Munich - information office - 17 February 2019
HE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani has stressed that the State of Qatar is open for dialogue to resolve the Gulf crisis, adding that it has been calling on the blockade countries to sit at the negotiating table to discuss the causes of the crisis and work to resolve it.
His Excellency said during a discussion panel in the Munich Security Conference (MSC) the Saudi and Emirati leaders should pay attention to the Gulf issue because it is integral to the regional security, adding that the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) was established for cooperation and consultation within the region, and that it is the most successful model for supporting the stability of the region.
He stressed that the Gulf crisis threatens regional security, saying, "We have been through various conflicts and disagreements in the last twenty years, but we have never reached this level and reflect a shift in the position of the leadership of these countries."
HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs said that the State of Qatar was ready for dialogue during the Gulf Summit in Kuwait, but the blockade countries were not, as evidenced the backing down of leaders at the last minute from participating at the summit drew attention to the fact that the invitation that was sent to the State of Qatar to attend the recent Gulf Summit in Riyadh was from the Secretary-General of the Council, and not from the host country. The State of Qatar responded by participating in the summit on the level of The State Minister.
On Washington's efforts for resolving the Gulf crisis, HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani said that the United States has spared no effort to resolve the crisis, adding that the US President Donald Trump had tried to hold a Gulf summit and sent letters to the leaders of the blockade countries, but their response was that they were unwilling to resolve the issue at that time.
He also stressed that Qatar's relations with the United States have never been affected by this crisis, saying: "Our strong alliance with them continues ... We have the largest US airbase and there are 11 to 12 thousand US troops on our territory.. The center of the international coalition is in Qatar, and everything is going well."
With regard to the relations with Iran, His Excellency said, "We have not built alternative alliances to replace of the GCC. Iran is our neighbor. We have always shared a large part of a gas field. It is not like the new thing after the crisis. We share borders with them, and this is geography." He added that the differences between the Gulf states and Iran should be resolved through dialogue, and this was a position not only of Qatar but of the whole GCC
HE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani said that the US is making efforts to establish a strategic alliance in the Middle East, adding " Our position in this regard was clear: We must address the fundamental problem before talking about the alliance. It is not possible to establish an alliance among countries, four of which are hostile to one. If we do so, we will greatly compromise our credibility before our people that would question our alliance with hostile countries.
HE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs said that the idea and the concept are indisputable as long as they are not contrary to the provisions of international law, adding that as long as this alliance is defensive in nature and based on the exchange of capabilities between its members, there will be no problem with it if it is based on cooperation.
HE Deputy Prime Minister stressed the need to address the core issue before moving to a higher level of the alliance, adding that the Qatari side has explained this clearly to the United States, and constantly holding meetings to help constructively build this alliance. He affirmed that for this alliance to succeed, this pending issue must be addressed. In the context of talks about alliance, His Excellency reaffirmed that any alliance must not be on the basis of hostility towards a particular state.
His Excellency Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, speaking during the Warsaw meeting talked about the effectiveness of meeting to discuss the problems of the Middle East without resolving the central issue of the region, and that is the Palestinian case, stressing at the same time that this situation can't be resolved without the Palestinians being represented. His Excellency also stressed that resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict must be fair, adding, "We will support any American efforts that will be a part of the context that the Palestinian people accept. But we can't go beyond the Palestinian people and accept something that doesn't fulfil their interests. Therefore, we hope they come up with a solution that pleases the Palestinian people and we will support it."
On the labor laws and Qatar's hosting of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, HE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs said "we started the review process for migrant workers, we have done a lot of things. Qatar is a pioneer in these changes in the region and we are proud of that, but we recognize that we have to do more."