During the meeting, the Qatari ambassador reiterated his country’s position on various regional topics, especially with regards to the Palestinian cause.
Qatar’s Permanent Representative to the Arab League Ambassador Salem Mubarak Al Shafi handed over the regional organisation’s presidency to his Kuwaiti counterpart on Tuesday.
The league will now be headed by Kuwait’s Ambassador Ahmad Abdul Rahman Al Baker and comes just days ahead of a foreign minister level meeting set to take place on Thursday.
Ambassador Al Shafi said Arab countries are witnessing swift developments that are in turn triggering serious issues for the region, especially with regards to Palestine.
The Qatari diplomat stressed that the Palestinian cause maintains its position on the list of priorities for Arab nations, noting its important status and symbolism among people across the region.
In a speech before handing over the presidency, the Qatari ambassador highlighted Doha’s position on the issue and its constant support to the rights of the Palestinians, especially their right to self-determination and the establishment of an independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital.
This “in accordance with the resolutions of international legitimacy and the Arab Peace Initiative and the foundations on which it was based, foremost of which is the two-state solution,” according to Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
On May 11, the Qatar chaired an “extraordinary” Arab League Council meeting on Palestine’s request to discuss Israel’s crimes in Jerusalem, Islamic and Christian sanctities, and violent attacks on worshippers.
The meeting came amid an urgent need for international action to bring to an end deliberate Israeli attacks on Palestinians protesting the forced evictions of the indigenous people of Sheikh Jarrah, a key point of entry in Jerusalem.
The meeting also focused on Israel’s violations of international law, including ethnic cleansing of Jerusalem’s Palestinian Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood, seizing homes and displacing indigenous Palestinians, the ambassador added.
The Qatari official noted his country’s support through the allocation of $500 million in May to help with the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip.
Doha will continue to pledge to support the Palestinian people until they obtain all their rights, he added.
“Al Shafi reiterated Qatar’s firm position regarding the unity, sovereignty, and stability of Yemen, adding that that was why Yemeni parties must engage in a dialogue based on the outcomes of the national dialogue, the GCC initiative, and UN Resolutions, especially resolution no. 2216 in order to realise the aspirations of the Yemeni people for security, stability, and unity,” MoFA added.
During the meeting, officials also discussed the ongoing situation in Syria, which is facing a humanitarian crisis amid recent escalations.
The international community should urgently push for a political resolution to prevent further bloodshed in the war-torn country, especially amid humanitarian, moral and legal crises, he noted.
Al Shafi pointed out that a political resolution should provide justice and freedom to Syrians while achieving unity and sovereignty in the country, according to the statement of the Geneva 1 conference on Syria and related UN resolutions.
Officials also reviewed developments in Lebanon, Somalia and Libya.
Regarding the situation in Libya, the Qatari official echoed the state’s commitment to maintaining sovereignty, stability, and unity in the country, adding that Qatar welcomes any Arab, regional, and international effort that could potentially lead to general elections in December, in order to enhance stability in Libya.
As for Somalia, he said that Qatar’s position remains on respecting the sovereignty and unity of the country, noting that the Gulf state “will continue to support the government and the people of Somalia in realising their hopes and aspirations of building their country and guaranteeing a prosperous future for the coming generations.”
The meeting also focused on “showing solidarity with the Lebanese Republic, navigation security and energy supplies in the Arabian Gulf region,” MoFA stated.
The agenda of the Arab League meeting on Thursday includes “articles related to supporting development and peace in Sudan, Somalia, and Comoros. It will also touch on enhancing cooperation between Arab countries, and their African and European counterparts.”