The Middle East Institute at the National University of Singapore hosted, today, Her Excellency Mrs. Lulwa bint Rashid Al Khater, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs and Official Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in the “SR Nathan 2020” symposium, which is held annually and hosts a group of academics, experts, specialists and diplomats.
Her Excellency Lolwah bint Rashid Al-Khater presented a lecture entitled / Small Countries in a Contested Era: A Qatari Perspective /, which was held via visual communication technology, and addressed many international and regional issues, and what small countries face in a multi-polar world, and the extent of those countries’ ability to prosper and progress Through issues of development, globalization, security and pluralism while preserving independence and identity in the face of external threats.
During the lecture, the Assistant Foreign Minister and the official spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs touched on the effective tools that the small state possesses to enable it to find its way and define its position, the extent to which that country has benefited from history to create a prosperous future, the areas in which that country can cooperate, and the mechanisms to achieve this, inferring With the vital and important role played by Qatar Airways during the Corona pandemic (Covid-19), which was appreciated and praised by various countries around the world.
Al-Khater also addressed the ability of the State of Qatar to face challenges, citing the progress and prosperity that Qatar has achieved despite the unjust blockade imposed on it and that has continued for more than three years, stressing the pioneering role that the State of Qatar plays in the international arena, whether in the political or economic fields, Being one of the largest exporters of liquefied natural gas in the world, as well as an active role it plays in mediating regional and international conflicts.
At the beginning of her lecture, Her Excellency Mrs. Lulwa Bint Rashid Al Khater, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs and Official Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, explained that the world has entered a new era of structural changes, by moving from bipolar to multipolarity, pointing to the role of technology in the transformation into a more interconnected world than ever before. He went on, and continued, “Nevertheless, we find a lot of division in an unprecedented way, and this division leads us to a state of chaos,” pointing to the paradigm shift in the discourse and the human rights-centered approach to global politics, and the shift to focus on combating terrorism .. explaining that this is not. It means that violent extremism and terrorism is not a challenge facing the international community as a whole. Rather, it is a distortion of perceptions related to the approach that addresses human rights issues.
Her Excellency Lulwa Al-Khater indicated that the challenges facing the small country are different, despite the existence of common denominators, noting that climate change and natural disasters are a common source of concern for all countries of the world.
Al-Khater touched on the experience of the State of Qatar in facing the unjust blockade imposed on it, and how Doha succeeded in dealing with it since June 2017, citing the remarkable successes in self-reliance and the failure of all plans that targeted the State of Qatar and overcoming the difficulties caused by the blockade.
Her Excellency Mrs. Lulwa Al-Khater referred to the successes Qatar has achieved well in dealing with the repercussions of the blockade, pointing out that Qatar’s GDP increased in 2017 after the imposition of the blockade and is on the increase.
Al-Khater pointed out that Qatar is a major contributor to the global energy market, specifically through the supply of liquefied natural gas to all parts of the world. She indicated that Qatar Petroleum is participating in huge global projects, including what is in the blockading countries, such as the one in Egypt that was operational in 2019, in addition to that it continues to supply the UAE with natural gas despite the differences, stressing that Doha’s position stems from the strategic position that It is taken by de-politicizing energy, gas supplies, and energy projects.
Her Excellency Lolwah bint Rashid Al-Khater, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs and Official Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, pointed out that some believed that Qatar would surrender within weeks of the blockade, which did not happen, noting that the steps taken by Qatar were distinct, as they were the first three decisive steps it took. Qatar is preventing “military intervention,” “political flexibility,” and “an immediate move toward alternative supply chains.” The most important thing is to strengthen unity and solidarity on the domestic front of Qatar, and realistic and rational approaches have proven to be more effective in the long term.
Al-Khater stressed that Qatar has completely succeeded in managing this file, as once the immediate challenges were addressed, Qatar resorted to international law to obtain its rights and prove the fairness of its position. In the long term, Qatar has focused on diversifying resources and bilateral relations, and promoting important and vital areas such as food security.
Her Excellency referred to the vital role that the State of Qatar plays in all crises, including the Corona pandemic, as Qatar Airways has been working during the pandemic in transporting people and goods and transporting relief, medical and humanitarian aid to brotherly and friendly countries, and thus it is considered the most prominent global company that made these efforts, which was International appreciated.
Her Excellency Mrs. Lulwa Al-Khater, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs, reviewed the political and diplomatic efforts of the State of Qatar and mediation to resolve differences in various conflict areas, indicating that these efforts are numerous and wide, including mediation in Yemen in 2007 and 2008, as well as mediation between the Lebanese parties in 2008, and in 2009 there was mediation. Between Sudan and Chad. In 2010, there was mediation between Djibouti and Eritrea, and in 2011 the Qatari mediation was between the Sudanese government and some Sudanese opposition components, and in the same year there was mediation between Sudan and Eritrea. Whereas in 2012 Qatar mediated between Fatah and Hamas to calm the Palestinian airspace. In 2015, Qatar was a mediator between the Libyan Tabu and Tuareg tribes, and between 2018 to 2020 Qatar led the mediation between the Taliban and the United States of America, which culminated in the signing of a peace agreement in Doha last February, in addition to Qatari sponsorship of the Afghan-Afghan peace talks.
Al-Khater expressed her hope that all Afghan parties would agree and reach an agreement between them in the near future, indicating that one of the main victories of the Qatari mediation is the inclusion of Afghan women in negotiating delegations, stressing that the mere sitting of the Taliban during negotiations with Afghan delegations that includes among its members, female members and counting That in itself is a great victory. ”
She pointed out that there is great respect for Afghan women on all sides during the talks .. adding that the Afghan issue will be resolved between the Afghan parties themselves without interference, as all negotiation methods are facilitated.
Al-Khater indicated that small countries can To play a role in de-escalation, de-polarization and de-escalation of tensions.
At the end of her lecture, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs Lolwah Al-Khater addressed the issue of identity, indicating that the identity of the state includes several elements, some of which are modern, some of which are traditional and some of which are global. There are many lessons that can be learned from the Singaporean experience, especially with regard to human capital development.
In response to a question about the nature of the community front unit in the State of Qatar, which the Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs referred to in her lecture, and whether it was formed naturally or through specific policies, Al-Khater said that the measures taken by the blockading countries in 2017 touched the citizens and residents of the State of Qatar personally. And it affected their lives directly and it was not just a political or diplomatic dispute as was the previous procedure in 2014, and this is what made people automatically and naturally rally around the leadership in the State of Qatar, which is what the government in the State of Qatar built upon after that by creating a speech around which all The government and people who live on the land of the State of Qatar. In response to a question about whether there is an end to the siege looming, Al-Khater assured that it could be, but it will take time, and the solution will be gradual.
Commenting on a question about the recent agreements signed between some Arab countries and Israel, Al-Khater stressed that the Palestinian issue must be viewed in its historical depth, and therefore peace can only be based on a just and sustainable solution, and no solution or peace can exclude the Palestinians.
On the American elections and the impact of the next American president on US policy in the Middle East, Al-Khater explained that Qatar has continuously worked to reduce polarization in the region, and will continue to push this message to all governments in friendly countries, and stressed that it is important for the Gulf states to have unified and consistent positions. Towards issues of Gulf security and coexistence, independent of any changes occurring outside the region.
With regard to the issue of the role of the United Nations in the Middle East region, which is witnessing divisions and conflicts, Al-Khater referred to the success of the United Nations in preserving the resilience and resilience of vulnerable societies, such as dealing with the issue of refugees. Many countries in alleviating some humanitarian disasters, as evidenced by UNRWA, which supports the steadfastness of Palestinian refugees.
Regarding the lessons learned from the people in the State of Qatar wrapping around their government, Al-Khater cautioned that maintaining effective and interactive communication by governments with society and grassroots is essential, explaining that social media helps greatly in this regard. She added that given the ease with which social media can be manipulated, vigilance and follow-up are crucial to distinguishing what is real and what is fake.
Finally, Al-Khater stressed, in her comment on the type of skills and areas that the new generation should take into account, that in order to reach the highest stages of prosperity in the future, the education, medicine and energy sectors must receive special attention and high skills and experience in the State of Qatar.