His Excellency Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, spoke at the 2021 Global Security Forum about strategic cooperation in the Gulf region and beyond, touching on a number of files, including Afghanistan, Iran, and relations with the Gulf states and Palestine.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs discussed the role that Qatar plays in alleviating regional crises and responding to challenges, especially the situation in Afghanistan.
On the situation in Afghanistan, His Excellency said that engagement with the United States and the Taliban aims to find solutions to the situation in Afghanistan, pointing to the difficult economic situation in Afghanistan and the government’s inability to obtain funding that prevents it from fulfilling its responsibilities such as paying the salaries of employees and workers.
HE the Minister of Foreign Affairs stressed that the international community is called upon to help the Afghans to overcome the crises the country is experiencing.
His Excellency added: “The positions of the Taliban have really developed, but the world needs practical and tangible steps to be taken on the ground,” stressing the need to provide guidance and support to the Afghan government to fulfill its obligations in various issues such as freedom of movement and women’s rights.
Referring to the Qatari role, the Minister of Foreign Affairs said that Qatar is a neutral mediator and has maintained its neutrality and good relations with the various Afghan parties.
His Excellency Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman Al Thani noted that Afghanistan should not be viewed as an arena for competition, but rather a cooperative approach should be adopted by various international parties, stressing that Islamic countries would play a positive role in Afghanistan.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs stressed that the Qatari-US relations extend for decades and are characterized by strong relations with various US administrations and even with previous administrations, pointing out the importance of having relations with the United States for the sake of security and stability in the Gulf region.
On Qatar’s relations with neighboring countries, the Minister of Foreign Affairs said: We are determined to restore relations with neighboring countries to their strength.
His Excellency pointed out that it is not possible to rebuild Gulf relations in one day, and it takes time to restore relations to what they were 4 years ago.
His Excellency Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani added that preventive diplomacy would save the country from crises similar to what happened in 2017.
In a discussion on the Iranian file, the Minister of Foreign Affairs said that Qatar deals with Iran as a neighboring country as it is considered a major player in the region.
His Excellency added, “It is in our interest that the nuclear agreement with Iran returns to what it was in order to avoid a nuclear race in the region.”
He also said, “We encourage the positive momentum between Iran and Saudi Arabia.”
His Excellency the Minister of Foreign Affairs stated that the Abraham Agreement is not compatible with our policy because it does not offer any prospect for ending the occupation, noting that economic normalization with Israel cannot be relied upon as long as the occupation exists.