Saudi channel distorts US official's remarks to make false claims
September 18 2020 11:34 PM
Timothy Lenderking
In a press briefing, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Gulf Affairs, Timothy Lenderking said “Qatar issued its response to the recent normalisation agreements with Israel, and that Washington understands that response".

*Qatar's position on Arab-Israel row has not changed

Saudi-owned television news channel Al-Arabiya has published a story, distorting the statements made by an American diplomat to falsely claim that "Qatar is very open to deal with Israel'.
In comments made after the UAE and Bahrain normalised relations with Israel, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Gulf Affairs, Timothy Lenderking, had said his country wanted all the Gulf states to reach an eventual normalisation of relations with Israel.
In a press briefing, he said “Qatar issued its response to the recent normalisation agreements with Israel, and that Washington understands that response". But he stressed that 'there is a lot to build on, and each country will move at its own pace on normalisation, and in accordance with its own criteria".
Qatar has always maintained that any solution to the Middle East dispute has to be based on a just solution to the Palestinian issue.
Last week, Qatar's Assistant Foreign Minister, HE Lolwah AlKhater had said Doha would not join the UAE and Bahrain in establishing diplomatic relations with Israel "unless the conflict with the Palestinians is resolved."
In an interview with Bloomberg News, she said: "We do not believe that normalisation was the essence to this conflict, and therefore it could not be the solution. The core of this conflict revolves around the harsh conditions in which the Palestinians live. They live without a state, they live under occupation."
On whether there is pressure from the United States on her country in this regard, Al-Khater said: "Our relationship with the United States is based on mutual respect, and there is a strategic dialogue between Qatar and the United States (held on September 14 and 15), and the question of Palestine is one of the issues on the table."
In that briefing, Lenderking also announced that the United States hoped to declare Qatar a major non-Nato ally. The US official called on the Gulf states to end their differences, noting that his country has been in contact with all Gulf parties to resolve the GCC crisis.
Lenderking also praised the Kuwaiti mediation led by the Kuwaiti Amir. The American official stressed the need for the unity of the Gulf countries to face common challenges.



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