The need to restore the 2015 nuclear accord was amongst the issues discussed at the panel.
Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani stressed the need to not approach global issues with double standards on Saturday.
He was speaking at the 20th edition of Doha Forum, where he spoke in a joint panel with his Saudi counterpart Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud, the European Union’s High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell, and US Senator Linsdey Graham.
With the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine being high on the Doha Forum’s agenda, Sheikh Mohammed called for the need to equally address the war and regional issues with “the same level of commitment.”
“We have never seen a global response to address those sufferings and we’ve been calling for setting a precedent in the region to address the brutality against the Syrian people, against the Palestinians, or against the Libyans, or against the Iraqis, or against the Afghans,” he said.
Sheikh Mohammed noted that he hopes the situation in Ukraine would serve as a wake up call to address regional issues.
“Without having a proper response globally to these kinds of actions or holding the people who committed those actions accountable, we’re going to see more and more expansion of such a behaviour,” he added.
Echoing the same sentiments, Prince Faisal stressed that the engagement of the global community has been “different”, calling for the need to have more comprehensive dialogue on such matters.
Commenting on the need to end the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Senator Graham said that Russia’s President Vladimir Putin must be held to account.
“I am convinced that if Putin gets away with this, China will take Taiwan much sooner. I’m convinced that if Putin gets away with this, the Iranians are going to be more aggressive not less,” said the US official.
Senator Graham has also called for a “regime change” in Russia, noting that he is not calling for an invasion in the country.
“After Aleppo, after Chechnya, after Ukraine, after killing opposition people, why the hell would we want him to stay? He has been the most destructive force for the last 20 years on the continent of Europe,” he said.
Officials at the panel have tapped into talks aimed at restoring the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Borrell said that negotiators are edging closer to a deal, a positive statement that signals progress in the talks in Vienna, which kicked off in April last year. “We’re reaching an end,” he said.
Western powers from the p4+1, including the UK, France, China, Russia plus Germany, have been holding the indirect talks between Iran and the US to restore the 2015 accord.
Whilst Qatar is not a member of the accord, it has been playing a key mediating role to revive the deal per the request of the US and Iran.
“I think it’s important for us to see some stability in our region and we believe that having an agreement on the nuclear issue is an important issue, but it needs to be followed by regional engagement with Iran to address the regional security issues,” said Sheikh Mohammed.
The Qatari foreign minister said that the only way forward in addressing the issue is through diplomacy whilst paying attention to the concerns of each party.
“We think the JCPOA is an important agreement at least to make sure no nuclear race is happening in our region, but it also would be incomplete if it is not complemented with a regional security engagement with Iran, especially with the GCC and Iran,” he added.
Sheikh Mohammed reiterated that Qatar is not “punching above its weight” as a small state, but rather working on effectively preserving its regional and international stability through dialogue.
“We have never seen a war that ended in a battlefield,” he said.