PM denies meddling in Mali

 30 Jan 2013 - 3:03

The Prime Minister and Foreign Minister H E Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem bin Jabor Al Thani and Greece Prime Minister Antonis Samaras at a press conference in Doha, yesterday.

DOHA: Qatar yesterday denied distributing arms in northern Mali and said such accusations are entirely baseless. Rather, the country’s stand on the question of Mali is to interact with all the parties concerned and restore peace there. 

“Qatar has become quite accustomed to hearing such malicious propaganda against it”, said the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister H E Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem bin Jabor Al Thani.

“We have become quite used to hearing such allegations, parts of which might be coming from sister countries,” the PM said.

He was answering questions at a news conference he was addressing here yesterday jointly with his visiting Greek counterpart, Antonis Samaras. Qatar, according to the Premier, has no intention at all of interfering in Mali. “We are totally impartial, with no leanings whatsoever. Our intention is to interact with everyone concerned and help restore peace and normalcy in Mali.”

Launching a blistering attack on the sinister forces that were leveling false allegations against Qatar, the Premier said: “Those who make such accusations must produce evidence”.

“We know the secret behind rumour-mongering against us. Some of our friends have told us who are spreading such rumours”.

Without referring to the presence of French forces in Mali, the Premier said that military action alone was not the solution to the crisis there. “A suitable solution is needed.” Qatar calls on the government of Mali, the African Union, the countries neighbouring Mali and the United Nations to play a direct role in finding a peaceful and lasting solution to the imbroglio in Mali.

When the President of Mali called on the Emir H H Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani here recently, the latter had told him that if Qatar was asked to play a role in the peace-restoration process it was willing to be part of the solution, the PM said.

The PM said Qatar sends aid on humanitarian grounds to countries around the world that suffer due to natural calamities or other reasons. 

Responding to questions about Syria, the premier likened the situation there to the World War II. “The bloodshed there and the devastations sadly remind us of the World War II in Europe,” he said.

Asked why Syrians were not being empowered so they could resist the regime that was perpetrating violence on them, the PM said the international community should take the responsibility for that due to differences among them.The Peninsula