The Statement of|
HE Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabr Al Thani Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs
al Jazeera TV Channel
(Saturday, 9 April 2011)
HE the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr Al Thani underlined that Qatar is not interfering in the affairs of Yemen .. Noting that the proposed initiative on Yemen is a GCC initiative involving the State of Qatar. The initiative was made at the request of Yemen, where it agreed that the GCC states would draft an initiative to resolve the current situation. He said: "this initiative is a GCC one and not a Qatari initiative", asserting that the State of Qatar respects Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh. |
This came in statements made by HE Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim bin Jabr Al-Thani to Al Jazeera TV Channel on Saturday, saying that the provisions of the GCC initiative were published before his reply to a question by a journalist during his presence in New York. HE the Prime Minister said: "I am really surprised that the topic turned as if there was a Qatari problem or Qatari interference. We respect all countries, especially the Arab countries, and we do not interfere in their affairs, but this initiative was at the request of Yemen to the GCC states, and Qatar is a part of the GCC".
Responding to a question about the comments of one of the leaders of the ruling party in Yemen that the State of Qatar is punishing Yemen for its position regarding Gaza Summit, HE the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister said: "First Gaza Summit was requested by the Yemeni president from HH the Emir", and added: "we do not punish and do not believe in punishment. We deal with Yemen as brothers, and they know perfectly well that Qatar has worked to resolve a number of matters".
HE the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister reiterated that attention should be now focused on resolving the current situation in Yemen peacefully and in a way conducive to the stability of Yemen, saying that this stability is important for all the GCC states.
On whether there was any contact with the Yemeni side to explain the Qatari point of view and inquire about the reason for this confusion between the GCC initiative and the Qatari role, HE the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister said: "I don't want to comment on why this confusion has taken place, but I think there is a misunderstanding, because the initiative is a GCC and not a Qatari one. I do not want to get into an argument not intended to resolve the matter. Rather, we are looking for a solution and not for raising trivial marginal problems".
Regarding how far the GCC initiative has gone, HE the Prime Minister and Minister and Foreign Minister said that the GCC States ambassadors have presented the initiative to the Yemeni President and other opposition parties in Yemen, adding that, "tomorrow we have a meeting in Riyadh to discuss this issue among the GCC countries."
On the statements of the Yemeni President accusing Qatar of interfering in the internal affairs of Yemen, HE the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister said: "I don't understand what interference His Excellency is speaking about. Of course, as I have mentioned now we have to focus on resolving the issue in Yemen, and help Yemen as a brother of all GCC states, noting that there are many issues of common interest and committees that combine Yemen and the GCC.
HE the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister called for putting wrangling aside, saying that, "the Yemeni president and all the brothers in Yemen know that we respect and have high regard for them, and that our ultimate and only goal now is to focus on assisting them resolve this issue if they accept such assistance from the GCC member states".
On the Yemeni position regarding the GCC initiative, as expressed by the Yemeni President, HE Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr Al-Thani said: "if there is a solution, we don't mind. What we care about is to find a solution to this issue".
Regarding the steps that Qatar will take to explain its viewpoint to the Yemeni authorities, HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs said: "I think what I have just said is clear. My position is also clear. The situation in Yemen is difficult, that is why I have no reservations about expressing myself. We have high regard for the Yemeni president; and I think as I have said repeatedly before that we should rather concentrate on resolving the problem than on other counterproductive issues at present".
About how to deal with different reactions coming from Yemen on the GCC initiative, HE the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister said that the meeting to be held tomorrow, Sunday, in Riyadh will discuss all these points, and that, "I cannot give my point of view before the meeting, especially as any word I say will be sensitive to the situation in Yemen, and may be misinterpreted".
HE the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister noted that all efforts are directed to achieve peace in Yemen, calling to wait for the outcome of the meeting of Riyadh.