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Qatar rules out normalising relations with Israel, Syria

February 3, 2022 at 8:24 am

Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani in Doha [KARIM JAAFAR/AFP via Getty Images]

Qatari Foreign Minister, Muhammad Bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, has ruled out the prospect of his country normalising relations with Israel or Syria.

In an interview with Axios news site, the top Qatari official explained that his country had previously maintained relations with Israel “when there were prospects for peace” with the Palestinians, but Doha had “lost hope” after the 2008-2009 war on Gaza.

He said Qatar continues its “working relationship” to help the Palestinian people, but that it’s difficult to envision joining the Abraham Accords “in the absence of a real commitment to a two-state solution”.

Qatar has in recent years engaged with Israel to deliver aid to Gaza, with the previous Israeli government approving Qatar’s transfer of hundreds of millions of dollars to Palestinians in dire need as part of efforts to maintain peace.

With regards to Syria, the minister said the circumstances that had led to suspending the Syrian regime’s membership in the Arab League have not changed despite warming relations between Damascus and Arab countries such as the UAEJordan and Egypt.

Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, Al Thani explained, should not be rewarded for his continuous attacks on his people.

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