No foreign policy change: FM

 11 Mar 2014 - 2:19


Foreign Minister H E Dr Khalid bin Mohamed Al Attiyah speaking at the Paris Institute of Political Studies yesterday.

DOHA: The recent recall of ambassadors from Qatar by three GCC countries — Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain — was not related to internal security of the Gulf region and the move will not stop Qatar from pursuing an independent foreign policy, Foreign Minister H E Dr Khalid bin Mohamed Al Attiyah said yesterday.
In his keynote address at the Paris Institute of Political Studies, Al Attiyah reaffirmed that Qatar will continue to play a significant role in the world and “it has chosen not to remain on the fringe of history.”
“The independence of Qatar’s foreign policy is simply non-negotiable and, therefore, I strongly believe that the recent statements made by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain have no relationship whatsoever with the internal security of the GCC countries, but they are related to clear differences in views on international issues,” said the Foreign 
“Our principles and values have not changed over time and Qatar takes its decisions (independently) and follow a path of its own…We regret these recent statements, but we reserve the right to have own views and our own decisions,” said the Foreign Minister.
He said Qatar did not share the “axis mentality” prevailing in the Middle East in which parties choose to join one or the other camp.
The second basic principle of Qatar’s foreign policy was its commitment to supporting the right of peoples to self-determination and aspirations for justice and freedom. In this context, everyone should understand Qatar’s support to the emerging democracies that evolved after the Arab Spring, said Al Attiyah.
On Qatar’s role in the world, the Foreign Minister said, “Qatar has chosen not to remain on the fringe of history, and decided to play a significant role in world affairs, communicate with other countries,  mediate to settle disputes, work to halt fierce conflicts and care for refugees.”
Al Attiyah termed Qatari-French relations as close, strategic and long-term. 
The attention Qatar enjoys in France should be seen in the context of mutual gratitude, shared values and similar outlook about life, he told of government officials and students and staff of the institute.
He said Qatar’s investment in France was based on its full confidence in the French economy and the people. 
More than 100 French companies are operating in Qatar and more than 4,000 French citizens consider Doha their home. France’s exports to Qatar has reached nearly $1.5bn, he said. THE PENINSULA