*'We need to live side by side with respect for the sovereignty of countries'
* Doha ready for talks but no compromise on sovereignty
*Qatar cares about stability of Egypt
*Need to stop cooperation based on sectarianism or ethnicity
Qatar has always been defending the region and continued to believe in the possibility of providing better living conditions and good education for the people of the region, said HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani.
Speaking at a session of the Davos Economic Forum, he said Qatar gives great importance to young children who did not attend school throughout the region and provides them with equal opportunities to return to school through a number of programmes, including "Educate a Child", which currently provides education for 7.6mn children in poor countries.
HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister pointed out that violent extremist groups are growing in areas of political unrest, social disintegration, poverty and economic problems, saying that limiting dealing with extremist groups to security aspects would lead to the disappearance of terrorism for a short period and pave the way for the growth of new extremist groups.
Sheikh Mohamed pointed out that the ISIS group was only an evolution of al-Qaeda that was in Iraq, adding that ISIS did not start in Syria but in Iraq because of the political vacuum and the marginalisation of certain groups. He added the group found an ideal place to grow in Syria after the chaos created by the regime.
He called for considering terrorism from two main points of view: ideologies and the absence of state. He added that the ability of extremists to use ideologies to mobilise resources and recruit people was unprecedented, and extremist groups did not grow in countries where all their citizens were equal.
When young people are given hope, jobs and education, they will be better off and not vulnerable to extremism, he said.
The foreign minister said there is evidence that extremists are using religion to achieve their political goals, calling for learning from past events.
"Our region continued to suffer from directing international support on the basis of ethnic backgrounds and for categories of certain groups," he said, stressing the need to think more creatively to address social and economic factors and to help countries build nations based on the principle of equal human rights.
HE Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani stressed the need to stop cooperation that is based on sectarianism or ethnicity and to build capacity within governments so that they can fulfill their obligations towards their people.
"We are sorry that the GCC has become an ineffective organisation after it was in the recent past an example of cohesion and hope for the Arab world," he said. "We acknowledge the existence of division in the Middle East and the existence of differences, but these differences will never be resolved in the battlefields. Eventually, all will come to the negotiating table," he said.
On the Gulf crisis, Sheikh Mohamed said: "We are living in an era in which we need to live side by side with respect for the sovereignty of countries", stressing that there was no compromise when it came to sovereignty, and underlining Qatar's continued call for dialogue to resolve the crisis.
He added that various powers are trying to get maximum influence to come to the negotiating table in a better position, pointing out that it is the people that pay the price.
HE Sheikh Mohamed expressed his belief that the world should urge all actors in the region to sit at the negotiating table to address their concerns, noting that the region had many potentials to put them on right track.
Regarding relations with Egypt and whether there is hope to improve them, he said:"We always hope to bridge the gap between Qatar and Egypt, and we believe that the differences we have with Egypt are not immaterial. We care about the stability of Egypt and those who claim that Qatar is trying to play a destabilising role in Egypt are making false accusations.
"If we look at the issue from an Arab perspective, Egypt's stability is very important to the region. And if we look at it from an economic aspect, we have investments in Egypt and it is our priority to ensure that our investments are in an appropriate environment.
"Nothing makes Qatar a destabilising factor in Egypt, and anyone trying to build on these differences is trying to create a certain view of Qatar. There has been no response from the Egyptian side to sit down and bring the views closer."
Last updated: January 25 2018 12:23 AM
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