Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs: Gulf Conflict Hampers GCC Ability to Contribute to Peacemaking

HE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani said that the Gulf conflict is hampering the ability of the GCC to contribute to the peace process and to be a stabilizing force as everyone expected, adding that the State of Qatar follows a different approach in its foreign policy, which achieved significant success over the last decade in various conflicts and regions.

In his speech at a session entitled “Peace and Reconciliation in a Multipolar World” at the World Economic Forum in Davos, HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani said that the region is currently in a very complicated situation, pointing to the success of the State of Qatar in achieving peace in Darfur, the Lebanese consensus and mediation in Afghanistan.

HE the minister added that Qatar enjoys this unique status due to its size, its ability to move and speak to all parties of the conflicts, adding “We try to utilize these resources and capabilities for the good and bringing peace and reconciliation in these countries, but if the countries themselves are not entering and engaging in these peace processes with good intentions, you cannot impose peace.”

“We are just acting as facilitators and mediators, but the main players are the parties of the conflicts. What you get from the facilitator, whether a country or regional, sub-regional or international organization, is just support and facilitation and the main process should be driven from inside, here what happened in Lebanon,” HE the minister said.

HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani explained that the success story was because the process was driven from inside and facilitated by other friends and allies, looking at it from another prospect, those conflicts, all have regional dimensions.

HE the minister pointed out that Qatar is currently suffering from a geopolitical conflict with three Gulf countries, which hampered the ability of the GCC to contribute to the peace process and to be a stabilizing force as everyone expected because the strength and stability of the GCC are declining because of this blockade.

If each country works separately, it can not affect, and the GCC itself as a regional organization proved to be a successful model for joint action in the Arab region, but unfortunately, it appears to have failed to solve its own problems, HE the minister said.

“We need to look at those regional mechanisms, which should support peace and reconciliation in other countries, but also we should make sure that this region stays together, have an understanding of the means of cooperation and dispute resolutions,” HE the minister further added.

He noted that about 20 months have passed since the imposition of the blockade on Qatar and no progress has been achieved by the GCC as an organization, adding that the situation has become very complicated, but “we needed to act in good faith from the beginning.”

In response to a question on the model of democratic change, HE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani stressed that the State of Qatar did not support change by force by imposing democracy or otherwise, as Qatar is promoting and supporting what the peoples of the region want, adding Qatar itself is not a democratic country according to the Western model, but it has a democracy that is concerned with involving the people in power.

HE the minister said that Qatar has taken this policy from the beginning and has begun the process of integrating the people into important decisions, as the people participated in the vote on the Qatari Constitution and in the elections of the municipal councils, in which women participated since the first elections in addition to free media and several other democratic means that are practiced daily in Qatar. He added that Qatar stood against the leaders who oppress their people, that is what Qatar did during the Arab spring revolutions, where it supported the people, pointing out that Qatar took this position only after those leaders exercised violence against their people.

On the U.S. mediation in the Gulf crisis, HE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs said that the U.S. can play the role of mediator in the region, especially as it is the greatest superpower in the world and the absence of the United Nations enforcement mechanism, therefore, there are superpowers, who need to use their influence to impose peace and reconciliation.

On the Gulf dispute and Qatar taking steps forward, HE the Minister of Foreign Affairs said that Qatar has taken steps forward since the beginning of the crisis, while other countries are still unwilling to do so, adding that despite the hostility that Qatar has suffered, it is doing its best to isolate this crisis from the people, because the families are interconnected and are allowed to come to Doha without any complications.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs