H.H. Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabr Al-Thani Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs
the US-Islamic World Forum
14 February 2010
H. H. Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Emir of the State of Qatar,|
H.E. Hilary Clinton,
Ladies and gentlemen,
How would we draw the features of the next phase of the relations between America and the Islamic World? In the light of the present reality, the picture is not bright. The question is can we succeed in changing this picture?
The following are a number of factors to be considered in any realistic approach of analyzing the situation:
* America and the Islamic countries have a lot of joint work to do to overcome the accumulated mistakes of the previous era. These mistakes were made by both parties and cannot be blamed on one side. In this effort we should acknowledge the importance of these faults and of eliminating the misunderstanding, instead of exchanging the blame and accusations.
* In his speeches on the relations between the United States of America and the Islamic world President Obama has set the basis of these relations as being common interests and mutual respect rather than exclusion or rivalry.
* In this respect, I would like to thank President Obama for the message he sent to the Forum. That message is considered to be the most recent confirmation of his position regarding the basis of the American relations with the governments and peoples of the Islamic world. I also thank him for appointing Mr. Rashad Hussein as his special representative at the Organization of Islamic Conference to enhance this partnership and cooperation which have started in the field of educational, economic, science, technology and health fields.
? What is required then of the two parties is to share the responsibility of establishing a real and effective partnership.
* This responsibility is not confined to the settlement of the conflicts in the Islamic world. We have also to cooperate in order to achieve political and democratic reforms; enhance economic and social development; control extremism, terrorism and discrimination based on religion and race, which are available at both ends; and promote the culture of dialogue to confirm that civilization is the outcome of shared contributions, and that we share the same destiny.
* In fact, it is improbable to realize these goals unless we overcome the biggest challenge confronting us, which is our inability to settle the Palestinian cause, which is considered the central issue in the Islamic world, and the conflict in the Middle East.
* What we notice so far, is the failure to launch the peace process on its right track despite the good offices of Mr. Mitchell due to the stances of the Israeli government, particularly the continuation of settlement policy and setting new conditions aimed to fragmenting the process of reaching a comprehensive solution which should be based on the principle of "Land for Peace".
* What we have noticed too is the lack of action on the part of the international community to stop the continuous sufferings caused by the hideous disproportionate Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people in Gaza strip without any political or moral justification. I have to say frankly, all of us should seriously consider upholding our political and moral responsibilities to end this dire humanitarian situation as quickly as possible by supporting and facilitating the reconstruction process if we really mean what we claim with regard to the oneness of humanity, shared destiny, common interests and mutual respect as viable basis for healthy relations.
* No doubt that the situation in this cause is intertwined and the only solution is the establishment of two states as it achieves justice for all parties in accordance with the international legitimacy. This solution has been confirmed by president Obama in his speech at the UN General Assembly meeting last July, and was reconfirmed by his said message to the Forum, besides his confirmation at the United Nations of the resolve of the United States of America to bring about peace between Israel on one side and each of Lebanon, Syria and the rest of the Arab countries on the other.
* All parties are required to adopt new and brave approaches to honor their respective share of the responsibilities, as follows:
- The American responsibility in balancing its interests with Israel on one side, and we understand that, and with the Islamic world on the other side.
- The Palestinian responsibility in clearing the atmosphere and achieving Palestinian reconciliation.
- The responsibility of the official Arab parties in providing effective assistance to create a conductive climate for effective resumption of the peace process. Conducting a meeting between all parties for the sake of reaching to an agreement.
I am fully aware that political resolutions that should be adopted by policy-makers are practically not easy, but they are also not impossible either if we are determined to achieve constructive development in service of the common interests of the United States of America and the Islamic world.
Thank you very much and hope that the forum will reach to a solution of what is called a difference between America and the Islamic World.