The Qatar Press Center (QPC), in cooperation with the Joaan Bin Jassim Academy for Defense Studies, organised Sunday evening, a seminar titled: “Qatari Mediation and the Israeli Aggression on Gaza,” in which academic experts participated. It was moderated by journalist Abdullah al-Muraikhi. The seminar was attended by a large audience of researchers, diplomats, politicians, media professionals, and those interested in the issue.

Dr Mohamad al-Sharqawi, Professor of International Conflict Resolution at George Mason University, and Head of the Doctoral Department at the Academy, spoke about Qatar’s role in mediation, pointing out that what Qatar presented in several previous files strengthened its position and positive reputation in defusing crises through peaceful solutions, which made it a subject of global trust and appreciation.

He said: “Doha engaged in the negotiation process from a humanitarian and national standpoint. To protect the Palestinian brothers, and in coordination with partners in this mediation, i.e. the USA and Egypt.

He explained that talking about Qatari mediation brings up two important issues: First: Qatar’s efforts within joint efforts to mediate between Israel and Hamas; for a ceasefire, and facilitating the arrival of relief and humanitarian aid. This resulted in reaching an agreement on a humanitarian truce in the Gaza Strip, which included the exchange of 50 civilian women and children prisoners in the Gaza Strip, in the first phase, in exchange for the release of a number of Palestinian women and children detained in Israeli prisons, provided that the number of those released will be increased in later stages of implementing the agreement.

He said: “As for the other issue, it is related to the attempts of some to undermine the strategic relations between Qatar and the USA. As some voices within Congress called for putting pressure on Qatar to force Hamas to accept a prisoner exchange deal according to the joint Israeli-American plan.

He noted that some voices within Congress called for reconsidering the nature of Qatari-US relations and intensifying means of pressure. Including reviewing its classification as a major non-NATO ally, which was expressed by 3 members of the US Senate. Compared to voices within the progressive wing calling on the US administration for a specific strategy, and not to exaggerate in supporting Israel, whether it is unjust or oppressed.

Al-Sharqawi called for the mediation situation to be explored in the coming period, especially the one following the US elections, whether the current US President, Joe Biden wins, or Donald Trump returns to power.

Dr Malath al-Agha, Assistant Dean for Program Affairs, and Associate Professor of International Relations at the Joaan Bin Jassim Academy for Defense Studies, discussed the Qatari mediation efforts and the challenges that they faced in light of the gaps that emerged between the parties. Following the so-called Paris meeting or “Paris Framework,” reviewing some of the gaps that contributed to the complexity of these efforts.

He stressed that the Paris framework created many challenges, as it was formulated in accordance with the US-French vision, without taking into account the other point of view, which caused the failure to reach an agreement. Pointing out that the US-French proposal included a commitment to bring in 500 trucks carrying humanitarian aid. A daily maximum, in light of the Gaza Strip’s need for a minimum of 500 trucks per day, not to mention the failure to provide guarantees of a parallel timetable for complete withdrawal, which the resistance factions considered a major plot and ambush.

Dr Hani al-Bassous, Associate Professor of Security and Strategic Studies in the academy, reviewed the Qatari mediation efforts that contributed to closing many files and conflicts in the region and the world. Pointing to Qatar's response, within an international legal framework designed to maintain stability, peace and security, while emphasizing that the Gaza Strip is part of the occupied Palestinian territory.

He explained that Qatar is using its bilateral relations and influence to provide solutions to many crucial issues, pointing out that Qatari policy has great merit in humanitarian and diplomatic work, and combining them in many files.
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