Qatar playing pivotal role in resolving crises: Al Khater Oct 23, 2020 0 11394 12345 QNADohaQatar is playing an active role in mediating regional and international conflicts and crises, Assistant Foreign Minister HE Lolwah bint Rashid Al Khater has said.“Qatar is playing mediation to resolve differences in various conflict areas,” Al Khater said while giving online lecture in the annual “2020 S R Nathan Distinguished Lecture” entitled “Small States in a Contested Era: A Qatari Perspective”. The event was hosted by the Middle East Institute of the National University of Singapore (NUS). She reviewed the political and diplomatic efforts of Qatar and mediation to resolve differences in various conflict areas, including mediation in Yemen in 2007 and 2008, mediation between the Lebanese parties in 2008, mediation between Sudan and Chad in 2009, mediation between Djibouti and Eritrea in 2010, mediation between the Sudanese government and some Sudanese opposition components in 2011, and a mediation between Sudan and Eritrea in 2011.She said Qatar mediated between Fatah and Hamas in 2012 to calm down the situation in Palestine, and in 2015, Qatar was a mediator between the Libyan Tabu and Tuareg tribes. Between 2018 and 2020 Qatar led the mediation between the Taliban and the United States, which culminated in the signing of a peace agreement in Doha last February, in addition to the Qatari sponsorship of the intra-Afghan peace talks.She expressed hope that all Afghan parties would agree and reach an agreement in the near future, indicating that one of the main victories for the Qatari mediation is the inclusion of Afghan women in the negotiating delegations. She said Qatar succeeded in dealing with the unjust blockade imposed on it since June 2017 and achieved remarkable success in self-reliance.“Qatar foiled all plans that targeted Doha and overcame the difficulties caused by the blockade. Some believed that Qatar would surrender within weeks of the blockade, which did not happen,” Al Khater said.Immediately after blockade was imposed, she said, the steps undertaken by Qatar were distinct.“The first three decisive steps which Qatar took were preventing military intervention, political flexibility, and prompt direction toward alternative supply chains. Most importantly, strengthening unity and solidarity on the domestic front, and the realistic and rational approaches have proven to be more effective in the long term,” she noted.Al Khater affirmed that Qatar has completely succeeded in managing this file. “Once the immediate challenges were addressed, Qatar resorted to the international law to obtain its rights and prove the fairness of its position,” she added.In the long term, Qatar has focused on diversifying resources and bilateral relations, and promoting important and vital areas such as food security.Al Khater said the world has entered a new era of structural changes, by moving from bipolarity to multipolarity, pointing to the role of technology in the transformation into a world more interconnected than ever before.Despite this fact, there is a lot of division in an unprecedented way, and this division leads to a state of chaos, she said, noting the paradigm shift in discourse, the human rights-centered approach to global politics, and the shift to focus on countering terrorism. Al Khater indicated that this does not mean that violent extremism and terrorism is not a challenge facing the international community as a whole, rather a distortion of perceptions of the approach that addresses human rights issues.She added that the challenges facing the small country are different, although there are commonalities, indicating that climate change and natural disasters are a common concern for all countries of the world.She noted the well-deserved successes which Qatar has achieved in dealing with the repercussions of the blockade, pointing out that Qatar’s gross domestic product (GDP) increased in 2017 after the blockade, and it is constantly increasing.Al Khater said that Qatar is a major contributor to the global energy market, specifically through the supply of LNG to all parts of the world. She indicated that Qatar Petroleum is partaking in huge global projects, some of which are located in the blockading countries, such as the project in Egypt which was operational in 2019, and it continues to supply the UAE with LNG despite the differences, based on the strategic position Doha adopts on de-politicizing energy, gas supplies and energy projects.Al Khater indicated that small countries can play a role in de-escalation, de-polarization, and de-escalation of tensions.In response to a question about the nature of the community front unit in Qatar, Al Khater said the measures taken by the blockading countries in 2017 touched the citizens and residents of Qatar personally and affected their lives directly. “It was not just a political or diplomatic dispute like the previous procedure was in 2014, and this is what made people automatically and naturally rally around the leadership of Qatar, which is what the government of Qatar built upon after that, by creating a discourse that gather all whoever lives on the land of Qatar.”In response to a question about whether there is an end to the blockade in the future, Al Khater assured that it could be, but it will take time, and that the solution will be gradual.Commenting on a question about the recent agreements signed between some Arab countries and Israel, Al Khater stressed that the Palestinian issue must be viewed in its historical depth, therefore peace can only be based on a just and sustainable solution, and no solution or peace can exclude the Palestinians.On the US elections and the impact of the next US president on the US policy in the Middle East, she said Qatar has continuously worked to reduce polarization in the region, and will continue to push this message to all governments in friendly countries. 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