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Speech by HE Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabr Al-Thani The Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar
 

Welcome speech by H.E Sheikh Ahmed Bin Mohammed Bin Jabr Al Thani, Minister's Assistant For International Cooperation Affairs, Chairman of the Permanent Committee for Organizing Conferences
 
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PM urges Washington to do more for people of Syria
2012-05-30

The Prime Minister and Foreign Minister H E Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem bin Jabor Al Thani, yesterday took the opportunity at a key US-Islamic forum that began here yesterday to urge Washington to do more to help the people of Syria.

The PM stressed the need for close cooperation between the West and the Arab and Islamic world to help resolve the Syrian crisis.

“We have taken the initiative on the Syrian issue as an Arab country. We want close cooperation with the US on the issue,” said the PM.

“We laud the role of the US during the Bosnian crisis. It was a pro-Muslim stance and praiseworthy.”

“We want the US now to focus its attention on the Palestinian and Syrian issues and help them resolve,” the PM said.

He, however, rued that the six-point Kofi Annan’s Arab-UN peace plan for Syria had not been implemented so far so as to give us hope of the crisis coming to an end.

“We don’t want to interfere in Syria,” he said. The event (US-Islamic Forum) is being held here for the past several years and the idea is to help bridge the yawning gap between the west and the Arab and Islamic world.

The PM told the forum that in his view the US was not doing enough to support the people of Syria, hinting it should think in terms of providing immediate succour to the Syrian people.

The Premier, without mentioning names, said that some powers were backing the Syrian regime.

“We know who they are,” said the PM, reiterating that the US can do more to support the people of Syria. “We know Washington can do more to support the Syrian people.”

Qatar, he said, had very close relations with Syria. “But Qatari leadership has now chosen to be with the people of Syria,” he said.

The PM was delivering keynote address at a Gala Dinner at the US-Islamic Forum which kicked off at the Ritz-Carlton yesterday. The three-day event ends tomorrow. Sheikh Hasina, prime minister of Bangladesh, and Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, secretary-general of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), also spoke at the dinner.

“We don’t want to interfere in the problems of Syria. We only want what is best for its people,” The Prime Minister said.

Talking about the US-Islamic Forum, he said the idea to hold this event annually was mooted after 9/11 and the idea was to help bridge the gap between the west and the Arab and Muslims.

“This (gap) is in the interest of some,” said the PM. There is trust deficit between the west and the Arab and Islamic world and the main reason behind the gap is the Palestinian issue. Qatar has made a lot of efforts to bridge the gap between Arabs and Israel and for that Qatar had allowed Israel to open a trade office in Doha earlier.

The idea was to bridge the gap between the Arab and Islamic world on the one hand and Israel on the other to aid the Middle East peace process.

So no one should blame Qatar for links with Israel for the idea to open their trade office here was to help the peace process.

“However, we should accept the blame for the behavior of some fellow Arab states,” the PM said hinting that some Arab leaders were rigid in their instance vis-à-vis the Palestinian issue.

The Peninsula