Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani called on international powers to be more inclusive in their approach to the region.
Qatar’s deputy prime minister, Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani has highlighted that the Middle East’s polarised and repressive politics will lead to more instability in the region.
According to The Guardian, al-Thani – also the country’s foreign minister – urged countries to take steps to reform and calm tensions across the Middle East.
The politician – also a member of Qatar’s royal family – called on international powers including the United States to be more inclusive in their approach to the region, stressing that excluding either the Iranians or Palestinians did not work.
Anyone that looks at the situation right now – the polarisation in the region – is quite certain that things will not remain like this, al-Thani said. You cannot keep people under oppression for a long time, so to prevent this instability from happening, we just want leaders to start reforming. We have to practice preventative diplomacy rather than reactive diplomacy, he added.
Qatar is speaking from experience. The country has been under a Saudi-led siege – including the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt – since June 2017. The quarter accused Doha of supporting terrorism and forging close ties with Iran. Qatar has denied the accusations.
Qatar has been open to resolving the GCC dispute ever since, but so far its attempts at a resolution have been in vain.
The Deputy PM also called on Saudi Arabia to cooperate with the inquiry set up by the United Nations to look into the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
“The family of Khashoggi needs answers and needs to be able to identify what happened to their father. There has to be accountability for what happened. Dealing with political opposition through crimes is wrong,” he said.
What’s more, the Qatari government considers itself a benefactor and mediator in the region, offering its territory as the UN’s sub-station in the Middle East. The country has a huge sovereign wealth fund, large gas reserves, and hopes that by hosting the football world cup in 2022 it will boost its image on the world stage.
According to al-Thani, not only has Qatar acted as a mediator with the Taliban, but has provided more than US$1 billion in aid to alleviate suffering in Gaza and spent US$500 million to stabilise the Lebanese economy. it has also been extending its reach into African and Asian markets.
Qatar has continued to support the Iran nuclear deal, distancing itself from the anti-Iranian stance of the US, Saudi Arabia and Israel. “Our position on the Iran deal is that, like the Europeans, we support it,” al-Thani said. “We do not want a nuclear arms race in our region, and that is the danger.”
Finally, he said he had spoken to Donald Trump’s Middle East advisor, Jared Kushner, who told him his much-delayed Israel-Palestine peace plan for the region would be “ready in a few weeks”. Qatar “had no interest in anything that is not a two-state solution, 1967 borders, the right of return, clear designation of Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine,” he concluded.