Moscow /Information Office/ 20 January 2016/ HE the Foreign Minister Dr. Khalid bin
Mohammed Al-Attiyah has underlined the importance of the visit HH the Emir
Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani has paid to Russia, praising the Russian-Qatari
an interview with Russia Today TV Channel (RT), HE Al Attiyah said
"Undoubtedly they are long standing relations that need renewal from time
to time through contacts. Recently I had been in Moscow and met with my
counterpart Sergey Lavrov to discuss bilateral relations and these contacts have
been culminated by the meeting between HH the Emir and the Russian
said "it is right that the visit has been postponed for certain
circumstances at that time but however we have the conviction that Russia is a
big player in the region and due to its relations with the Arab world, it could
be an assisting factor in finding solutions to the crises the region in going
through.'' He confirmed that ''Qatar doesn't build relations with states on the
basis of speculations. We have our way of dealing with the states which we
agree or differ with.
are negotiations, frankness and transparency and that for us in Qatar is the
shortest way to find solution to problems. I don't conceal from you that we
have been surprised by the Russian intervention in Syria in last September, and
we had been keen that Russia would remain beside the Syrian people as we always
hope to remain beside the Syrian people, however we are convinced that Russia
which maintains a historical relation with the Arab countries, could find a
solution to the Syrian crisis for which many innocent people were victimized
just because that called for their freedom and the justice that has been lost
for fifty years.
Al Attiyah stressed that military intervention has never been one day a key to
solving crisis. ''Throughout history, we know that military intervention
complicates matters rather than solves them. We have constants or matters
agreed upon with Russia and we have no doubt that Russia support a unified,
Arab and civil Syria. These are the constants on which we agree now," he
said Dr. Al Attiyah explained that differences lie in the definition of Syrian
through dialogue with Russian officials and exchange of visits, we will come to
the definition of the Syrian people's option, adding "We in Qatar have a
definition for the Syrian people's option that we may agree or differ on with
the friends in Russia. Our definition is the departure of the regime which was
the cause of terrorism as it worked as a magnet to attract terrorism on one
hand and on the other this regime worked to kill the hope of the youth who
will give you a simple example. Syrian youth Ghayyath Mattar took to street at
the outbreak of the revolution, if I am not mistaken on 8 September 2011, and
began to distribute roses to the Syrian army. After one day of torture, he was
handed over a dead body to his family, saying such stories should not be absent
from our minds when we speak about the demands of the Syrian people, or leave
the option for that people to decide.'' HE the Foreign Minister underlined that
the State of Qatar has spared no effort to convince the head of the Syrian
regime to take positive steps towards his people. ''Qatar effectively started
on 27 March 2011 to have direct contacts on all levels with the head of the
Syrian regime and there were contacts and visits on the highest level in an
attempt to dissuade him from his way of dealing with the demonstrators and to
urge him make few reforms which the Syrian people was, then, ready to accept,''
Dr. Al Attiya said.
noted that at the beginning of the revolution they were chanting the name of
Bashar Al Assad as they wanted few reforms and little respect from the
governors who oppressed people in the Syrian cities. They demanded few reforms
that Bashar Al Assad could have made, but regrettably he relied on the security
treatment of matters.
the Foreign Minister said the Syrian regime embarrassed even its allies. It
embarrassed Iran and Hezbollah and is now trying to embarrass Russia to change
its relations with the Arab world and it should pay attention to this issue
because it is very serious. Our friends in Russia should be aware of this
because the (regime) managed to change the views of Hezbollah and the look of
the Arab people towards it as a resisting party. From the Arabs point of view
it has become a hostile party to the people that helped it during its plight in
2006 and shared with Hezbollah their food and closing. However the Qatar
stances and principles remained unchanged.
to RT, HE the Foreign Minister Dr. Khalid bin Mohammed Al Attiyah, strongly
denied claims that Qatar aims at getting rid of a regime which was considered
as an obstacle to a strategic project for the delivery of Qatari gas to Europe,
adding that whoever adopts such an argument is not well briefed.
stressed that Qatar has no agenda and no interest in displacing regimes, noting
that Qatar has intensely urged Bashar al-Assad to implement change but he has
no culture of settlement towards his people this is what led to a disaster in
the existence of an agenda in Qatar, HE Al-Attiyah stressed that this is not
true as Qatar has the world's largest floating LNG facility, noting that such
claims are baseless.
the Turkish-Russian relations, HE Al-Attiyah said, the two countries share one
hundred years of excellent relations, therefore the two leaderships' wisdom
will not allow them to return a hundred years ago. We are counting a lot on
this relationship in order to reach a Russian-Turkish solution, he said, adding
that the differences will be resolved based on both sides' diplomacy and
the biggest exporters of gas in the world, Russia and Qatar complement each
other, are not competitors in energy sector and have a moral and legal duty to
maintain gas supply to the global market.
should be a distinction between Qatar's investments abroad and the question of
influence, explained Dr. Al Attiyah, referring to Qatar National Vision ( QNV)
2030, developed under the wise leadership of HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad
Al-Thani and aimed at advancing Qatari citizen and managing on a sustainable
path for future generations thanks to investment bodies.
also have a legal and moral duty in international peace and security as Qatar
is a member state of the United Nations therefore we always keep our principle
initiative to resolve crisis by peaceful and diplomatic means and defuse crisis
in the region which would affect us either directly or indirectly, Dr. Al
Attiyah went on saying.
the alternative is solar energy, we are ready to export solar energy as we are
the richest country with solar energy in the world, we bear in mind that this
energy is ephemeral so we work in accordance with Qatar National Vision towards
building a diversified economy and achieving sustainable development and
therefore help to secure a high standard of living for future generations, Dr.
Al Attiyah added.
Ensure security, health, and
education for all citizens is our main focus and we are working hard to
diversify our sources, Dr. Al Attiyah added in this context.
The Cooperation Council for the Arab States of
the Gulf (GCC) comprises a system to develop the standard of living for the GCC
citizens in terms of services and education as well as upgrade their role
through various projects that rely on diverse sources.
Dr. Al Attiyah said Qatar does not believe in the conspiracy theory, noting
that GCC states are thankfully very stable and have development thanks to wise
leadership and proper planning.
the foreign minister said in any world country security always comes first and
military capacity or security technical equipment are considered a shield for
the sword of growth, prosperity and development, which means, HE added,
military spending in the region does not and did not affect development. He
said that comparing the living standard of Gulf individuals to their counterparts
in other countries that have the same capacity and expertise if not more, it
would be clear that many of their citizens live under poverty.
relations with Iran, HE Al Attiyah said Qatar does not have a bilateral discord
with Iran, noting that the disagreement is regional rather than bilateral. He
added that the Gulf, and Qatar in particular, welcomed the nuclear deal because
it has always urged friends in the West to reach a peaceful settlement for the
Iranian nuclear program. He said that Qatar demands that the whole Middle East
region not just Iran becomes free of weapons of mass destruction.
for the Palestinian issue, Al Attiyah said it remains the core issue and any
side, whether terrorist groups or countries, that interferes in the region does
that under the pretext of defending Al Aqsa Mosque or Palestinians although no
one moved for Palestinians.
Qatari foreign minister stressed that, for Qatar, Palestine remains one of the
priorities and that is why it works tirelessly to contain the Gaza Strip and
avoid its explosion after it was isolated from the world and sieged from all
directions, noting that Qatar always works to develop Gaza and construct
projects that benefit Gazan citizens.
Al Attiyah added that Qatar always works to lift the blockade and end
settlement in the West Bank and Jerusalem, expressing hope that Qatar's friends
and Russia play an active role in lifting the blockade, ending settlement and
stopping the Judaization of Jerusalem. He added that solving the Palestinian
issue will settle Middle East crises and there will not be a justification for
those who interfere in the region under the pretext of defending
said that many Arab countries are busy exerting efforts in other areas but
added that he believes if the focus was placed on the core issue, all other
issues, including internal ones for some countries, would be resolved.
the foreign minister said the initiative that was proposed by Saudi Arabia in
2003 was not accepted by Israel, which opened the door for anyone that wanted
to interfere in the region, stressing that Arab countries are the ones who deserve
to take care of the Palestinian issue.
Al Attiyah stressed the call for just and comprehensive peace that returns
rights to their owners, noting that any initiative that leads to that peace is
backed by the Arab world.
his interview with RT, HE Dr. Al Attiyah said Qatar is keen on a prosperous and
stable relationship between Moscow and Ankara for the benefit of regional
stability because the two countries are heavyweights and their rapprochement
reflects positively on the Middle East. He added that Qatar is not waiting for
any side to ask for its intervention and it will always take the initiative to
bring views closer if it thinks the move would benefit the region.
expressed his optimism that this gloom would end thanks to the diplomatic
statesmanship of the Turkish and Russian leaders, adding that it is not
diplomatic talk when he says that the ties between Russia and Turkey will not
Al Attiyah said looking at the tangles in social relations between the Russians
and the Turks shows that a solution is definitely soon because for two
countries of such weight who know they are the main factor in the stability of
the region and with their diplomatic skills, they can only go in the right
direction in an effort to come closer and dispel these fears.
about normalizing relations between Egypt and Turkey, HE Dr. Al Attiyah said
what applies to Russia and Turkey applies to Egypt and Turkey but he added that
he does not know about a visit to Ankara by an Egyptian delegation. He noted
that Qatar always wants stability in the region and such stability, he said,
will not be attained without good relations between all sides.
international reports about human rights violations in Qatar, HE the foreign
minister said whoever knows the Qatari people knows its nature. The Qatari
people, he added, is conservative and hospitable and would never treat
inhumanely someone who came to the country to help in its development. He added
that the talk about labor rights started to emerge only after Russia won the
right to host the 2018 World Cup and Qatar won the right to host the 2022 World
Cup, noting that a lot of countries did not like that the hosting right is won
by a country like Russia or an Arab, Middle Eastern and Muslim country like
Dr. Al Attiyah said Qatar has the best laws to protect labor rights and when
there is criticism, he added, the country benefits from it if it was
constructive and works to correct the mistakes if there were any.
the past two years, HE the foreign minister said, Qatar took several measures
to improve and develop the laws that take care of the rights of expats.
stressed that Qatar did not prevent any media outlets or human rights groups
from coming to the country but noted that this applies to organizations that
want to see the truth and see reality as it is not as they want it to be.
HE Dr. Al Attiyah that there noted that are
joint committees between Russia and Qatar which will begin their work soon on
cooperation in the technical field so that the two countries could benefit from
the Minister added: "Qatar is well known for hosting a host of tournaments
and the same applies to Russia which has a lot of technical experiences that
could be offered to Qatar and vice versa, Qatar also has considerable
experience in the organizing such events and there will be great cooperation
for the success of World Cups 2018 and 2022 which would be best tournaments, HE
the Minister asserted He pointed out that Qatari sports facilities have been
designed on basis of being dismantled into parts including stadiums that
overflowing Qatari public need by the end of the tournament in order to be sent
to the neediest countries, and we'll build sports facilities in the countries
that need development support, not on commercial basis, and I am sure that the
SC Committee which supervises the World Cup 2022 has begun to work with the
countries benefiting from these grants, we in Qatar do not initiate
humanitarian action in order to get a return, HE the Minister underlined.
said we won the organization of the World Cup 2022 on the grounds that we have
offered the best bidding file . HE the Minister said Qatar is always active
member in the international community by extending a helping hand to countries
and people that need support as much as possible. " Regarding the Qataris
kidnapped in Iraq, HE Dr. Al-Attiyah said we regretted what had happened to our
people in Iraq who went there because they like Iraq, although they were able to
go to other places, but the result of their love for Iraq as an Arab country.
He said the abductees had obtained official entry visas from the Iraqi embassy
in Qatar under the supervision of the Iraqi Interior Ministry in the protection
and hospitality governor of Muthanna Province in Iraq. " "The Qataris
abducted in Iraq had gone to their people where they were kidnapped .
the Minister said adding that HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al -Thani had
immediately instructed an official Qatari delegation to go to Iraq, on
Wednesday, when the Qataris were kidnapped, same day in the afternoon the
delegation arrived in Baghdad. " HE the Foreign Minister: "We had
contacted the Iraqi government on the grounds that the safety of the kidnapped
are the responsibility of the Iraqi government , we also contacted a number of
friends in order to get the required technologies. He said we have an idea
about the kidnappers and we are still waiting for an answer from the Iraqi
government on the steps taken to ensure the safety of Qatari nationals and
bring them back to Qatar. "
Iran's mediation in this issue, HE Dr. Al-Attiyah said," There is no doubt
that Iran has a role in helping to resolve this issue , especially that Qatar
stood with Iran and helped it in previous positions for the release of Iranian
soldiers who were happened to be kidnapped , thus we also expect the Iranian
government would have a role in the release of Qatari nationals, and we hope
the brothers in the Iraqi government would make efforts in this area by moving
its hovercraft and airplanes to prove that they are interested in Qatari
citizens, HE the Minister added.
to Syria issue, HE the Minister Dr. Al Attiyah stressed the importance of
dialogue and exchange of views between Russia and Qatar pointing out that the
ongoing meetings were important out of our conviction that Russia and Qatar
could play a role in finding a solution to this crisis.