Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani says his Persian Gulf kingdom will not normalize diplomatic relations with Israel unless the regime ends its occupation of Palestinian lands, and the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict is resolved.
The main reason Qatar doesn’t have relations with Israel “is the occupation of the Palestinian territories,” Al Thani told CNBC television news network in an interview broadcast on Friday.
“The reason is still there, still valid, and there is no … step or any hope toward peace yet. We didn’t see any light at the end of the tunnel,” the foreign minister added.
The top Qatari diplomat pointed out that normalization of ties with the Tel Aviv regime won’t solve the long-standing problems between Israel and the Palestinians.
His remarks come as Kuwait’s National Assembly last week strongly condemned the latest Israeli military’s acts of aggression against Palestinians across the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds besides its bloody military onslaught on the besieged Gaza Strip, and unanimously approved legislation that outlaws any deals or normalization of ties with Tel Aviv.
Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Jaber Al Sabah had earlier reiterated the kingdom’s unswerving support for the Palestinian nation and their struggle for the liberation of their land occupied by the Israeli regime.
Al Thani went on to say that Qatar sees a need for a regional security framework between Iran and the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
“We believe it’s important that we have the leadership of such a dialogue and not leave it for other countries,” he said.
“We appreciate and respect (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council) to be part of this, to be (a) supporter for this, but the core of this dialogue should be handled by the GCC and Iran,” the Qatari foreign minister pointed out.
Earlier this year, Al Thani had called on GCC member states to enter negotiations with neighboring Iran in order to patch up their differences.
Speaking in an interview with Bloomberg television news network, the top Qatari diplomat said the time was right for Doha to broker such talks, and that he has long called for a summit between leaders of the six-member council and Iranian officials.
He said his government was “hopeful that this would happen and we still believe this should happen.”
“This is also a desire that’s shared by other GCC countries,” the Qatari foreign minister said.