04 July 2017
Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Qatar and visiting German Foreign Minister, Sigmar Gabriel have reaffirmed that dialogue and sitting down to negotiations is the only option to resolve any crisis or political dispute between countries.
German Foreign minister repeated what he had said in Saudi Arabia and UAE, that the national sovereignty must be preserved and respected, and this must be clear and a basic condition for dialogue so that all complex issues can be discussed.
Welcoming German Foreign Minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani expressed gratitude to the government of Germany for the efforts it is doing for resolving the crisis.
He lauded the Qatari-German relations as well as the mutual investments between the two countries, looking forward to the intensification of cooperation and partnerships in all political, economic and security fields.
This came in a joint press conference, the two minister held today in Doha, during which they reviewed the developments of the current Gulf crisis and ways to get out of it. The two ministers praised the mediation efforts undertaken by Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah to heal the rift and reach solutions to end this Gulf dispute.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani said that for the State of Qatar, it is clear that there is no solution to any crisis except through sitting down for negotiations.
He noted that no matter how escalating measures taken by one party against the other in any crisis or disagreement, it will end up at the negotiating table in accordance with the agreement and a specific framework showing the rights and duties of each party.
Foreign Minister of Qatar said that the State of Qatar is consistent with the international context that encourages constructive dialogue according to clear principles.
He noted that the behavior taken by the siege countries against the State of Qatar reflects their attitude as an attack on Qatar, which he said did not attack anyone and showed good faith and good initiative that there should be a solution based on a constructive dialogue.
On Qatar’s response to the demands of the siege countries, He said: “We can not speak in this regard because the matter is in the custody of the State of Kuwait and they are the only ones concerned with the details of the response.”
On the statement by the UAE Minister who said “enough support for terrorism” in reference to the State of Qatar, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani said We say to him “enough slander on the State of Qatar .. And enough for these lies .. And enough to distort the reputation of the State of Qatar .. And enough to distort the Islamic civilization and its reputation in the West .. And enough accommodation for criminals of the Iraqi war .. and enough to adopt outlawed militias .. If we start to say the word “enough” we will say a lot but we do not want to go into it.
Regarding the financing and combating of terrorism, Qatar Foreign Minister affirmed that the State of Qatar is fully committed to all the international conventions in this regard and is an active member in the fight against terrorism and the drying up of its sources of funding and has taken many efforts and measures to address this phenomenon, stressing that the State of Qatar takes the issue of combating terrorism and its financing seriously and for it (Qatar) and the region is a matter of national security.
He pointed out that what was formulated in the form of a “siege” under the slogan of combating terrorism is a false and illegal measures that have been put in this framework to market them to win the international sympathy.
He stressed that Qatar’s commitment to fighting terrorism and its financing far exceed the siege countries . He pointed out that the role of the State of Qatar is shown in credible reports and reliable internationally and Qatar is a key partner in international efforts and mechanisms to combat terrorism.
Qatar Foreign Minister said that Qatar welcomes cooperation in combating terrorism and the drying up of its sources of funding, stressing that tackling this phenomenon is a matter of national security and the highest priority for the State of Qatar.
He noted that Qatar’s counter-terrorism efforts are bearing fruit on the future of the region and that it is destroying the despair that surrounds young people.
He added that the State of Qatar, when it provides more than 300,000 jobs in North Africa, is fighting the despair that surrounds young people. And when it provides education for 7 million children in 42 countries, it replaces the weapon with the pen and teaches children not to be attacked or join extremist organizations, noting that most of the children in the refugee camps receive their education from institutions that the State of Qatar adopts and supports.
He said that combating terrorism is not only done by weapons, but by arming young people with work, economic empowerment and the arming of children with education, stressing the need to put the issue of terrorism in its proper context of using violence against civilians to change reality and not to differ opinions and to call “political opponents” terrorists.
Responding to a question on whether there is hope for the Kuwaiti mediation to resolve the crisis, Qatar Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani hailed the role of the sisterly State of Kuwait and all friendly countries that are trying to resolve the crisis.
Minister stressed that since the beginning of the crisis, the State of Qatar has called for dialogue. He added that Qatar’s position has been very clear that it is fully prepared to discuss any allegations on clear bases and in accordance with the principles of non-interference in the internal affairs of States and respect for sovereignty.
He pointed out that the State of Qatar rejects imposing guardianship from any country, but at the same time is ready to engage in dialogue and discuss the demands of the siege countries, indicating that the State of Qatar has stated this several times, but in return, the siege countries kept issuing negative statements.
Regardless of that, the efforts of dialogue must be continuous and in accordance with a clear framework between all parties, not based on threats and escalation against any state, and must be based on the principle of equality between the countries which is highlighted in the Charter of the United Nation, Minister said noting that the State of Qatar’s stance on engaging in dialogue is clear. “Other countries can declare their positions,” he added.
In a related context, he explained that Qatar is making great progress in the field of fighting terrorism and drying its sources of funding and that it is always committed to continuing this progress. He added that Qatar is engaged in dialogue with countries that possess the experience in combating terrorism as well as with international organizations, explaining that Qatar is working in this regard within the framework of the international system.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani said that Qatar has participated in most of the regional mechanisms to control the financing of terrorism, adding that it cooperates actively with the GCC countries and other parties, pointing to the great efforts being exerted in this regard.
He reiterated Qatar’s commitment to continue work for its national security and not for the benefit of any other country, “It is in Qatar’s interest to combat terrorism and its financing in all possible ways,” he said.
In response to a question on what he expects regarding the meeting of the siege countries on Wednesday, Qatar Foreign Minister said “We can not predict because all this actions were unexpected. The siege countries have clearly violated many of the principles of international law and the UN Charter by imposing an illegal siege on Qatar, that is why the results of this meeting can not be predicted”.
“We believe that Qatar has done its part in this matter and delivered its response to the Kuwaiti mediator. Now it is for the siege countries to respond,” he said “Will they take the same constructive approach that Qatar has taken from the beginning, or will they follow the same position they have followed since the beginning of the crisis? ”
On the list of demands of the siege countries, submitted to the State of Qatar, Foreign Minister pointed out that this list must be reasonable and actionable, but it turned out to be neither reasonable nor actionable. “They did not talk about fighting terrorism, but about preventing freedom of expression, besieging the country and violating its sovereignty,” he said.
Stressing that this as unacceptable in accordance with international norms, Qatar Minister said that the State of Qatar has adopted a positive and constructive attitude; acted with wisdom, balance and maturity and distanced from any unacceptable actions, unlike the aggressors.
“This has always been the Qatari position. We have looked at this list and presented the answers in accordance with international law and in accordance with respect for the sovereignty of our country and non-interference in our internal affairs .. these demands can not be accepted by any independent country. This is the only thing I can now disclose,” he said adding that the Qatari response has been handed to the Kuwaiti mediator, who is the only one who has the right to disclose its contents.
Sigmar Gabriel, Foreign Minister of Federal Republic of Germany said that his country has good relations with Qatar as well as with all the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, affirming that Germany attaches great importance to these political, economic and security relations.
On the Gulf crisis, Gabriel stressed the importance of finding procedures and frameworks for discussing the points of contention as well as developing appropriate solutions through constructive dialogue, the development of ideas and the involvement of third parties to reach a solution. He Pointed to the importance of coordination among all countries in the region to deal with the issue of financing terrorism and the mechanisms of confronting it as well as considering relations between neighbors, stressing that the parties to the crisis will be able to reach a solution if there are good intentions.
He pointed out that Europe, especially Germany, knows that there are Gulf countries that supported and funded terrorist operations and organizations such as Al-Qaeda and Nusra Front in the past, through individual and institutions, which created many major problems.
The German Foreign Minister said that while the Arab world constitutes 5 percent of the world’s population, 60 percent of refugees are from Arab countries and 50 percent of the world’s weapons are in the Arab region. He stressed that these figures reflect a major problem and that governments in the Gulf region should try to improve the situation and address these problems.
He added that there are international organizations that help monitor the flow of funds in support of terrorism adding that it is everybody’s interest to prevent this funding. He pointed out in this regard that Germany has close security cooperation between the intelligence services in the GCC countries to combat ISIS and prevent return of Al-Qaeda.
He also underlined the importance of giving young people a chance to shape their future, so that the youth of Syria, Yemen and Libya can see an opportunity for the future. There are people without hope and this is a basic source of terrorists, he added highlighting the importance of providing education and good training to create jobs for young people.
The German Foreign Minister said that the State of Qatar has not taken any hostile measures or decisions against anyone since the beginning of the crisis and that Qatar has favored dialogue, noting that the State of Qatar’s position has been against escalation.
He renewed the call to resolve the crisis via dialogue and discussion through the international community, calling all parties to start negotiation as the only solution stressing the need for good intentions among all parties.
He praised the relations of his country with the GCC countries and the joint work for the security and stability of the region while preserving the interests of all parties. He also lauded his country’s relations with the State of Qatar as well as the great trust between the two countries and the constructive cooperation between them, which he felt during today’s open discussions with the Qatari side.
Sigmar Gabriel stressed that his country does not take sides in this crisis adding that Berlin is trying to understand the essence of the problem in order to contribute to its solution and that it is coordinating with the US thereon. He explained that Germany is not involved in the mediation because this role must be done from within the region. He also appreciated the role of the State of Kuwait in this regard, adding that Germany will play its role and contribute to the solution through the international mechanisms and the European role in the international financial institutions.
On his vision of the contents of the Qatari response, Sigmar Gabriel pointed to the possibility of reaching a solution and embarking on a process of settling complex issues at the regional and international levels, expressing respect for all parties.