Emir holds talks with Lavrov

 31 Aug 2017 - 8:29

Emir holds talks with Lavrov
Emir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at the Emiri Diwan yesterday.

Mohammed Osman | The Peninsula

Qatar welcomes all efforts by friendly countries that support the Kuwaiti mediation, and any effort to find a solution to this crisis, which should be unconditional. 

Effort aiming at supporting the mediation process undertaken by Emir of Kuwait H H Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah to resolve the current Gulf crisis are welcomed by Qatar, said Foreign Minister H E Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani reiterating Qatar’s stance. 

Qatar was the only country to respond to the Kuwaiti mediation and the siege countries have adopted the position of no response by ignoring all mediation efforts and proposals with intentions to continue the crisis, said H E Sheikh Mohammed adding that these (siege) countries accuse everyone who encourages dialogue to internationalise the crisis. 

The Foreign Minister underlined that Qatar welcomes the Russian efforts and the Russian position in this direction. H E Sheikh Mohamed was addressing a joint press conference held yesterday at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with visiting Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. 

The Foreign Minister added that the State of Qatar is still firm on its belief that this crisis can only be resolved through a constructive dialogue to settle difference through international obligations of all States and not by dictates or by submitting lists of demands that breach Qatar’s sovereignty or the international law. “Unfortunately, we have seen nothing but the opposite, and it is very clear that the siege countries have so far failed to provide any evidence in this crisis, which was based on a hacking that involved those countries themselves,” the Foreign Minister said. 

The siege countries did not respond to those calls for dialogue and set conditions each time they were invited to talks, he added. He noted: “Today, after three months of the crisis, the problem of the siege countries has become with the Qatari people and not only with the government of Qatar. These countries took illegal actions against the people of Qatar in the month of Ramadan and without justification to initiate these measures.”

Siege countries ignoring all mediation efforts: FM

The Foreign Minister noted that the siege countries, which set the conditions for dialogue, think that dialogue is the main target for Qatar, while the real goal is lifting the unjust and illegal siege on Qatar and find a solution to the crisis that ensures the safety and security of Qatar and all GCC countries.

H E Sheikh Mohamed said that he briefed his Russian counterpart during their talks which he described as “fruitful”, on the Kuwaiti initiative and mediation to resolve the Gulf crisis, and the letters sent by HH the Emir of Kuwait to all the parties, which called for dialogue directly and unconditionally.

For his part the Lavrov, briefed Sheikh Mohammed on the outcome of his visit to Kuwait which is leading the mediation supported by Russia. Qatar’s Foreign Minister noted that the talks also touched upon the Russian position on the Gulf crisis and the need to end it as soon as possible and preserve the unity of the Gulf Cooperation Council and expresses thanks to Russian President Vladimir Putin for his country’s position on this crisis.

During the meeting, the two parties discussed the importance of strengthening the bilateral relations, especially in the fields of energy, increasing trade exchange, economic cooperation and joint investments. The Sheikh Mohamed emphasised that there are common factor between Qatar and Russia as the “organisers of the World Cup 2018 and World Cup 2022”. “There is an ongoing cooperation and dialogue between the two countries regarding the organisation of this World Championship,” he pointed out, expressing confidence that both events will be successful championships. 

The Qatari-Russian cultural year in 2018 was touched during the meeting along Qatar’s aspiration to host more Russian events and to organise more Qatari events in Russia.

Moreover, talks during the meetings also reviewed the outcome of the recent visit of the Minister of State for Defence Affairs to Russia, where it was agreed to promote cooperation in the field of exchanging experience in the defence sector, the Foreign Minister added.

The two parties highlighted the necessity of continuing the political consultations between the two countries, especially with regard to the regional issues, mainly the Palestinian issue and importance of the two-state solution, the peace process, the Palestinian reconciliation and the Russian efforts which are appreciated by the State of Qatar. He stressed Qatar’s support for the Skhirat Agreement and to the national reconciliation government in Libya.

Regarding the political process in Syria, the Foreign Minister stressed Qatar’s position in support of the political transition process that ensures justice to the Syrian people in accordance with the Geneva 1 Declaration, taking into account the importance of preserving the territorial integrity of Syria and the independence of the Syrian state. 

Speaking about the consequences of the siege, Sheikh Mohamed said the siege motivated business sector and led to alternatives and broad options. “We realised that the State of Qatar must be self-reliant on food security and on matters related to its economy.” 

The Foreign Minister affirmed that gas contracts were not affected by the crisis, and this is the biggest proof that Qatar is a reliable partner in supplying the world with energy. 

For his part, Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation, Sergei Lavrov, said that his talks in Doha dealt with the Gulf crisis, the peace process in the Middle East and the situation in Libya, Syria and Iraq. Russia supports the Kuwaiti mediation, and is ready to contribute to any effort to settle the Gulf crisis, Lavrov noted, stressing the need for finding solutions to the Gulf crisis on the basis of reaching consensus and positions acceptable to all, and rejecting the offensive and useless speeches and searching for a compromise. He underlined that Russia is not a mediator in the Gulf crisis, but supports the Kuwaiti mediation, stressing that the solution to the crisis must be reached within the framework of the GCC. He added there are a sufficient number of proposals to the launch a dialogue between all parties in the Gulf crisis.

“Russia is not raising any new ideas different from the Kuwaiti mediation and the US efforts in this regard,” he said, adding that Russia will continue its contact with all parties and said that he will visit Saudi Arabia and Jordan early next month.

“We are grateful to the State of Qatar for its praise of the Russian role in promoting the idea of reducing the escalation in Syria, which will create favourable conditions for the development of political dialogue,” Lavrov said.

He praised the Russian-Qatari relations expressing his country’s desire to develop its economic relations with Qatar and keenness on the continuous coordination in the field of energy and oil, noting that the meeting of the joint committee for economic and technical cooperation between the two sides in Doha last April, together with the renewal of the Russian-Qatari business council will eventually result in supporting economic cooperation between the two countries.