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Monday, January 24, 2022

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas expected to arrive in Doha on Sunday


The Jerusalem official’s visit comes off the back of stops in Amman and Cairo.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, is scheduled to meet Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani on Monday in Doha following his arrival on Sunday evening.

According to media reports, the two leaders will be discussing Palestine-Qatar relations and the threats posed to Palestinian statehood and independence by the so-called “Deal of the Century”.

Abbas’s visit to the Gulf state, the first this year, comes amid the wave of normalisation deals between Israel and a number of Arab regimes, with Morocco being the latest to to establish diplomatic ties with the Zionist state.

Commenting on Rabat’s latest normalisation deal, senior Palestinian official and Abbas’s adviser Nabil Shaath said that the move came after the country was subjected to “pressure and incentives by the US”, which would “only serve its own goals”.

Recently, Abbas concluded visits to Jordan and Egypt, with his Qatar trip reportedly coming as part of preparations for the International Peace Conference that is going to be held in early 2021.

Read also: Palestinian official: normalisation is part of a ‘manipulative self-serving agenda’

Qatar has affirmed its position vis-a-vis the Palestinian cause which is contrary to that of its neighboring countries the UAE and Bahrain who have normalised with the occupying state of Israel.

In a November statement, Sheikh Tamim said that peace in the Middle East cannot be achieved as long as the illegal occupation of Palestinian land continues and its people are denied the ability to exercise their legitimate rights to self determination.

“Concerning our region, we reaffirm our steadfast position regarding the just Palestinian cause and the legitimate rights of our Palestinian brothers, including the establishment of their independent state on the basis of 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital, and a just solution to the refugees issue, under international legitimacy resolutions,” he said.

Sheikh Tamim added that normalisation with the illegal occupation without a “just solution to the problem of Palestine is a mere illusion”.

More recently, Doha reiterated its stance that it has no intention to normalise anytime soon following reports that an imminent resolution to the GCC crisis may be tied to such a move. Qatar’s Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani stated last week that “the Gulf crisis has nothing to do with the Abraham Accords or any normalisation with Israel”.

In recent months there have been pushes by Qatar and more prominently its ally Turkey to restart inter-Palestinian reconciliation talks, a move that analysts see is imperitive if there is going to be any resistance to the ongoing margianalisation of Palestinian rights in the international arena.

Overall, 88% of Arabs reject normalisation with Israel, according to a regional study by the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies [ACRPS] in Qatar.

“Arab citizens overwhelmingly reject normalisation on the grounds that Israel poses a threat to the region, as well as Israeli policies of land theft and racism – against both Palestinians and Arabs more generally,” ACRPS told Doha News.

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