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Monday, October 26, 2020

‘Normalisation can’t be the answer’: Qatar says illegal occupation of Palestine must end

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Qatar reaffirms its strict position on establishing peace, says illegal occupation of Palestine must end.

As ministers from the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain attend a ceremony in Washington to celebrate American brokered deals that see both Gulf countries normalise relations with Israel, a senior Qatari diplomat has made clear that Doha will not be following suit.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Assistant Foreign Minister Lolwah Al-khater stated that the country will not establish ties with Israel until it ends the illegal occupation of Palestinian land.

“We don’t think that normalisation was the core of this conflict and hence it can’t be the answer,” said Al-Khater. “The core of this conflict is about the drastic conditions that the Palestinians are living under” as a “people without a country, living under occupation.”

Her statement came just hours ahead of the ceremony taking place in Washington marking the UAE and Bahrain’s official normalisation with Israel. The deals which have been widely critcised both in the Arab world and further afield will see the two absolute monarchies establish full diplomatic, commercial and security relations with Israel without Tel-Aviv making any commitment to end its decades old occupation or end the ongoing siege of Gaza.

Read also: US official claims Qatar blockade to end ‘in weeks’

In her interview, Al-Khater also suggested potential progress, albeit minimal, towards ending the three-year-long Gulf crisis.

“In the past couple of months, there have been messages and messengers going back and forth,” she said. “It’s very early to talk about a real breakthrough.”

She added that the next few weeks might exhibit changes as there have been negotiations and discussions in hopes of ending the divide between the countries. However, she insisted on not mentioning the countries involved in the said discussions.

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