Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Affirms Qatar’s Commitment to Negotiation Process to End War on Gaza

Doha, April 03 (QNA) – HE Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani affirmed the State of Qatar’s commitment, since the beginning of the war on Gaza, to the negotiation process to release hostages and their safe return and to end this war and this attack on the Gaza Strip.

During a joint press conference held this evening with HE Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Spain Dr. Pedro Sanchez, who is visiting the country, His Excellency explained that there are some statements against the State of Qatar and the role it plays in reaching a truce and ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, stressing that Qatar is a mediator and not a party to this conflict, and it spares no effort to facilitate, build bridges, and present innovative solutions with the aim of reaching an agreement.

He added that the responsibility lies with the two parties only, and Qatar is not the one controlling the negotiation elements, but it spares no effort and does everything in its power to keep these negotiations on the appropriate track and provide a solution. Both Qatar and Egypt played a fundamental role and guaranteed the release of a large number of hostages in exchange for the release of Palestinian prisoners. We remain committed to this process and are trying to find the appropriate opportunity to bridge the gap, end this war, and ensure the safe return of the hostages. We do not see any other way to achieve these results other than negotiations and discussions.

HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs said sometimes we see some parties playing a self-destructive game, noting that participating in a constructive manner and providing solutions instead of obstacles is essential, but there are always those who place the blame on others, and this is not the first time this has been said. The State of Qatar rises above these statements and always participates in the negotiation process and tries to reach a solution and settlement.

Regarding the military operation that Israel intends to carry out in Rafah, His Excellency said no country is supporting this operation in Rafah except Israel, and it is unreasonable to cram nearly 50 percent of the population of Gaza into a corner (10 percent of the area of the Strip) and attack them. This will only lead to a genocide to be added to the genocide committed already, and this will not be acceptable.

His Excellency continued by saying unfortunately, the international community did not act as it should be to stop the war, and what was committed against the Palestinian people should motivate the international community to act and say enough is enough, this is unacceptable. If Israel commits this without accountability, we will see a continuation of the cycle of violence and escalation in the region, and this is what we are all seeking to avoid, and we cannot leave the fate of the region in the hands of some adventurous politicians who only care about their own interests.

Regarding why a truce or agreement was not reached despite the multiple rounds of negotiations and the means of pressure to achieve that, HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani said we always tend towards optimism and hope, and we do everything in our power to maintain positive momentum during the negotiations… There have been many rounds of negotiations in order to reach a ceasefire, the issue took several months, and the last ceasefire was last November. Unfortunately, the points in which we stuck in February are the same points that we are still facing. The issue is related to the return of the displaced to their homes, the ceasefire, then a prolonged ceasefire and a sustainable ceasefire, and we seek to provide solutions regarding any obstacles presented by any of the parties. 

HE Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani reviewed what happened in his meeting with HE Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Spain Dr. Pedro Sanchez, which dealt with a number of topics of common concern, most notably ways to strengthen bilateral relations between the two friendly countries and the latest regional and international developments, especially the situation in Gaza and the region.

His Excellency indicated that the Qatari-Spanish relations have witnessed remarkable developments in various fields since establishing diplomatic relations between the two countries in 1972. During half a century, these relations have witnessed significant developments in various political, economic, and investment fields, especially the energy and trade sectors and today witnessed the culmination of these relations with the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to establish the first strategic dialogue between the two countries. His Excellency voiced his aspiration that this step would result in cooperation between the two countries for the good and benefit of the two friendly peoples.

His Excellency the Prime Minister noted that the discussions with the Spanish side dealt with the latest developments in the war raging in the Gaza Strip, especially the unfortunate expansion of the circle of violence to the entire occupied Palestinian territories and reaching other countries in the region, especially the attack that targeted the Iranian consulate in Damascus, Syria, which led to deaths and injuries in blatant violation of international agreements, charters, and diplomatic norms that criminalize attacks on the headquarters of diplomatic missions.

His Excellency reiterated the State of Qatar’s firm stance rejecting violence and terrorism, regardless of the motives and reasons, expressing the State of Qatar’s condolences to the families of the victims and to the government and people of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and its wishes for a speedy recovery for the wounded.

His Excellency the Prime Minister pointed out that the talks discussed the Israeli air strike that led to the killing of a number of employees of the World Central Kitchen charity, bringing the number of relief employees killed during this war to 196, stressing the State of Qatar’s complete rejection of the use of food as a weapon against civilians, and that this targeting is a shocking crime that violates international laws and humanitarian norms.

His Excellency renewed the State of Qatar’s call to the international community to ensure accountability and non-impunity for all crimes committed during this war, especially those crimes committed against civilians and employees of international relief and charitable organizations, asking how long will the international community continue to monitor this ongoing escalation and its expansion to countries in the region where conflicts have persisted without holding those responsible accountable?

As for the progress of the negotiations, His Excellency Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani stressed the continuation of the mediation of the State of Qatar in cooperation with partners to achieve an immediate ceasefire and resume the process of exchanging prisoners and hostages between the two parties, in addition to accelerating the pace of humanitarian aid entry into the Gaza Strip.

His Excellency pointed out that the meeting discussed ways of cooperation between the two friendly countries to reach a permanent, just, and sustainable solution to the Palestinian cause, stressing the firm stance of the State of Qatar that security and stability in the region will not be achieved except through a peaceful, just, and comprehensive settlement of the Palestinian cause that guarantees the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.

His Excellency the Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs praised the Spanish government’s position against the war on Gaza and its emphasis on the importance of respecting international law and its intention to recognize the Palestinian state, praising, in particular, the significant statements of HM King Felipe VI of Spain in support of Palestinian rights and the efforts of the Spanish Prime Minister to put an end to the violence in Gaza. 

On behalf of the State of Qatar and all the Arab peoples in the region, His Excellency expressed gratitude and appreciation for the principled Spanish position despite the double standards policies adopted according to the location of the crisis. 

His Excellency praised the Kingdom of Spain’s continued efforts to provide emergency aid to the Gaza Strip and its unwavering support for the UNRWA, which plays a vital role in providing relief to millions of Palestinian refugees.

HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani warned that the war in the Gaza Strip has resulted in a tragic humanitarian reality, as it has claimed, to date, more than 32,000 lives and left more than 75,000 wounded and injured, most of them women and children. 

His Excellency highlighted the recently revealed shocking and horrific images that show the extent of the destruction due to the Israeli army’s storming of the Al Shifa Medical Complex in the Gaza Strip. The images show the medical facility completely unable to provide its services with all its buildings devastated and burned, Thousands of homes and residential units in the vicinity of the hospital have been devastated as well.

This left hundreds of people martyred, wounded, detained and missing, His Excellency said.

His Excellency called on the international community to assume its responsibilities in imposing an immediate ceasefire because the humanitarian reality in Gaza, including the threat to the lives of civilians, requires the international community to establish a permanent ceasefire in Gaza and prevent the consequences of this war from spreading in the region.

His Excellency expressed that the State of Qatar welcomes the International Court of Justice’s order obligating Israel to take all necessary and effective measures to ensure the entry of basic food supplies to the residents of the Gaza Strip without delay, and the Security Council resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in the Strip during the month of Ramadan, and any diplomatic initiative that puts an end to this conflict and supports negotiations between the two parties. He expressed his hope that these orders would represent a step towards a permanent ceasefire, especially in light of the catastrophic humanitarian conditions that civilians are suffering from.

His Excellency affirmed that Qatar would press on efforts to transport the sick and injured from Gaza and provide relief aid to the residents of the Strip based on Doha’s humanitarian responsibilities towards the Palestinian people. In this context, His Excellency said that 89 Qatari military aircraft with over 2,680 tons of aid, including shelter, food and medical supplies, field hospitals and ambulances were dispatched to Gaza and over 1,500 Palestinians were evacuated from the Gaza Strip, expressing the State of Qatar’s full commitment to keeping these humanitarian bridges open to provide relief to brothers in Palestine, all countries of the region and other peoples affected by prolonged conflicts.

Qatar firmly believes that security and stability are crucial to achieving sustainable development, and therefore it will spare no effort in providing the necessary relief and development assistance to alleviate the suffering of brotherly peoples and to promote social and economic development that will achieve security and stability, His Excellency added.

Regarding women’s rights in Qatar, His Excellency explained that women constitute a large part of Qatari society and its social fabric and play a very important role in all fields, as they take up posts of ministers and ambassadors. 

Under HH the Amir’s leadership, Qatari women are empowered and enjoy full rights, His Excellency said, highlighting that Qatar has a large number of women compared to men in government institutions, and women have the opportunity to receive salaries higher than men in some cases. (QNA)