April 23, 2024

Int’l community must shoulder responsibility towards Gaza: Official

The international community must shoulder its responsibility towards the crisis in the Gaza Strip, especially after the UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution calling for immediate ceasefire, according to official spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Dr Majed bin Mohammed Al Ansari.

During the ministry’s weekly media briefing, Dr Al Ansari welcomed the resolution and any UN, regional or international diplomatic initiative that puts an end to the horrific conflict and helps in the negotiation process.

He expressed hope that resolution would expedite end of the conflict, be useful on the diplomatic front, and have a positive impact on the negotiations.

He underlined the importance of the partners interacting with the resolution, relying primarily on negotiations, especially since it represents a positive pressure tool to reach an agreement. The Qatari efforts are continuing, mediation with the partners is ongoing, and negotiations and meetings have not stopped, he added.

International diplomatic efforts are complementary to each other, and the resolution by itself confirms the position of the international community on the issue, and represents a tool for diplomatic pressure, Dr Al Ansari pointed out. He said that it is not a quick field measure, but rather there is a case before the International Criminal Court, a UNSC resolution, and UNGA resolutions. These efforts are important in dealing with the Palestinian issue, as conflicts can only be dealt with through diplomatic efforts and negotiations, which is Qatar’s permanent position, he stressed.

Regarding the withdrawal of one of the delegations from the ongoing negotiations in Doha regarding Gaza, Dr Al Ansari affirmed that the meetings are in full swing and have not been interrupted, the negotiations are continuing, and the discussions are ongoing, pointing that the entry and exit of delegations and their return to their capitals to reach certain agreements is normal and a natural move in such negotiations.

During the negotiation process, there are new and updated ideas, responses from the parties, and re-presentation of ideas and initiatives, he noted.

As for the Qatari support for UNRWA, Dr Al Ansari stressed that there is no alternative to it, not only in Gaza, but in all areas of its presence (Jordan, Lebanon, the West Bank and Gaza), especially since the need now is urgent.

He added that the international community cannot come up with an alternative to it if funding for it is withheld or if it is canceled or dismantled.

Qatar has increased its funding and is committed to supporting UNRWA, out of belief in the role of this organisation in providing services to the Palestinians in the occupied territories.

On the sea corridor initiative to bring aid into Gaza, Dr Al Ansari explained that it is not an alternative to land corridors and other channels for bringing aid in. None of the channels is preferred over another, he said, explaining that one form of bringing aid will not be sufficient in light of the catastrophic humanitarian situation there.

The corridor was established specifically to bring in aid and is purely humanitarian and has no other role, he stressed.

On the Sudan affair, Dr Al Ansari explained that since the first day, Qatar has been a supporter of the “Jeddah Platform” and it supports its outputs and the efforts of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in this regard. Qatar maintains its position supporting the return of talks through Jeddah platform, he said, adding that humanitarian situation in Sudan has reached a dangerous stage. Reports raise concern not only at the state of the conflict, but at the level of the general humanitarian situation, he said, affirming that Qatari humanitarian effort has been intensified in recent weeks.

Dr Al Ansari called on the international community to pay attention to the Sudanese issue and not neglect it in the context of multiple regional and international tragedies.

He touched on the efforts of the ministry and its officials, their meetings and participation in regional and international events, including Qatar’s issuance of a statement welcoming the long-awaited UNSC resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza during the month of Ramadan.

He said that Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani participated in a meeting of foreign ministers from six Arab countries and US, held in Cairo, to discuss the latest developments in the region, and to emphasize the common Arab position on the necessity of a ceasefire, the delivery of aid, and reducing the escalation in the region. Prior to that, the PM participated in a coordination meeting of the six Arab countries to unify positions, which comes within the framework of continuous and permanent coordination between the Arab countries, he said.

Dr Al Ansari pointed to the visit of Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths to Doha, and his meeting with the Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, and with Minister of State for International Cooperation HE Lolwah bint Rashid Al Khater, within the framework of discussing the delivery of aid to the Gaza Strip, and developments in the humanitarian situation there.

He added that in continuation of the humanitarian air bridge to the Gaza Strip, Minister of State for International Cooperation HE Lolwah bint Rashid Al Khater, heading a Qatari delegation, will arrive in the Egyptian city of Al-Arish on board an aircraft carrying 20 tonnes of humanitarian aid and food supplies to the Gaza Strip later on Tuesday. This brings the total number of aircraft to 87 aircraft that secured the transport of 2,600 tonnes of aid, he said adding that she will also visit the Qatari warehouses for reconstruction in Gaza.

As for the Qatari aid to Sudan, Dr Al Ansari stated that the third aircraft, in the air bridge, arrived in the city of Port Sudan, carrying 40 tonnes of aid, bringing the total number of planes to 16, planes delivered 1,966 tonnes of humanitarian aid.

He also highlighted the success of Qatar’s mediation in reuniting a new batch of children with their families as part of its efforts to reunite families separated due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

He explained that the Embassy of the State of Qatar in Moscow hosted the children and facilitated their safe departure to Ukraine, while representatives of the State of Qatar facilitated the safe departure of children from Ukraine to Russia via Belarus, bringing the total of those brought together by the State of Qatar with their families to 29 children.