HE the Foreign Minister of Qatar Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani has reiterated that dialogue and engagement is the best way forward to solve the Gulf crisis.
He was speaking during a lunch debate at the World Policy Conference in Morocco yesterday.
HE Sheikh Mohamed began with explaining why the Middle East was an important region.
“For ages the Middle East was the source of civilisation, the route of languages, the origin of different faiths and the international trade hub connecting East to West and West to East where the people could connect and engage. And the keyword was the coexistence and engagement of people of different backgrounds and ethnicities.
“Now the situation has turned and reverted. Unfortunately we don’t want it to revert to the dark ages, from a source of enlightenment to a source of turbulence to the world.
“I believe most of the international challenges now are happening in the Middle East where there are different ongoing conflicts – the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen, the turbulent situation in Libya, Iraq and the most horrifying situation in Syria where it’s a continuous seven years’ of conflict.”
The foreign minister blamed the conflicts on the game of power and influence which has nurtured extremism and where religion is used as a scapegoat.
“The most stable and promising region in the Middle East was the Gulf region which had been the centre of stability and a role model for co-operation to achieve collective security of the region and better economic prosperity.
“A few months ago a crisis started in the Gulf region out of nothing, without any basis. Suddenly the GCC, especially Qatar, became front page news. The crisis is happening in a region which is considered a source of energy in the world, a region which is situated in a very complicated neighbourhood… just turning to another crisis within the same region.”
What are the motives behind this crisis, the foreign minister asked. “This crisis started with a cyberattack. Cyber crime is becoming a phenomenon across the world from America to Europe and now the Gulf.”
Why the international system couldn’t stop those crises from happening in this age of preventive diplomacy and engagement and dialogue, HE Sheikh Mohamed asked.
“Qatar has always been calling for dialogue to solve different conflicts. It has always acted as a platform for peace as a peace broker. Qatar has brokered more than 10 peace deals in the region because we believe in dialogue. Engagement and dialogue is the best way forward to provide a solution for any crisis.
“There is another failure in the international system that cannot address the need of the civilians and the protection of civilians from becoming a part of the political conflict.
“Although our people are not facing the same difficulties as the Syrians, Yemenis, Libyans or Iraqis, but they facing some difficulties where families have been teared up because of a political conflict. When we have more than 26,000 human rights violations, it is our obligation and duty as a government to provide protection to our own people.
Why there is no international order, mechanism or enforcement in the 21st century to prevent this from happening, the foreign minister asked. “Why there is no enforcement mechanism to protect our people, the Qatari people, the Syrian people, the people of the world to protect the humanity from such escalation.
“So I believe this is a very important global challenge. I hope such a gathering of different intellectuals and politicians will come up with some recommendations for the international community to come together to face and confront the law of force to the force of law to empower the law enforcement in order to protect our people.
“We believe that our situation is similar to the other situations…not on the same level and we hope it will not reach this level of tension and will recover very soon. We believe this region cannot afford more crises. We hope wisdom will one day prevail and the countries which are trying to avoid engagement, talking, addressing security concerns will come to the table and solve the issue,” the foreign minister concluded.
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