New York / Information Office / September 29
HE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani said that HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani presented in his address to the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly touched on several important issues, the most important of which was the need to go beyond the phase of crises management to the pursuit of comprehensive and just solutions, guided by international law and standards.
In a press conference held in New York, HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs said that HH the Amir announced the agreement of the State of Qatar and the United Nations to support long-term and sustainable development projects to combat cholera in Yemen. HH the Amir also stressed the importance of combating digital piracy and digital espionage because of its impact on security and stability in the region.
HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs added that HH the Amir, in addition to the UN General Assembly meeting, co-hosted with the Prime Minister of Canada the "Leaders Dialogue" on providing education for girls in the context of conflict and fragile conditions, where HH the Amir announced Qatar's pledge to provide good education for one million girl by 2021.
HE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani underlined that the election of the State of Qatar as Vice-President of the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly affirms the active role of the State of Qatar in the international community, noting that the delegation of the State of Qatar participated in raising the issue of combating terrorism, where it stressed the importance of the international cooperation in combating terrorism and providing a cure for the root causes of violent extremism.
He added that the delegation of the State of Qatar also took part in the "Asia Cooperation Dialogue" where Qatar took over the presidency of the Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) for 2019. HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs noted that the vision of the State of Qatar this year focuses on achieving an economic integration among the Asian countries, noting that Qatar affirmed that it will work on achieving Asian consensus and the development of the inter-Asian working mechanisms to achieve economic integration and promote the economic competitiveness of the countries of Asia.
Meanwhile, HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani noted that the delegation of the State of Qatar discussed during the bilateral meetings, held on the sidelines of the current session of the UN General Assembly, a number of key regional issues, mainly the Palestinian cause. He noted that the State of Qatar was present at the UNRWA side event as one of the largest donors and supporters of this foundation, stressed Qatar's firm position on the importance of continued support for the foundation for its vital role in support of the brotherly Palestinian people, especially the refugees.
HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs noted that the situation in Afghanistan was also present during the visit, referring to his meetings with his Afghan counterpart and the US delegation on Afghanistan during which they discussed means of supporting the political solution in Afghanistan.
Regrading the Syrian crisis, HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs said that the State of Qatar took part in the high-level meeting organized by the European Union on the Syrian crisis. He noted that the State of Qatar affirmed its support for a political solution in Syria in accordance with the resolutions of the UN Security Council and the Geneva 1 communique. In addition, the State of Qatar co-hosted with the Principality of Liechtenstein a meeting on the international independent mechanism to investigate and prosecute the persons responsible for the war crimes committed in Syria.
On Yemen, HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs said that the State of Qatar signed with the UNICEF an agreement on implementing development projects that provide sustainable solutions to the Yemeni villages hit by Cholera.
The Qatari delegation also addressed the developments in Somalia, where the State of Qatar underlined its support for the Somali government.
Regarding Iraq, HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani noted that discussions have been made with the United States to consider providing a solution for the water problem in Al-Basra.
On the fight against terrorism, HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs underlined that the State of Qatar has partnership with the various UN institutions in this regard, noting his meeting with UN Under-Secretary-General for Combating Terrorism where the State of Qatar affirmed its continued support for the UN efforts and relevant projects that address root causes, particularly in the area of education and youth empowerment.
HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister also held meetings with the Chairperson of the African Union Commission and the High Representative of the European Union to affirm Qatar's partnership and cooperation with the regional institutions in various issues.
Regrading the meeting held between the Gulf Cooperation Council, the United States, Egypt and Jordan, HE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani said that the United States succeeded in bringing together the GCC countries, something that the Council has failed to achieve over the past year and a half during the Gulf crisis. He noted that the meeting discussed several issues, mainly the security and regional challenges and the "Middle East Strategic Alliance" initiative.
During the meeting, the State of Qatar stressed the importance for the initiative to be based on clear principles and to work on the basis of a dialogue characterized by transparency and credibility, as the current situation among the member countries requires addressing the challenges between these countries first before any collective movement to address the regional challenges as a whole, which represents a true test of the credibility of this collective action, HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs said.
He underlined that there are key principles that must be an integral part of any coalition, which are the respect for the sovereignty of states and the independence of their policy; the realization of the collective interests of the peoples gathered by this alliance; and to be based on clear and neutral criteria.
He added that the meeting also touched on the importance for the coalition to be based on "clear strategies" and to be created in an integrated manner that is not "fragile".
Responding to a question on a statement by an Emirati official that the Gulf crisis is no longer a priority, HE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani said that the crisis was created at first without reasons and began with an cyber crime committed by known perpetrators. Nowadays, there are regional challenges and greater priorities facing the region, but the paralysis of the GCC prevents any progress on regional issues such as Syria, Yemen and Libya.
He underlined that the State of Qatar only demands that the siege countries retreat from the illegal measures they carried out against the Qatari people, and this is a priority for the State of Qatar, adding: "The political crisis can be solved by dialogue, not by stubbornness. We are countries not children".
On the efforts of the US mediation to resolve the Gulf crisis, HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs expressed the appreciation of the State of Qatar for the efforts made by US President Donald Trump in this context, noting that he had made several attempts in this regard but they were not responded positively by the siege countries. He expressed the hope that the wisdom would prevail and that these countries would emerge from the stage of denial, and to hold a clear dialogue to discuss the causes of this crisis.
HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs said that the State of Qatar has social and cultural links and joint borders with the GCC countries, however these countries keep saying that they do not need Qatar and that they are ready to continue on Qatar siege for 50 years. He wondered: "Is this how politics is practiced? Is this how priorities are determined? Is this how the issues affecting people's destinies are dealt with? It is up to them because the State of Qatar does not receive aid from these countries and does not rely on them in anything, and from this superficial perspective, we can tell them, "We also do not need you."
HE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani stressed that the Gulf crisis is a test of the credibility of the "Strategic Alliance", adding that any regional alliance created under a fundamental disagreement on security concepts among its member states will not be based on clear grounds and will not succeed.
He noted that the meeting of the foreign ministers of the GCC countries, Egypt and Jordan on the Strategic Alliance is an opportunity provided by the United States. He said that the United States has succeeded in bringing together the GCC countries in a joint military meeting, and joint meeting on countering terrorism financing, and this time a meeting at the level of foreign ministers, noting that it is a good opportunity to come up with a plan leading to a solution to this blockade.
Asked about an American or Gulf mediation to solve the crisis, HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs said that there is currently no mediation on this crisis with the UAE and Saudi Arabia. He noted that the US President had sent several messages to the leaders of the GCC countries to retreat from the measures they carried out against the State of Qatar but there were no positives responses from the Saudis or Emiratis. However, the State of Qatar remains open to dialogue to understand the reasons for the blockade, HE said, noting that the United States has affirmed the importance of the unity of the GCC to be more successful.
On the preparation for a constitutional committee in Syria, HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs expressed Qatar's support for the efforts of the UN envoy to Syria Stephane de Mistura, expressing the hope that this step will be towards a political solution.
On the role of the State of Qatar on the Palestinian issue, he stressed that the Palestinian issue is at the center of the concerns of the State of Qatar and all Arab countries. It is in the hearts of the Arab peoples and everyone is looking for a just and sustainable solution to restore the rights of the brotherly Palestinian people.
On Yemen, he noted the report of the experts of the Human Rights Council which revealed terrible facts on crimes against civilians, noting that the report condemns all parties to the Yemeni crisis.
Highlighting Qatar's position towards the Yemeni crisis, HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani underlined that it is based on the resolutions of the UN Security Council, the Gulf initiative and the outcome of the national dialogue, stressing that the State of Qatar insists on finding a political solution for the crisis in Yemen in accordance with the mechanisms agreed upon, and to hold a Yemeni-Yemeni direct and constructive dialogue.
Concerning the situation in Afghanistan, HE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani stressed Qatar's keenness on achieving peace between the Afghan government and Taliban, and reiterated Qatar's commitment to achieve this objective.