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Emir of Qatar calls for Arab League to discuss Palestinian reconciliation

February 15, 2014 at 1:27 pm

The Emir of Qatar has told the Arab League that it should hold a special meeting in Cairo to discuss Palestinian reconciliation. Shaikh Hamad bin-Khalifa al-Thani is hosting the current meeting of the League in Doha. “The extraordinary meeting,” said Shaikh Hamad, “should be chaired by Egypt and attended by both Fatah and Hamas.”

The agenda of the special meeting, he told Arab League delegates, should be based on the Cairo and Doha Agreements of 2011 and 2012 respectively, the core of which is to form an independent interim Palestinian government whose main task will be to prepare for and oversee elections. If one side or the other does not abide by the outcomes, added Shaikh Hamad, it should be blamed by all for the failure to make progress.

Turning his attention to the Israeli threats to Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Qatari ruler warned of the “massive danger” the site faces. He called for the Arab and Muslim world to take immediate steps to protect their inalienable rights over the Noble Sanctuary. The first, he suggested, could be the reactivation of the Jerusalem Fund with a budget of $1 billion and managed by the Islamic Investment Bank; the sum was agreed in a previous Arab League meeting. Shaikh Hamad offered a £250 million contribution from Qatar.

The Emir is the only Arab leader to have visited the Gaza Strip during the Israeli-led siege. Criticising it, he called for the siege to be lifted completely and for contributions towards the redevelopment of the areas destroyed and damaged by Israel during its last two offensives against Palestinian civilians.