DOHA: The Emir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani yesterday welcomed all GCC leaders to a summit to be held in Doha next month, saying that strengthening relations with other GCC states was on the top of Qatar’s foreign policy priorities.
He expressed the hope that the summit would produce decisions that meet the aspirations of GCC citizens.
The Emir yesterday opened the 43rd ordinary session of the Advisory Council in the presence of the Father Emir H H Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani at the premises of the Council.
In his opening address, the Emir said, “Regarding our foreign relations, the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf remains the main regional home. Supporting it and strengthening our relations with all its sisterly countries, and deepening the bonds of fraternity among us, come at the forefront of our foreign policy priorities.”
“In this context, we welcome our brothers, the GCC leaders, at their summit due to be hosted by Qatar next month, hoping that this summit would come out with decisions that meet and achieve the aspirations and ambitions of our peoples in the Gulf, and contribute to achieving and supporting security and stability in the region,” he added.
The opening ceremony was attended by the Prime Minister and Interior Minister H E Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, Chief of the Emiri Diwan H E Sheikh Abdullah bin Hamad Al Thani, the Special Representative of the Emir Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani and H H Sheikh Abdullah bin Khalifa Al Thani.
The Emir said that the Arab region was “passing through a dangerous stage where there are concurring crises in many countries of the region, foremost among which are the failure of the peace negotiations to solve the Palestinians issue, the continuation of occupation and settlement policy in Jerusalem and the West Bank, and the siege on Gaza.”
He reiterated his view that terrorism can be addressed only by addressing its root causes.
“I have said before that terrorism and extremism cannot be addressed by air strikes. This is true from the military point of view, and also from the political and social aspects. We must get rid of the reasons that contribute to the formation of social environments that incubate extremism, namely, the unprecedented violence perpetrated by the Syrian regime, and practised by some militias in Iraq,” said the Emir.
“Any policy to combat terrorism in Syria and Iraq that does not take this into account is a crisis management policy without a strategy,” he added.
He categorically rejected terrorism and religious radicalism.
“Our stand regarding combating terrorism and taking the life of another without right, and rejecting extremism, first and foremost, emanates from the social and cultural threat that it poses to our society, our religion and our nation. We do not want for ourselves and our children to live under such ideas and practices,” said the Emir.
He expressed deep concern over the security situation in Iraq and called on Iraqis to “achieve national reconciliation and put national interests above the parochial interests and tendencies for revenge in order to achieve stability and preserve the unity and sovereignty of Iraq.”
He appealed to all political forces in Yemen to save the Yemeni people from further division and suffering, and work towards implementation of the national dialogue outputs and the peace and partnership agreement.
“The Yemeni youth took to the streets against the old regime in a clear challenge to armed violence. They have refused sectarian and tribal intolerance, and reflected a bright picture for the future of Yemen, as other young people did in public squares of Arab cities, and in spite of all those who tried to soak the dreams of those young people in blood, still we look up at them as the hope and the future of their homelands and nations,” said Sheikh Tamim.
The Emir called on the international community to exert all efforts to break the deadlock surrounding the Syrian issue and work to reach a political settlement. He reiterated Qatar’s support for the Palestinian struggle to get all their legitimate rights, particularly establishing their independent State with Jerusalem as its capital within the 1967 borders.
He called on all segments of the Syrian society to compromise, put aside their differences, stop the bloodshed, and respect legitimacy to achieve the aspirations of the Libyan people for security and stability.
Lauding the role of the Advisory Council, the Emir said, “Building the State of institutions and law, should have a constitutional and legislative framework, and the Qatar has seen in recent years a major legislative advancement to complete the legislative system necessary for the State institutions to perform their tasks efficiently, and to regulate various aspects of activity in the State,” the Emir said.
“‘While I appreciate your esteemed Council’s big role in this regard and in enriching the legislative work, I wish you all success.”