Qatar FM on GCC blockade, Iran and fascinating with the Taliban

A 3-year-long blockade on Qatar by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Egypt fractured the Gulf Corporation Council (GCC) however the group’s six leaders are engaged on strengthening it as soon as once more, Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani has mentioned.

In 2017, Saudi Arabia and its three Arab allies imposed a land, air and sea blockade on Qatar, accusing it of, amongst different issues, supporting terrorist teams and being too near Iran, the allegations Doha has persistently denied.

The 4 nations agreed to revive full diplomatic and commerce ties at a summit of GCC member states, together with the opposite two members Kuwait and Oman, in Saudi Arabia earlier this yr.

Speaking on Wednesday on the Global Security Forum held in Doha, Qatar’s prime diplomat mentioned there was a necessity to search out “the means for preventative diplomacy”.

“We need to find a way to prevent our countries from being in such a crisis again,” he mentioned.

He added that Qatar thought-about Iran “part of our region” and urged GCC’s engagement with Tehran.

“Engagement [with Iran] is important for all of us as the GCC countries,” mentioned Sheikh Mohammed. “Our intention is to achieve a regional safety understanding between the GCC and Iran.

“Iran is our neighbour, a player in our region … we cannot change geography. Our disagreements can be resolved around a table, they can’t be resolved by confrontation.”

Speaking about Qatar’s attainable position in reviving Iran’s nuclear talks with world powers, he mentioned: “It is in our interests to see the nuclear deal with Iran back in place and to see that there is no risk of a nuclear race in our region.”

“We are going to provide any support needed by all parties. We are talking and engaging with Iran, encouraging them and the US to go back to the deal,” the FM mentioned.

“We have managed to contain several situations from exploding. Qatar will continue with this role because it is in our national interest. Iran is our neighbour, we share borders, water, gas fields … we need to see Iran flourishing and being an active, positive player in our region.”

‘Hiccups’ in Qatar-US ties

The Qatari official revealed that ties between Doha and Washington skilled some “hiccups” throughout President Donald Trump’s tenure due to “some personalities over there and some misunderstandings” however added that relations have since improved.

“We have continued growing our relationship even during President Trump administration, even during the crisis,” he mentioned, including that Qatar stood with its allies in the course of the current Afghanistan evacuation disaster because it assisted with logistics.

“When they are in need, we are going to step up,” he mentioned. “Each country has its own foreign policy. We need to understand when sometimes the US takes decisions that are not aligned with our policy. They also need to understand when we are taking decisions that are not aligned with their interests.”

Meanwhile, Sheikh Mohammed mentioned once more that abandoning Afghanistan following the Taliban takeover could be a mistake “no matter who is leading the government”.

“We have been saying from the beginning that an isolation will never be an answer and when we are talking about engagement, that is needed with whoever is governing Afghanistan because abandoning Afghanistan will be a big mistake,” he mentioned.

Following the autumn of the earlier authorities, Qatar, earlier this week, hosted the primary face-to-face talks between the United States and Taliban representatives.

“Our intention is discovering a method ahead, as a result of we can’t depart it as it’s and we can’t simply anticipate steps to be taken by the Taliban.

“I believe the international community have a responsibility to direct those steps, to have a clear road map in dealing with the situation over there … the financial system is totally closed, public servants are not paid, the government assets have been frozen without a clear path forward.

“From our perspective, it is very important to provide guidance for them [the Taliban] … rewarding each positive step they are going to take and not just to talk about penalising the negative steps. This will create an incentive for progress and the way to forward.”

Sheikh Mohammed reiterated Qatar’s place that recognising a Taliban authorities was not a precedence however engagement with different nations was essential.

“The issue of recognition … it is not a priority. We recognise countries, we don’t recognise governments. As long as there is a country called Afghanistan and there are Afghan people, we need to deal with that situation despite the government which is in power.”

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