The Shura Council held its regular weekly meeting on Monday under the chairmanship of HE the Speaker Ahmed bin Abdullah bin Zaid al-Mahmoud.

On the occasion of 1,000 days since the unjust blockade was imposed it on June 5, 2017, HE al-Mahmoud renewed the allegiance and loyalty to His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, affirmed the Council's pride in the efforts of the Amir to sustain development of Qatar, protect its sovereignty and defend the dignity of its people and residents in the face of the unfair blockade, and appreciated His Highness's call to resolve this dispute through unconditional dialogue, respect for sovereignty and non-interference in internal affairs.

By the grace of Allah the Almighty, the wisdom and efforts of His Highness the Amir, and the awareness of the loyal Qatari people, their cohesion and unity behind their wise leadership and their collaboration with residents in Qatar, HE al-Mahmoud said that the country after 1,000 days of blockade became more powerful and more capable of building and giving as the pace of development and the features of a comprehensive growth further enhanced in Qatar.

He added that Qatar extended support to various regions of the world, and has been calling for good and peace, fighting terrorism and extremism, and helping the needy and the oppressed, as well as has been vigorously and firmly defending the right and Arab and Muslim issues not influenced by spiteful campaigns and false accusations. The unjust blockade will only increase unity behind the wise leadership and adherence to principles and defending the country's sovereignty and independence of its national decision, he added.

HE al-Mahmoud briefed the members on his message to HE the Minister of Public Health Dr Hanan Mohamed al-Kuwari asking her to inform the Council about the precautionary measures being taken by the Ministry of Public Health and its affiliated bodies to address the risks of coronavirus (Covid-19) and the necessary preventive measures that the ministry has taken to reduce its risks.

At the end of the meeting, a number of Council members addressed the Memorandum of Understanding that the Speaker signed in New York with the United Nations, and stipulated that the Shura Council and the UN enter into direct arrangements to establish the Office of the UN Counter-Terrorism Programme, which will be concerned with the parliamentary participation in preventing and combating terrorism. The office's headquarters will be in Qatar and its activities will cover the parliaments of world countries.

The Doha-based Office of the UN Counter-Terrorism Programme will provide technical assistance and training to world parliaments in order to build capacity of parliamentarians to better understand and respond to terrorism-related issues, support the implementation of major initiatives within the framework of the joint United Nations and Inter-Parliamentary Union programme on the role of parliaments in countering terrorism and violent extremism leading to terrorism, and promote a balanced and integrated implementation of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and related Security Council resolutions.

The Shura Council members hailed this as an achievement for Qatar, saying it represents the best response to the false accusations and unfair campaigns that the country is facing under the pretext of supporting terrorism.

The members also emphasised that the hosting of the headquarters of this office in Doha confirms Qatar's prestigious status and the international community's confidence in it.