HE the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Sultan bin Saad al-Muraikhi has underlined that the Arab nation stands at a critical juncture, which is rife with many political, economic and security challenges that threaten its present and future and which requires collective action, not individual action, solidarity, not division, determination and will, and not frustration and regression.
Addressing the Arab League’s 152nd ordinary session at the ministerial level yesterday, the minister said that in the midst of these challenges and dangers, the central issue, the Palestinian issue, is facing attempts to liquidate it, by circumventing its foundations and references, which have been the subject of international consensus over the past decades, under the pretext of mysterious deals and initiatives contrary to international legitimacy.
He referred specifically to the resolutions of the Security Council, the United Nations and the international reference for the peace process, the most important of which is the two-state solution, the principle of land for peace and the Arab peace initiative adopted in 2002, which gained international status as a framework for a solution.
The minister reiterated the State of Qatar’s firm position on the historic rights of the Palestinian people, in an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital and the right of refugees to return to their areas and considers any departure from these constants a violation of international law, reminding that the historical, legal and human rights of the Palestinian people are not a bargaining chip, and no party has the right to waive them under any pretext.
On the humanitarian aspect, the minister said the State of Qatar will continue to provide humanitarian assistance to the Palestinians, as well as its support to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) to perform its tasks and to meet the needs of Palestine refugees in light of the challenges they face.
On the situation in Syria, the minister stressed that the State of Qatar strongly condemns the recent massacres committed by the Syrian regime forces in the countryside of Idlib, which have claimed the lives of children and women, and the destruction caused to many cities and villages in the region as a result of the continuous shelling, which was a clear violation of the Astana ceasefire agreement in the de-escalation zone in Idlib.
The minister stressed the firm commitment to maintain Syria’s sovereignty, stability and territorial integrity, noting that the State of Qatar believes that the only possible solution to the Syrian crisis is a political solution based on participation of all Syrian parties, to meet the aspirations of the Syrian people, according to the Geneva Communique of June 30, 2012, and on the basis of the resolutions and statements issued in this regard, in particular Security Council resolution 2254 of 2015.
The minister called on all to abide by agreements or procedures that saves unarmed civilians and helps bring humanitarian aid and health services to besieged areas, while adhering to the principles of international humanitarian law to protect civilians.
On the Yemeni issue, al-Muraikhi said that the State of Qatar follows with great sorrow and sadness the military developments and bloody confrontations in Aden and Abyan.
The war on Yemen has prolonged, and the humanitarian tragedy has deepened in a way that cannot be overlooked and the recent developments were a clear indication of the futility of war, and the continuation of interfering with the capabilities of the Yemeni people.
He called on all parties concerned to stop the war and spare the Yemeni people further human suffering.
The minister also stressed Qatar’s firm stance on the need to find a peaceful political solution to the crisis to maintain Yemen’s unity, independence and territorial integrity, in accordance with the Gulf Initiative and the outcomes of the National Dialogue in Yemen January 2014, May 2015 Declaration and the Security Council resolution 2216.
He said Qatar has urged the international community to assist the brotherly people of Yemen to overcome the circumstances, and to take all measures to address the grave humanitarian situation and facilitate humanitarian access to all areas. The minister said that the State of Qatar, out of its keenness to alleviate the unprecedented human suffering of the brotherly Yemeni people, continues to abide by its humanitarian and moral duty to provide various types of support and humanitarian assistance.
The minister said: “I would like to refer to the announcement by His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, during the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly in September 2018, to allocate $70mn for Yemen as well as the announcement in February 2019 of the support of the United Nations humanitarian response plan in Yemen amounting to $27mn in addition to the total assistance that the State of Qatar has been providing in recent years, which amounted to more than $600mn.’’
In light of the tense and escalating situation in Libya, the minister reiterated Qatar’s support for the UN mission’s efforts to find a solution to restore legitimacy, and called on all parties to stop military actions that might hinder the political process, urging the regional powers and the international community to work to stop the bloodshed and the search for a peaceful solution, while warning that interference in Libyan affairs further complicates the crisis, preventing the national consensus sought by the Libyan brothers and contrary to Security Council resolutions.
“It is regrettable that this council has not yet been able to meet the request of the legitimate government in Libya to hold an emergency meeting to discuss the explosive situation there and its serious repercussions on its unity,” the minister said.
The minister added that the State of Qatar reaffirms its support for the Skhirat Agreement in the Kingdom of Morocco, signed in December 2015 and all its outcomes, and to support the internationally recognised legitimate government to achieve the aspirations of the brotherly Libyan people to restore security and stability.
Regarding the developments in Sudan, the minister congratulated the Republic of Sudan and the Sudanese people on signing the constitutional document and the formation of the new government headed by Dr Abdullah Hamdok.
He said that these steps are important in achieving the aspirations of the Sudanese people for freedom, peace and justice and in building a state of institutions and law.
The minister also reiterated Qatar’s firm stance in support of the unity, stability and sovereignty of Sudan.
On Somalia, the minister said that the State of Qatar reaffirms respect for the sovereignty, unity, political independence and territorial integrity of Somalia, and its continued support for the Government of Somalia and the brotherly Somali people.
Qatar calls for the full implementation of the resolutions of the League of Arab States in support of Somalia, both at the summit and ministerial levels, to realise their hopes and aspirations and to ensure a prosperous future for coming generations, the minister added.
In conclusion, the minister said the dangers and challenges facing our Arab nation require all of us to show responsibility and work together to confront them, by resolving our differences based on the principle of dialogue and respect for the sovereignty and independence of states and non-interference in the internal affairs of any state, and away from division and hatred among people.
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