Qatar has ‘coherent stance’ on Ukraine crisis, says foreign minister – Doha News

Qatari and Turkish officials discussed various issues of mutual concern, including the current crisis in Syria and political unrest in Libya.

Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani stressed that Doha has “a clear position” in the ongoing Ukrainian crisis, during a press conference in Turkey on Friday.

“Qatar has a clear position on what is happening in Ukraine, and we are a major player in world markets,” Sheikh Mohammed said alongside his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu in Istanbul.

The press conference was held on the sidelines of this year’s Qatar-Turkey Strategic Dialogue, during which the two countries outlined plans to further strengthen their relationship.

Sheikh Mohammed called his meeting with Turkey’s foreign minister “constructive”, while Cavusoglu highlighted a rapid increase in bilateral trade between Qatar and Turkey.

The remarks came just a day after the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, met Russian President Vladimir Putin in Kazakhstan.

The meeting was the first to take place between the leaders since 2019, as well as the start of the Russia-Ukraine conflict earlier this year.

“The meeting between the Emir of Qatar and Putin touched on several bilateral and regional issues,” Sheikh Mohammed noted.

Doha has been a major player on the global stage as the world continues to grapple with a lingering energy crisis that has been exacerbated by the war in Ukraine.

A month before the start of the conflict, Qatar was approached by European buyers seeking to reduce their dependence on Russian gas.

The Turkish diplomat underlined the role of the Gulf state in seeking to reduce the crisis, saying that Ankara appreciates these efforts.

Since the start of the war in Ukraine on February 24, Turkey has maintained a mediating position and organized several rounds of talks between Russia and Ukraine with the aim of ending the war.

Among its main achievements was Ankara’s effort to produce the grain export deal, which was eventually signed between the rival countries. Qatar had previously praised the deal as well as Turkey’s role, describing it as “a step in the right direction” to tackle global food shortages.

“Our position is consistent in rejecting the violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty, and we support the Istanbul agreement for the transfer of grain,” said Sheikh Mohammed, renewing his country’s appreciation for the OK.

At a separate meeting in Kazakhstan on Thursday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met with Putin. Cavusoglu noted that the Russian president had suggested to the Turkish leader “the possibility of Moscow exporting gas via Turkey”.

“Russian gas pipelines will reach Turkey and possibly Italy,” Cavusoglu said, adding that Turkey is seeking “to reduce pressure on Europe by exporting gas to it.”

Palestinian reconciliation

The press conference in Istanbul also came just a day after rival Palestinian factions signed an Algeria-brokered deal.

While reports indicate that Qatari officials participated in Palestinian reconciliation talks in Algeria on Tuesday, Doha did not comment on its participation.

“The State of Qatar and Turkey welcome the Algerian declaration, which has been signed by the various Palestinian factions, and we hope that these results and positive steps will contribute to ending the state of division that has greatly affected the Palestinian cause,” Sheikh Mohammed said.

Hamas controls the Gaza Strip while Fatah holds the Palestinian Authority (PA) government in Ramallah. Egypt had also tried to broker an agreement between the two sides in previous meetings, but yielded no results.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Qatar said Thursday that the Algerian Declaration consolidates “the national project of establishing an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital”.

Commenting on the ongoing Israeli attacks against the Palestinians, Sheikh Mohammed also renewed his country’s condemnation of the ongoing escalations.

“We condemn the daily Israeli escalation and Israeli violations in the West Bank,” the Qatari official said.

The Gulf state repeatedly expresses its refusal to normalize with the Israeli regime as long as it continues its occupation of Palestine.

Regional issues

The ongoing Syrian crisis is one of a series of key issues of concern to both Qatar and Turkey. Allied states have cooperated on several initiatives with the aim of ending the crisis through peaceful means.

“We would like there to be a real political solution to end the suffering of the Syrian people,” Sheikh Mohammed said.

In March 2021, Qatar, Turkey and Russia announced the launch of a “trilateral consultation process” to end the decade-old conflict in Syria to an apparent stalemate.

However, the developments of the initiative remain unclear in light of the ongoing Russian war against Syria.

Turkey is the largest host of Syrian refugees, where more than 3.6 million people are currently hosted as the Syrian regime of Bashar Al Assad continues to wage a deadly war against civilians.

Meanwhile, Qatar continues to refuse to normalize with the Assad regime for its gross human rights abuses against Syrians.

The situation in Libya also remained a concern for Qatar and Turkey, with Tripoli failing to hold elections amid continued political unrest and escalations between rival parties.

Sheikh Mohammed stressed the importance of the territorial integrity of Libya and the need to “end division and organize elections”.

Turkey played a key role in ending the 2019-20 war launched by warlord General Khalifa Haftar with military intervention.

the UN High Commissioner for Refugees estimates that the conflict in Libya has internally displaced more than 200,000 people.

Christi C. Elwood