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Friday, August 6, 2021

Top US security official says he hopes air-blockade on Qatar will be lifted ‘in the next 70 days’

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More discussions on the illegal blockade as well as calls for fighting for Palestinian rights—here are some of the key topics from the first session of the Global Security Forum held in Doha.

US National Security Advisor, Robert O’Brien, expressed his hope that Saudi and Bahraini air space will be opened for Qatar Airways flights within the next “70 days”, in a statement made during the first session of the Global Security Forum held in Doha on Monday.

“We felt that solving the air link issue, where Qatar Airways is able to fly over Saudi and Bahraini airspace is an important first step in solving that rift. I would like to see that done before, if we end up leaving the office, the next 70 days,” he said.

O’Brien added that resolving the crisis serves America’s interest and that it will bring “real economic opportunities across the Middle East”.

“There is no winner out of this crisis and all of us are losing,” he added.

His statement comes amid ongoing talks of resolving the three-year-long Gulf crisis, a goal that the Trump Administration had been aiming to achieve prior to the elections. This was part of what many analysts described as “pre-election wins”, as Donald Trump attempted to showcase his involvement in the Middle East as a “peacemaker”; efforts which also included the so-called peace agreements signed by the UAE, Bahrain and, more recently, Sudan with Israel which saw the Arab trio normalise relations with the occupying state of Zionist state.

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

Commenting on normalising with Israel, Qatar’s Foreign Minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, told the Forum that establishing ties with the occupying state undermine Palestinian statehood.

“I think it’s better to have a united (Arab) front to put the interests of the Palestinians (first) to end the (Israeli) occupation,” he said.

Al-Thani added that Qatar, which did not normalise with Israel, supports a two-state solution with Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine.

While, according to Al-Thani Qatar maintains some relations with Israel on matters concerning the Palestinians, such as humanitarian needs or development projects, the country has ruled out normalising with the occupation until they stop their ongoing violations against the Palestinians’ rights.

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