Qatar: Palestinian issue core stumbling block to ties with Israel

“The core issue between Qatar and Israel is the Palestinian issue," Qatar’s Minister of Foreign Affairs said.

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February 17, 2019 11:54
1 minute read.
Qatar's Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani speaks during the annual Munich Se

Qatar's Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani speaks during the annual Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany February 17, 2019.. (photo credit: ANDREAS GEBERT/REUTERS)

 
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The unresolved Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the main reason for Qatar and Israel having no diplomatic ties, Qatar’s Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani said Sunday at the Munich Security Conference.

“The core issue of the relationship between Qatar and Israel is the Palestinian issue,” Al-Thani said. “As long as this is not resolved, there will always be a problem between us. This applies for all the Arab countries.”

“At the end we cannot overcome the Palestinians’ [issue]. We have been calling for a two-state solution, we have been calling for a peaceful resolution to this conflict. We are willing to live peacefully if the Palestinian people’s rights will go back to them. This is at the core of Qatar foreign policy.”

Al-Thani spoke just days after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Israeli reporters on the sidelines of the Warsaw summit that Arab nations in the region are more concerned with Iran than with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The Qatari prime minister also referenced the Warsaw summit, at which representatives from 60 nations gathered to discuss regional issues. Neither Iran nor the Palestinians were represented.


“You cannot start process without inclusiveness, with exclusion,” Al-Thani said. “If there is a problem with Iran, for example, then Iran needs to be at the table. The core issue of the Middle East instability and insecurity is the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

“We saw the Israelis, we didn’t see the Palestinians. They need to be invited to the table,” he added, saying if there is a follow up to the Warsaw summit, it should include everyone.

The Qatari prime minister also referenced US President Donald Trump’s pending peace plan, saying Qatar will accept any plan that is positive for the Palestinians.

“The Palestinian... Israeli conflict needs to be resolved, but it has to be a just resolution,” Al-Thani said. “We will support any US efforts that will have an acceptable context for the Palestinian people. We hope they will bring something positive for the Palestinians.”

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