The German embassy is keen to promote a continuous political dialogue between Berlin and Doha on various regional issues and topics on “a very high-level”, the new German ambassador to Qatar, Dr Claudius Fischbach, has said.
“In recent years, Qatar developed special expertise in mediation and in facilitating negotiations between conflicting parties. We have seen this in the past in Lebanon, in Sudan/Darfur, also between Israel and the authorities in Gaza. It is no coincidence that the Afghanistan Peace Negotiations take place in Doha. Qatar is an experienced host,” the envoy told a virtual press briefing yesterday.
He said Germany has, also as a leading trade nation, a profound interest in a stable and prosperous Gulf region, and furthermore in peaceful solutions to the conflicts in the Middle East.
Dr Fischbach was of the view that Qatar, which has been hosting the Afghan peace talks, can rely on Germany’s support in all its mediation efforts and initiatives, seen in the past in many conflicts within the region.
“We have always seen the GCC as an anchor of stability in the Gulf. Germany is situated in the heart of Europe, Germany has more neighbours than anybody else in Europe, so it is natural that we believe in regional co-operation and in regional integration. We definitely hope that the GCC members will overcome their present dispute,” he said.
According to the envoy, Qatari and German ministers and other key officials have been in close collaboration and have discussed vital regional issues, including the recent telephone conversation between Qatar’s HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani and German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas.
He noted that there is also continuous dialogue between HE the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Sultan bin Saad al-Muraikh and German Vice Minister Niels Annen.
“I am satisfied that the last telephone conversation between our two ministers, which happened on the 16th of October, was a very friendly and substantial discussion they shared,” he said.
“We would like to make sure that Qatar is our partner for discussing all the important regional issues that are there: Libya, Syria, Yemen, Israel, Palestine, Sudan, you name it. Qatar is a key player in all of these questions, in all of these conflicts, we would like to know more about Qatar’s position, we would like to support Qatar while we can in mediation efforts. So that is for me a high priority,” the envoy pointed out.
About the Afghan issue, Dr Fischbach noted that Qatar and Germany partnered to organise the first round of intra-Afghan talks in Doha back in July, which was attended by the Taliban and a delegation of the Kabul government.
“So there is a tradition of Qatar and Germany co-operating on mediation efforts and especially here in Doha on the Afghan dossier, dossiers are of course a very tricky one and we’ve seen in the last few weeks that there has been slow progress on the Afghan peace negotiation, the fact that they do take place is already a success but we would like to see results,” he said.
“We think Doha is a very good place, Qatar is such an experienced host and has all the infrastructure here,” the envoy added.
Dr Fischbach started his diplomatic career in Tehran, Iran in the early 90s. He was the German ambassador to Paraguay from 2016-2020 before coming to Doha. He also served as Minister Plenipotentiary at the German embassy in Brazil from 2013-2016.
German ambassador to Qatar Dr Claudius Fischbach.