By Azmat Haroon
HE the Assistant Foreign Minister and Spokesperson of the Supreme Committee for Crisis Management Lolwah bint Rashid AlKhater has said that normalising ties with Israel cannot be the solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
In an interview with Bloomberg, she said that the solution lies in implementing UN Security Council resolutions and granting the Palestinians their rights while finding a just solution to the conflict.
“The Palestinian and Israeli conflict is a 70-year-old conflict. We don’t think normalisation was the core of this conflict and hence it cannot be the answer,” the Assistant Foreign Minister said.
She added that the essence of the conflict is related to the harsh conditions under which the Palestinians continue to live.
“The core of this conflict is about the drastic conditions that the Palestinians are living under. We have people without a country living under occupation for more than 70 years. There are certain UN Security Council resolutions that need to be met. There were many peace rounds of negotiations that took place from Oslo onwards. And unfortunately none of them has been fulfilled. So we want to see an end of this conflict but through a just solution,” she said during the interview.
When asked whether Qatar was facing any pressure from the administration of US President Donald Trump to establish diplomatic ties with Israel, HE AlKhater maintained that the relationship with the US was based on mutual respect.
“Our relationship with the US is based on mutual respect. Today we have a strategic dialogue between Qatar and the US – and one of the topics is Palestine, in addition to continuation of the talks about the Afghan peace negotiations and many other bilateral issues.”
Regarding the end of the three-year-old blockade of Qatar, the Assistant Foreign Minister suggested that although it was too early to talk about a breakthrough, efforts had increased to resolve the Gulf crisis in the past couple of months.
Qatar has maintained since the beginning of the blockade in 2017 that it was a manufactured crisis that could be easily avoided.
“In the past couple of months there have been messages and messengers going back and forth. Kuwait is playing a huge role in that. The US administration, especially in the past couple of months has increased its efforts to resolve the situation. I think it’s very early to talk about a real breakthrough. However, the coming few weeks will or might reveal something new,” HE AlKhater said.
Talking about the 13-point list of demands presented by the blockading countries initially, the Assistant Foreign Minister said that the negotiations had moved ‘beyond this point’.
“The point we are at is engaging constructively in unconditional negotiations and discussions and these discussions do not necessarily need to include all parties at once. It could include Qatar and some countries.”
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