Qatar Major Player in Regional Peace, British Foreign Secretary Says

Doha, – Qatar is a major player in promoting dialogue, bringing peace and dealing with the regional issues, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond told QNA Tuesday in an exclusive interview.

Hammond praised the Qatari role in the International Syria Support Group as well as Doha efforts to bring closer points of view of the conflict parties in Libya whether through reconciliation agreements or hosting meetings and talks, stressing the need that Qatar continues to play its role to ease tensions in the region.

The British foreign secretary said his meetings in Doha discussed several issues, including regional policies in addition to bilateral security and defense ties, and economic, commercial and investment plans between the two countries. He described the visit as successful, highlighting the strong ties between his country and Qatar at the political, economic and security levels.

Hammond said his country supports Qatar’s right to host the 2022 World Cup even if the British media opposes that right. He added that British media does not reflect the stance of the government but, on the contrary, mostly disagrees with the official stances regarding a lot of issues.

As for GCC-British cooperation, Hammond said his current tour in which he visits Gulf states sees him hold talks on regional and international issues, notably the critical role of GCC states in fighting the ISIS group and working to tackle regional challenges, particularly the crisis in Yemen.

The British official said his country’s view on the Yemeni crisis and the mechanism of settling it is fully identical with that of GCC, adding that the United Kingdom is committed to supporting the Yemeni people to help it have a peaceful future.

The UK Foreign Secretary also rejected Iranian interference in the internal affairs of States and its attempts to dominate the region, particularly in Syria, Yemen and Iraq, pointed out that the signing of the nuclear deal with Iran is a step forward to protect the security of the Gulf against nuclear weapons threats.

While lauding the agreement, he said: “We are fully aware of the fact that Iran continues its illegal activities that are destabilizing neighboring countries and continues to conduct missile tests in violation of the UN Security Council resolutions.” Regarding the role played by Britain in the fight against ISIS group, Hammond told Qatar News Agency (QNA) that ISIS constitutes a threat to the region and the whole world, including Britain, through destabilizing the Arab region and the potential for terrorist attacks in Europe and targeting civil aviation, adding that the international community should work together to destroy ISIS ideology. The destruction of the organization represents a military challenge, while undermining its ideology is a political challenge, he said.

“We have to demonstrate that there is an alternative future for the younger generations across the Middle East and North Africa region,” the UK Foreign Secretary said, pointing out that violence and extremism are not a means to achieve a better life and that the practices of Islam are compatible with economic development and achievement of good growth rates as well as better standards of living, as it is the case in the Arab Gulf states.

Source: Qatar News Agency