'Qatar's resilience has turned blockade into opportunity'
February 26 2020 12:05 AM
HE Dr Khalid bin Mohamed al-Attiyah in conversation with Dr Ahmad Dallal at GU-Q. PICTURE: Ram Chand
HE Dr Khalid bin Mohamed al-Attiyah in conversation with Dr Ahmad Dallal at GU-Q. PICTURE: Ram Chand

By Ayman Adly/Staff Reporter

*Marking 1,000 days of blockade

The resilience of Qatar and its flexible strategic approaches promoting bilateral and multilateral relations with different countries have considerably helped in making the past 1,000 days of the unjust blockade a period of unprecedented achievement and development, HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Defence Affairs Dr Khalid bin Mohamed al-Attiyah has said.
He made the observation during an event at Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q) Tuesday evening.
HE Dr al-Attiyah was in conversation with Dr Ahmad Dallal, dean of the university, on the topic 'Security of small states: Qatar and the learnt lessons from 1,000 days of the blockade'. The event was held in the presence of a large number of students, some diplomats, mediapersons and other interested persons.
HE Dr al-Attiyah said such remarkable resilience is a byproduct of Qatar National Vision 2030 and an outcome of the wise leadership and guidance of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani.
He summed up the main factors behind what he called "1,000 days of victory and achievement" as the flexibility of Qatar's long-range strategy, the support of its multiple friends around the world and the strength of its people - Qataris and expatriates, and its well-established economy.
He said since 1995, Qatar has managed to build strong networks of alliances with many friendly countries around the world and used its soft power to promote peace and humanitarian aid efforts, ranging from America to Japan and various other parts of the world regardless of any interests or links.
HE Dr al-Attiyah noted that the blockade involved treachery that hurt the very social fabric of the region, something that needs generations to heal. Besides, it was an unprecedented case of aggression that targeted the stability and well-being of the country.
Within 72 hours, the Government of Qatar started to receive cargoes of goods from around the world and Qatar's friends rushed to express and offer support. Almost 80% of the daily needs of the country used to be supplied through the blockading countries earlier, which were halted suddenly after the blockade was imposed on June 5, 2017.
He pointed out that the blockading countries want to keep Qatar within the GCC for their own good to avoid any prosecution in international courts for their violations against Qatar. However, Qatar has a vision for the GCC to be a platform for common principles promoting the stability and security of the region.
Further, he said the blockade of Qatar could have affected the whole world and not only the region because Qatar supplies almost 30% of the world's LNG needs. However, due to the wise leadership of the country and its long-range strategy, it never failed in any of its obligations - even those towards hostile countries.
He said Qatar does not follow any blocs of countries in the world and has its own balanced politics, making itself a trusted partner and mediator in promoting peace - such as that between the US and Taliban in Afghanistan, Eritrea and Djibouti, as well as the conflicts in Lebanon and other places and issues.
He said big countries in the region such as Egypt and Iraq are necessary to create balance and stability in the region and could prevent other big nations from bullying small neighbouring countries.
He stressed that Qatar's stand in the GCC crisis has always been clear: unconditional talks while maintaining the sovereignty and independence of the country, but the other parties are not willing.

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