Abraham Accords won’t bring peace as long as occupation continues: Qatar

Untold India October 14, 2021

DOHA, Qatar: Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman Al Thani on Wednesday ruled out that Arab-Israeli normalization agreements will resolve the Middle East peace crisis. This came during the second day of the Global Security Forum held in the Qatari capital, Doha. Bin Abdul Rahman stressed that regional peace process does not have any horizon and therefore the Abraham Accords between Arab countries and Israel cannot contribute to resolving the crisis. “We do not see any prospects for the peace process, and therefore we believe that the Abraham Agreement (signed by the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan with Israel) cannot contribute to resolving the crisis,” the top diplomat said. “We should not focus on economic normalization and forget the (Israeli) occupation of Arab lands.” Last year, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain signed US-sponsored agreements to normalize relations with Israel. Sudan and Morocco followed suit. The Qatari minister said his country’s relations with the US “extend for decades”. “We have strong relations with various American administrations, and even with the administration of Trump,” he said, adding that the relation between Doha and Washington “is important for security and stability in the Gulf region.” Afghanistan On the situation in Afghanistan, bin Abdul Rahman said his country “has engaged with the Taliban and Washington with the aim of reaching solutions to the situation in Afghanistan.” Doha is a “neutral mediator and has maintained its neutrality and good relations with the various Afghan sides,” he said. “We should not view Afghanistan as an arena for competition, but rather a cooperative approach must be adopted by various international parties.” Regarding the Gulf relations, the Qatari minister said, “there was no winner in the Gulf crisis, but rather we wasted three years, and that the real victory was only when the Al-Ula agreement was signed.” On the Iranian issue, the Qatari foreign minister said that his country “deals with Iran as a neighboring country and is considered a major player in the region”. “It is in our interest that the nuclear agreement with Iran returns to what it was in order to avoid a nuclear race in the region,” he said. Bin Abdul Rahman expressed his optimism about the Iranian-Saudi communication, saying: “We encourage the positive momentum that is taking place between Iran and Saudi Arabia.” On Oct. 4, Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan revealed that Riyadh held a fourth round of direct negotiations with Tehran on Sept. 21, and that the talks were still in their “exploratory” stage. Saudi Arabia and Iran severed diplomatic ties in January 2016 following an attack on the Saudi Embassy in Tehran after Shia cleric Nimr al-Nimr was executed by Saudi authorities. Relations between the two rivals deteriorated further after Iran in September 2016 accused Saudi authorities of deliberately causing the deaths of around 400 Iranian pilgrims in a 2015 stampede in the Muslim holy city of Mecca. The two sides have since been engaged in a strong regional rivalry, often accusing each other of waging a proxy war for regional influence.-AA

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Pakistani premier says sanctioning Taliban would help Daesh/ISIS

Untold India October 13, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan warned Monday that sanctioning the Taliban government would help strengthen Daesh/ISIS in Afghanistan while the Taliban are best positioned to get rid of the terrorist group. In an interview with UK-based online news outlet Middle East Eye aired by state-run Pakistan Television, Khan urged the United States to “pull itself together” and not push Afghanistan toward becoming a haven again for terrorists. “It’s a critical point for understanding that the world must engage with Afghanistan, because if it pushes it away, within the Taliban movement, I would imagine there would be hardliners, and so it can easily go back to the Taliban of 20 years ago, and that would be a disaster,” he warned “What has the US got to show after that 20 years? A stable Afghanistan, government, which can then take on ISIS,” Khan said, using another name for the Daesh/ISIS terror group. “Believe me, the Taliban are the best [ones] to get rid of ISIS.” Speaking on the demand by Western countries that the Taliban respect women’s rights and girls’ rights, especially to education, Khan said they should give the Taliban time, as they have already promised these things. “My contention is that rather than forcing the Taliban to do this and that, they have said that they will give them an education, will allow them to go to jobs [within] the Islamic culture, and don’t push them. “I would imagine that the nature of the people [Taliban] is such that they will push back, and it will be counterproductive,” Khan warned. He reiterated his call for the international community to engage with the new Taliban government, as sanctioning them would bring about a humanitarian crisis in the country. – Attacks inside Pakistan decreased after US withdrawal Khan said terrorist attacks inside his country have decreased after the US withdrawal from Afghanistan. “As the American footprint decreased, so the motivation [of the Pakistani Taliban] went down, [and] now we are trying to talk to those who can be reconciled,” he said. Earlier this month, Khan revealed that his government is in talks with some groups of Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) to persuade them to lay down their arms and become normal citizens of the country. He said the Pakistani Taliban had carried out more than 60,000 attacks and killed over 80,000 people as they thought that Pakistan was an ally of the US, but now his country is no longer an ally of Washington in war. He added that the Afghan Taliban have also assured that the TTP would not be allowed to use Afghan soil for attacks against his country.-AA

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