the Joint Economic and Trade Committee was held in February this year he said adding that the Trade and Economic Partnership Agreement was signed and it is at the stage of ratification. We exert every effort to have the agreement enter into force soon. This will help level up our economic cooperation.

Cooperation in the field of defense industry is accompanied by the strong military and security relations he emphasised. Qatar-Turkiye Combined Joint Force Command located in Doha, is one of the main elements of this cooperation.

Speaking about Turkiye and Qatar cooperation on regional issues particularly on the ongoing massacres in Gaza H E Cavusoglu said Qatar is playing a key role in mediation efforts for a deal on ceasefire, provision of humanitarian aid into Gaza and hostage and prisoner swap.

He pointed out that the two countries believe that mutual respect and sincere will to cooperate is a key to any cooperation model.“Our region is faced with numerous regional challenges that call for closer cooperation among the countries in the region”. He stressed that regional ownership should be the main approach to addressing these challenges in the first place. That is what Qatar and Turkiye are striving for.

On the ongoing war on Gaza and its repercussions on Turkiye he pointed out that Turkiye pursues a foreign policy based on building peace and stability at the regional and global levels to ensure the well-being of people. Turkiye is definitely concerned by any tension in the region and any conflict in the Middle East impacts Turkiye in the view of its close relations with the regional countries and its historical ties with the region. Therefore, he said the conflict in Gaza affects the whole region including Turkiye.

And whether he sees the current crisis in Gaza as a primary challenge for this region the former Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkiye said“Peaceful resolution of Gaza crisis is a key to regional peace and security. The war in Gaza not only has the potential to further escalate the regional confrontation, but also fuels people's reaction and frustration throughout the world”. The current crisis once again shows that there can be no lasting peace without a just solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Therefore, a genuine peace process must be initiated to achieve a just and lasting peace based on the two-state vision without delay he stressed.

When asked about his perspective on resolving the current dilemma in Gaza, he stated the indiscriminate and brutal Israeli attacks in Gaza since October 7 have led to not only immense civilian casualties and devastation beyond imagination but also social and geopolitical divisions across the world.

Legitimacy of international organizations is put into question as a permanent ceasefire is not in place yet, he said, adding it is very unfortunate that it took 171 days for the UN Security Council to make a call to stop the ongoing violence. And even after that the UN Security Council is unable to enforce its resolutions.

H E Cavusoglu expressed his concern that Gaza is on the verge of total collapse, stating that we stand on the brink of an abyss. He warned that if we do not put an end to the carnage, we will be overwhelmed by the disastrous consequences of this conflict.

Referring to the speech of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, who described the ongoing war on Gaza as a war of liberation, Cavusoglu said it would be completely misleading to characterize the situation in Gaza as an Israeli liberation war.

“It is nothing but harassment and extermination by Israel of the Palestinian people in their homeland. Israel is an occupying force”. This war emerged due to an unending occupation which persists each passing day through an increasing number of settlers.

Furthermore, he highlighted that the international community has failed in stopping this occupation. Palestinian people are just defending their own land and resisting the occupation. The level of atrocities in Gaza now has already far surpassed what could be described as Israel's self-defense or self-protection he stated. Under the disguise of“liberation” or“self-defense” Israel is killing civilians, committing war crimes in total disregard of international law. The Former Turkish FM stressed that Israel has been killing civilians systematically for seven months, displacing millions of people and making an entire settlement totally uninhabitable. It is an attempt of genocide.

While encouraging settlers to harass the Palestinians in the West Bank, Israel is continuing its attacks for more carnage in Rafah. Despite the provisional measures indicated by the International Court of Justice, Israel opts for further military escalation.

Ongoing attacks he said will exacerbate the humanitarian tragedy in Gaza and undermine the efforts to secure a lasting ceasefire in the region. Israel's brazen disregard of the international law is putting the whole regional and global order in jeopardy.

Cavusoglu stated that the key issue remains to be how to end the bloodshed and seek a just and lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The ongoing talks towards an immediate and lasting ceasefire, unhindered humanitarian aid to Gaza and release of hostages/prisoners on both sides would enable a much-needed de-escalation.

A genuine peace process must be initiated to achieve a just and lasting peace based on the two state visions without delay he emphasized, adding that“We strongly support embodiment of an independent, sovereign and contiguous State of Palestine on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital”. In this regard, full membership of Palestine to the UN would constitute a timely and strong message for the sake of peace in the region.

He stressed that we are all at a crossroads. One path leads to a just and lasting peace based on a two-state solution, while the other leads to further escalation and bloodshed with unbearable consequences. Therefore, those with a conscience and a sense of morality must intervene without delay.

Discussing the measures already taken against Israel and additional steps that Turkiye might consider to pressure Israel to end its aggression in Gaza, he stated that Turkiye has been engaged in intense diplomatic efforts since the onset of the crisis. These efforts aim to halt the violence and prevent the conflict from spreading throughout the region.

“Our solution-oriented initiatives on both bilateral and multilateral platforms are carried out essentially in two main areas he underlined.“In the first place we urge a ceasefire and uninterrupted access of humanitarian aid to Gaza, preventing the displacement of Palestinians and preventing the tension from turning into a regional conflict”.“As a next step we work for ensuring a permanent peace in line with a two-state solution along with the principle of regional ownership and the establishment of a guarantorship mechanism”. He reassured that Turkiye is prepared to collaborate with other regional powers in the pursuit of peace.

He reaffirmed that Turkiye continues to defend on every platform that the only way to achieve a fair political solution is the establishment of an independent, sovereign State of Palestine, within its territorial integrity based on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Cavusoglu point out that Turkiye proposed guarantorship mechanism in order to facilitate the peace process and make the final agreement permanent.

“In the face of continuing Israeli aggression, Turkiye has imposed trade restrictions on Israel, as an additional measure. We also announced our decision to join in South Africa's genocide case against Israel at the ICJ to seek legal measures for ending Israel's sustained impunity”.

He emphasized the necessity of holding those responsible for attacks on civilians accountable under the law, warning that failing to do so could lead to such outrageous behavior being emulated elsewhere in the future. Thus, reinstating a rule-based international system is essential.

Additionally, he underscored that, given the level of atrocities committed against civilians by Israel and the obstacles to international humanitarian assistance, pressuring Israel to cease this violence should be a common objective for all members of the international community.

He said“We will continue to make our case for peace and be ready to contribute to efforts towards settlement of the conflict in any way we can”.

Addressing Europe's position and its failure to effectively use its influence to contain the Middle East crisis, he remarked,“I believe European states are divided on this issue, and most actions and reactions are limited to mere declarations. Europe must be bold enough to examine the root causes of this conflict objectively to more effectively support peace.”

Discussing Qatar's role, he emphasized the nation's active diplomacy in delivering humanitarian assistance to the Gaza Strip and its tireless efforts to secure a prisoner exchange deal. These actions are crucial for regional peace and stability he emphasized.

Indeed, regional ownership is essential in the pursuit of peace, and in this regard, Qatar is making a significant contribution. Despite the difficulties and challenges, it is imperative that Qatar continues these efforts he added.

Asked about potential outcomes of the ongoing crisis in Gaza? He said“The only viable path to ending the conflict in Gaza and achieving lasting peace in the region is through a two-state solution based on the 1967 borders, as outlined by relevant UN resolutions. Without this, the situation will inevitably revert to its original state”.

I sincerely hope for peace and stability, avoiding any escalation of violence that has long plagued the people of our region. The alternative is hard to contemplate.

Regarding the response of Arab and Islamic nations to the tragedy unfolding in Gaza he said“I strongly believe in the importance of regional ownership. The Contact Group established by the OIC and the Arab League exemplifies this principle. Arab and Islamic nations should remain united in opposing this violence and advocating for a fair and lasting resolution to the conflict.


The Peninsula

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