FM renews Qatar’s call for a binding security accord for Middle East Feb 21, 2020 0 705 12345 Tribune News NetworkBrusselsDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al Thani has reiterated Qatar’s call to all countries in the Middle East to conclude a binding security agreement.“The security agreement must be collective and binding based on agreed principles of security, developed with rules of governance, dispute resolution and accountability. It must be respectful of sovereignty and non-interference in internal affairs,” Sheikh Mohammed said in a speech before the European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs on Wednesday.Any broad security collective agreement must bring together all countries in the region to be effective in achieving peace, he noted.“In my region, our primary challenge is establishing peace and stability, which will be restored only when all the countries in the Middle East agree to work together to reach consensus on key challenges. This is critical to all of us here because the current turmoil, transnational terrorism, and displaced populations directly impact you here in Europe,” the FM said.Security in the Middle East is closely linked to international peace and security, he said.“We need the EU’s diplomatic support for getting every Middle East country to the table, enforcing international law, and restoring the world order to keep nations accountable.”Sheikh Mohammed affirmed, “Qatar will continue to play a role in de-escalating tensions in the Middle East because Qatar believes in the power of dialogue and commitment.”He expressed Qatar’s appreciation for the efforts of HH the Amir of Kuwait to reach a solution for the Gulf crisis.“We were hoping for reaching an understanding with Saudi Arabia last November when the talks started, but the talks were suspended two months later by the Saudis without prior notice,” he said, adding that “We still welcome any efforts by Kuwaiti mediation, and we hope that Saudi Arabia or any of the blockading countries will come to the negotiating table to reach a solution to this crisis.”He said Qatar understands that the loser in this crisis is the entire region, and that there will be no winner. “We will all be winners if we can solve it in a way that avoids conflicts in the future.”Sheikh Mohammed said that is the important thing that should happen in the Gulf.“We hope it will happen. The Saudis and the Emiratis will return to their senses and stop the campaigns against Qatar,” he said.On the relations between Doha and Tehran, he said, “Iran is our neighbour and it has many problems with the US. Qatar has good relations with Iran, which opened its airspace and ports to supply goods, especially in the early days of the blockade, and we appreciate that. Now, we would like to see our region stable and we do not want to see a conflict between Iran and the US, the latter being our strategic ally and Qatar is hosting its largest military base in the region. Qatar has also neighbourly relations with Iran.”On US-Taliban talks, the FM said, “Recently, we witnessed a breakthrough in the US-Taliban peace talks, which have been hosted in Doha for years. This breakthrough serves as a step to Afghan peace, and hopeful proof that a commitment to negotiation can create results.” He added, “We appreciate all the efforts by the European Union to contribute to peace and security in my region.”Regarding the Palestinian cause, he said Qatar is one of the biggest supporters of the Palestinians and contributes to that either individually or through programmes implemented with various United Nations agencies.On US President Donald Trump’s plan for peace in the Middle East, he said, “We welcome every initiative that develops a plan to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, but it must be in accordance with international legitimacy, and this is Qatar’s position.”“We urge the two parties, through the US, to enter into direct negotiations, and we would like to see peace between them, but we must also not ignore the fact that the Arab countries agreed to an Arab initiative that they presented and that initiative constitutes a fair basis for such negotiations,” he said. 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