Qatar’s stellar track record as a mediator has earned its lots of praise from across the world. But, of late Qatar has found itself at the centre of geopolitical tensions, facing attempts to distort its image and undermine its role as a mediator in regional conflicts. Such efforts, reflect a broader trend of political maneuvering and propaganda. Against this backdrop, Qatar stands firm in defending its reputation and commitment to impartial mediation.

The attempt to tarnish Qatar's image is denounced as a disingenuous tactic, with private discussions differing starkly from public accusations. Drawing from personal experiences, Qatar highlights the insidious nature of such propaganda campaigns, which have intensified during crises such as the Covid-19 pandemic, preparations for the World Cup, and political upheavals.

Despite serving as a mediator in various conflicts, Qatar asserts that it does not benefit from such endeavors. Instead, the primary beneficiaries are the conflicting parties themselves and external actors, including the US. Qatar refuses to succumb to congressional pressure or electoral propaganda, rejecting any involvement in tarnishing its national reputation.

It should be noted that Qatar and the United States are strategic allies. Qatar has been designated a major non-NATO ally by the United States.

Qatar's partnership with the US has indeed strengthened over the years, with both countries engaging in various sectors beyond oil and gas. Qatar has been a trustworthy partner for the US in the Middle East. It has supported U.S. military operations in the region and hosts the Al Udeid Air Base, one of the largest U.S. military bases in the Middle East.

The trade relationship between Qatar and the US has flourished, with trade exceeding $200bn. Qatar is a significant market for US. exports, particularly in sectors such as aircraft, machinery, and technology. The US is also a key destination for Qatari exports, including liquefied natural gas (LNG) and petrochemicals. Qatar has been a major buyer of aircraft from the US aerospace company Boeing and the F16 fighter. These purchases have contributed to the US. economy and job creation in the civil and military aerospace industry.

The military relationship between Qatar and the US extends beyond hosting military bases. Both countries engage in military exercises, training programmes, and defence cooperation agreements. This partnership enhances regional security and interoperability between Qatari and US. military forces.

The sixth US – Qatar Strategic Dialogue was held in Washington DC in March this year, highlighting the breadth and depth of the 50-year relationship between both countries, from economic and security cooperation to emerging technology and fostering connections among cities and communities. 

Qatar and the US collaborate closely on security issues, including counterterrorism efforts and intelligence sharing. Qatar has taken steps to combat terrorism financing and extremism, aligning its efforts with US priorities in the region. According to the State Department, the US and Qatar have continued to increase counter-terrorism cooperation since the signing of a bilateral counter-terrorism memorandum of understanding in July 2017.

Beyond traditional sectors, Qatar and the US also collaborate in commercial ventures such as infrastructure development, finance, and technology. Qatari investment in the U.S. spans a range of industries, including real estate, hospitality, and entertainment.

While Qatar is known for its significant reserves of oil and natural gas, the relationship with the US extends beyond energy exports. Qatar has invested in U.S. energy projects and companies, and there is ongoing cooperation in many energy research and technology development projects.

Yet another solid example of Qatar’s deep-rooted ties with the US is cooperation in the education field. Qatar Foundation’s Education City, is home to branch campuses of several elite American universities from where thousands of students have graduated over the years. Further, a large number of Qatari students have graduated from many American universities and many are studying currently.

Overall, the partnership between Qatar and the US is multifaceted and extends across economic, military, and security domains, contributing to stability and prosperity in the region and beyond.

That said, Qatar recently rejected US congressman Steny Hoyer’s comments regarding the Gaza hostage crisis and his threat to ‘reevaluate’ the US relationship with Qatar. Hoyer said that Qatar, which along with Egypt is mediating negotiations for a ceasefire in Gaza, should tell Hamas there will be ‘repercussions’ if it continues to block progress. In response Qatar said Hoyer’s comments were not ‘constructive’. The Qatari embassy in the US said “it is useful to remember that Qatar’s mediation role exists only because we were asked by the US in 2012 to play this role, since regrettably, Israel and Hamas refuse to speak to each other directly.” It was reiterated that “Qatar is only a mediator.” Needless to say, such false accusations destroy relationships.

In November last year, Republican senator Ted Budd (N.C) and the Qatari ambassador to the US,.Meshal Hamad al-Thani argued back and forth on social media, with the U.S. lawmaker criticizing the Gulf country for hosting Hamas while at the same time negotiating for the release of hostages held by the group in the Gaza Strip. The Qatari envoy reminded Budd that he had earlier explained that the channel of communication between Qatar and Hamas was set up at the request of the U.S.

It was only because of Qatar’s historic mediations that the US could withdraw its troops from Afghanistan. Qatar sponsored the negotiations between the US and Afghanistan for several years. Qatar’s role as a facilitator of dialogue between all parties in Afghanistan during the two-decade war is widely considered one of the Gulf state’s most prominent mediation efforts. Qatar has been involved in talks both before and after the Taliban captured the Afghan capital, Kabul, on 15 August 2021. Later assuming a more pivotal role by evacuating more than 100,000 Afghans and foreigners from the country, in what has been described as history’s largest airlift of people.

With regard to the ongoing Israeli incursion into Gaza, Qatar hosted all the American and Israeli parties and the Hamas movement, and the first phase was crowned with success. If the negotiation process had continued, we would have stopped the war of genocide and ethnic cleansing and saved the lives of thousands of innocent children, women, civilians, and also Israeli prisoners.

The idea of demonising Qatar is a ridiculous and despicable idea that we have become accustomed to, and it has several factors, including political gains and the failure of all parties to reach a solution. The reason is a desire for ultimate revenge and also the disgusting international support for Israel by obstructing the Security Council by issuing any resolution against Israel. We return to mediation. I applaud my country's role in the courage to continue in the role of regional mediator, but we will not accept the affixation of accusations and the transmission of the narrative of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the failed, fanatical politician and his fascist government that uses religious texts, such as ISIS and others, that Qatar supports Hamas and is conveyed by members of the US Congress for unscrupulous political gain. Qatari public opinion supports the government's approach to reconsider mediation because we do not accept that there will be political gain based on our country's reputation, and enough of the political hypocrisy.

It should not be forgotten that the Hamas office in Qatar is under special arrangement by the US. Financial transfers to Gaza were part of the global Qatari humanitarian aid. Qatar's role in Gaza has always been developmental and supporting the Palestinian brothers in Gaza and all of Palestine. Some of Gaza's projects are in supporting schools, including the Al-Fakhoora programme, developing communications network, and urban development, building housing for people with limited income, and hospitals in Gaza, including Hamad Hospital. All of these projects are working with the knowledge and coordination of all parties, it is not a secret.

In the face of political obstinacy, Qatar singles out Netanyahu for his intransigence, driven by internal ideological agendas and religious fervor. It underscores the limited international support for Israel's actions, with only a handful of countries backing its stance in international forums such as the International Criminal Court.

Qatar reaffirms its commitment to mediation based on principles of mutual respect and trust. It emphasises that genuine mediation requires integrity and a willingness to uphold impartiality, rather than succumbing to internal political skirmishes or external pressure. Qatar's track record as a respected mediator, trusted by all parties, underscores its dedication to fostering peace and stability in the region.

Despite facing criticism, Qatar contemplates the possibility of withdrawing from mediation altogether, calling upon the international community, particularly superpowers, to bear their moral responsibility. Qatar suggests that relinquishing its role as a mediator would compel powerful nations to assume greater accountability on the global stage, resonating with the sentiments of the Qatari public.

In conclusion, Qatar's response to political pressure and propaganda underscores its unwavering commitment to mediation integrity and impartiality. As the nation navigates geopolitical challenges, it remains steadfast in upholding its reputation as a trusted mediator and advocate for peace on the world stage.
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