Middle East

Qatar ruler says seeks to consolidate Gulf reconciliation

Sheikh Tamim opens Qatar’s first elected Shura Council

Ahmed Yousef   | 26.10.2021
Qatar ruler says seeks to consolidate Gulf reconciliation

DOHA, Qatar

Qatar seeks to consolidate its reconciliation with its Gulf neighbors, the country’s ruler said on Tuesday.

"The ties of brotherhood, history, and geography compel us to preserve the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)," Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani addressed in the opening session of Qatar’s first elected Shura Council.

He said Doha was "keen to overcome the dispute in the GCC through dialogue."

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt severed diplomatic and trade relations with Qatar in 2017, accusing Doha of supporting terrorist groups, an accusation vehemently denied by Qatar.

In January 2021, the four countries signed a reconciliation agreement with Qatar during the GCC summit in Saudi Arabia, putting an end to more than three years of the rift.

Afghanistan

On the Afghan issue, Tamim said Qatar is "remembered positively in the context of the Afghan crisis" for its commitment to solving the conflict via "dialogue and mediation instead of wars" -- in reference to his country's mediation efforts between the US and the Taliban movement.

The Taliban regained control of Kabul on Aug. 15 after the previous Western-backed administration collapsed and its officials fled the war-torn country.

Tamim said Qatar has almost completed all preparations and the needed infrastructure to host the FIFA World Cup 2022.

“Qatar has gone through a rapid modernization phase that also meets Qatar's developmental needs,” he noted.

The Qatari ruler said his country completed the formation of an elected legislative institution as stipulated in Qatar's constitution.

On Oct. 2, Qatar held its first elections to elect 30 members of the 45-member Shura Council, while the other 15 were appointed by the emir.

Tamim said Qatar achieved successes in several areas, including food security, noting that Qatar "occupies a prominent position among indicators in the Global Competitiveness Report."

"We are continuing our efforts to achieve Qatar Vision 2030," he said.

*Writing by Ahmed Asmar

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