Qatar’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister HE Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani met yesterday with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
Discussions during the meeting dealt with bilateral relations and means of boosting them in various fields, in addition to the latest developments in the region, especially in Syria, Lebanon, and the repercussions of the humanitarian situation in Yemen and Myanmar.
He briefed his US counterpart on the latest developments of the Gulf crisis and Kuwaiti mediation efforts and expressed Qatar’s commitment to pushing for dialogue to resolve the crisis as soon as possible.
Sheikh Mohamed also stressed the need to reduce the escalation in the region, noting that the region would not bear more crises.
Speaking to Al Jazeera after meeting with Tillerson, the foreign minister said that the US concern about the situation in the region has doubled, especially with recent developments in Lebanon.
He said he discussed with Tillerson recent developments and ways to resolve the Gulf crisis and other crises in the region, and discussed with him the closure of the Palestine Liberation Organisation’s office in Washington, DC. Tillerson expressed his willingness to discuss with the Palestinian Authority the possibility of finding a solution or a way out of this decision.
Speaking at a seminar organised by the Center for the National Interest in Washington yesterday, he said the countries which have imposed the illegal blockade against Qatar are undermining the stability of the region and gambling with the lives of people.
“Some regional players are playing a dangerous game without a clear strategy,” he said stressing that the Middle East has become a centre of unrest.
He pointed out that there are countries willing to use various means to intimidate small countries. “These countries are also ready for all means of intimidation by creating humanitarian crises, closing communication channels, influencing financial markets, intimidating citizens, intimidating leaders of other countries and spreading lies.”
He said some of the countries besieging Qatar are run by individuals seeking power and not accountability and these individuals use methods including cyber attacks and tribal unrest.
“Those who seek power create crises and do not fight terrorism,” he said stressing that political manoeuvres destroy regional security and create a vacuum in which extremists prosper.
Sheikh Mohamed reiterated that his country was a leader in the fight against terrorism and has decided that the best way to peace is international co-operation and participation.
While stating that the continued stalemate in the Gulf crisis was a matter of concern to the US, he also praised the efforts of the US to resolve the conflict between the blockading countries and Qatar, stressing Doha’s desire to resolve the dispute.
Referring to the crisis in Lebanon, he said that the resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, as it was done, was an interference in the affairs of Lebanon.
On the Yemeni issue, he said Doha supports the legitimate government in Yemen, but that does not mean supporting the continuation of the war. He described the humanitarian situation there as tragic, calling on all parties to sit around a table for talks.
On the relationship with Egypt, the foreign minister said Qatar is open to Egypt and considers it an important country and it is in Qatar’s interest to keep Egypt secure and stable. He stressed that Doha was not responsible for the tense relations with Cairo.
With regard to Hamas, he said that Qatar did not support it, but it supported the residents of the Gaza Strip in a transparent manner. He pointed out that accusations of supporting Hamas came in the context of a propaganda campaign against Qatar.
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