QNA New York
HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani affirmed that Qatar is safe and prosperous and has been following a different path for years.
In his speech at a meeting of the Council on Foreign Relations in New York on Friday, HE Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani attributed Qatar's prosperity over the last 20 years to its diplomatic interaction with the world and its keenness to establish global economic partnerships and develop its human capital and investment in the region.
He pointed out that Qatar decided to start a new page of openness two decades ago, pointing out that this decision shaped Qatar's foreign policy which characterised by interaction, dialogue and cooperation.
He said that this decision was a new trend in the Middle East and achieved the desired success, adding that Qatar created- outside its geographical neighbors- friends in different parts of the world.
HE Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani said that Qatar has become a mediator with experience in a region that does not use negotiation to resolve differences.
"For example, in Lebanon we were able to calm the fighting and fill the power vacuum. In Sudan, we helped to stop the war and bring peace to Darfur, and today we are facilitating talks between the United States of America and the government of Afghanistan and the Taliban movement."
He stressed that Qatar will continue to be an active player and a supporter of all parties of goodwill who wish to resolve differences and face the challenges and dangers that affect the Middle East and the world.
HE Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani said that the crisis in the Middle East has reached levels of tension that require experts and thinkers to analyse all concurrent conflicts to reach realistic and lasting solutions to achieve peace.
He said that interaction-based foreign policy means that political partnerships go hand in hand with economic partnerships, adding: "Qatar's investments around the world and in various sectors mean that we can partner with global specialists to supply the world with liquefied natural gas (LNG)".
He pointed out that this was not an easy task because the customers had not yet developed an effective way to liquefy natural gas and transport it, pointing out that Qatar has co-operated with experts around the world and taken the energy sector to a new era through gas, noting that Qatar now provides about 30% of the global supply of natural gas, and was able to diversify its economy and reduce its dependence on fossil fuels.
Qatar has also invested in its human capital, he said, adding: "We started with education, media and religious tolerance. The last chapter of development included health care and work.
The progressive policies have enabled freedom and women's rights for decades."
In 2007, Qatar began convening interfaith conferences, that brought together Christians, Jews and Muslims with a view to making coexistence between the followers of these religions a reality, HE Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani said, noting that Qatar invited many American universities to join the Education City to give the region wide opportunities for excellent education.
"To achieve these reforms, we have sought the assistance of experts in the financial, environmental, academic and human rights fields. Qatar has not been very sensitive or threatened by critics. This has allowed us to create best practices in these areas," he said.
HE Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani said that Qatar has started its external contacts in the region as well as internal reforms and considered that the crisis surrounding it in the Middle East has left people without options, pointing out that "as some countries ignored the basic needs of their peoples and some rulers persecuted their nationals for years, the result has been a sense of despair, where there is no clean water to drink, no food, no education, no jobs and no dignity."
He said that providing hope and opportunity for these neighbours is a moral necessity, pointing out that Qatar provides millions of people in the region with humanitarian assistance, reconstruction, finance, basic education and job opportunities.
HE Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani pointed out that in 2017 Qatar provided $674mn in aid to 78 countries to support the initiatives of hope, saying that this humanitarian assistance is an urgent need for daily survival. "But the world is surprised how can we create a political solution to calm the chaos in Middle East...Such a solution is an urgent necessity not only for regional peace but also for peace around the world."
He stressed that Qatar believes that dialogue is the best way to resolve conflicts and regional and global crises.
He stressed that dialogue is a diplomatic means to achieve a certain goal in the Middle East, that all members of the region should participate in establishing the principles of governance that hold leaders responsible for their actions with binding mechanisms to resolve disputes.
He said that the starting point for achieving such an agreement is dialogue, especially among countries that usually refuse to talk to each other, pointing out that there is hope today that some of our neighbours in the Middle East have reconciled with the importance of dialogue in places of disaster such as Afghanistan.
HE Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani stressed the urgent need for this dialogue in Palestine, adding that without a peace process in the Middle East, permanent progress in the region will be difficult.
He said that Qatar has historically been able to bring regional and international actors together, stressing that the country plans to continue its role as a reliable mediator.
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