Qatar Received Positive Response from Hamas Regarding General Framework of Agreement on Hostages

Qatar Received Positive Response from Hamas Regarding General Framework of Agreement on Hostages By Fathimath Nasli - February 07, 2024
Qatar Received Positive Response from Hamas Regarding General Framework of Agreement on Hostages

HE the PM and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani at the Joint press conference with HE US Secretary of State Antony Blinken

HE Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani affirmed that the State of Qatar has received a reply from the Hamas movement regarding the general framework of the agreement with regard to hostages, pointing out that the reply includes some comments, but in general it is positive.

In a joint press conference with HE United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday, His Excellency stated that due to the sensitivity of this stage, details cannot be discussed, but this response calls for optimism, and the response has been delivered to the Israeli side.

HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs added that he discussed with the US Secretary of State all the developments, especially the unfortunate escalation witnessed recently, and the implications of this crisis on the security and stability of the region.

He noted that the past few weeks have seen various tensions, in addition to the war on the Gaza Strip, which extended from the borders of the Strip and Palestinian territories to surrounding countries in the region, such as Jordan, Lebanon, Yemen, Iraq, Syria, and also in the Red Sea.

His Excellency expressed his condolences to HE Antony Blinken on the death of American soldiers from the coalition forces, emphasizing that Qatar cannot accept such actions and interference with the work of the coalition in the region.

His Excellency added, "Since the first day of confrontations, we have warned against the threats and the dangers of expansion of these confrontations, notably that the region witnesses long-term and longstanding conflict.

Unfortunately, these have become a reality, and it adds to the complexities it adds to the complexity to the negotiations." His Excellency called on all parties to exercise maximum restraint, prioritize wisdom, avoid escalation, refrain from making decisions that could lead to further bloodshed, and maintain the safety of civilians and commercial navigation freedom.

His Excellency pointed out that the war has claimed more than 27,000 lives in the Gaza Strip to date, leaving over 66,000 injured, most of whom are women and children. His Excellency called on the international community to take responsibility for imposing an immediate ceasefire, emphasizing that it is time for a firm international stance against this destructive war and against any action that could escalate violence further.

In the press conference, HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani pointed out that defunding the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)will have catastrophic repercussions because more than 6 million Palestinians will not receive humanitarian and relief assistance.

His Excellency emphasized Qatar's belief in the importance of the United Nations and the significance of UNRWA and its role, stressing the need to distinguish between the agency as a UN institution with established values and traditions and the allegations affecting some of its employees under investigation.

He pointed out that it's unjust to punish an entire humanitarian agency because of accusations against some of its staff, especially considering the suffering caused by UNRWA's financial shortages over the past years and the concerns about worsening humanitarian conditions due to further funding cuts.

HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs stated that based on its social responsibility towards the Palestinian people, Qatar affirms its continued efforts to evacuate the sick and wounded from the Gaza Strip and to provide humanitarian aid to its residents, adding that the Qatari mediation efforts with regional and international partners have resulted in an agreement to deliver medications to civilians in Gaza, especially in the most affected areas and those who are stuck in the strip.

His Excellency added that based on the directives of HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, 75 Qatari military aircraft have been sent so far, loaded with more than 2,000 tons of aid, including shelter supplies, food, medical supplies, and two field hospitals, adding that in cooperation with the partners in the United Kingdom, France, Italy, and the Christian churches steering committee, more than 600 Palestinians have been evacuated from the Gaza Strip, including about 200 patients and injured individuals, to receive treatment in Doha in fulfillment of Qatar's commitment to providing treatment for 1,500 Palestinians injured in the war, as well as providing care for 3,000 children who lost their parents in the Gaza Strip as a result of the war.

His Excellency added, "At this point, all the efforts to de-escalate and after four months of the confrontations, we have all been unable to stop bloodshed and violence. The hospitals are still being targeted, schools are being bombarded, and refugees are being killed while moving for the first, second, and third time." During the joint press conference with HE Secretary of State of the United States Antony Blinken, HE Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani praised the continuous cooperation with the United States in this crisis in all its security, political, and humanitarian dimensions, hoping that the ongoing efforts for the past four months will lead to a ceasefire, contributing to a comprehensive and fair settlement to stop the bloodshed and enhance security and stability in the region.

His Excellency also expressed his thanks and appreciation for the American efforts in this direction, and to the international partners in the United Nations, Egypt, France, Italy, and the United Kingdom for their cooperation with Qatar in various humanitarian and relief fields to alleviate the severity of the humanitarian crisis.

HE US Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressed his gratitude and appreciation for the efforts made by the State of Qatar, saying, "In these efforts, we're very fortunate to have Qatar as a partner."

In the joint press conference with HE Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani, HE the US Secretary of State said, "We've had constant engagement at the highest levels of our respective governments going back many, many weeks now – months – with an intense focus on securing the release of hostages and getting an extended pause to help address the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza."

He added, " We saw the results of the last pause – the initial pause: 105 hostages out, a significant increase in humanitarian assistance getting in, the repair of critical infrastructure in Gaza, and more broadly, reduced regional tensions at the same time." Blinken pointed out, "So together with Qatar and Egypt, we put forward, as you know, a serious proposal that was aimed at not simply repeating the previous agreement but expanding it.

As the prime minister just said, Hamas responded tonight. We're reviewing that response now, and I'll be discussing it with the Government of Israel tomorrow. There's still a lot of work to be done, but we continue to believe that an agreement is possible and, indeed, essential. And we will continue to work relentlessly to achieve it."

He added that meetings were held in Doha, Cairo, and Riyadh, focusing primarily on ensuring that any ceasefire would support the post-war reconstruction plan in Gaza, addressing security, reconstruction, governance, and other aspects. US Secretary of State added, "We're also determined to use any pause to continue to pave a diplomatic path forward to a just and lasting peace and security for the region."

During the press conference, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken reiterated that the United States would continue to use all available means to reach an extended ceasefire. He emphasized that the US is committed to using any ceasefire to continue building on the diplomatic track and to progress toward a fair and lasting peace.

He further added that he would spare no effort in discussing the framework agreement with Israel to reach an extended pause in Gaza, release hostages, deliver aid, and restore calm to civilians in the Gaza Strip.

Source : QNA

By Fathimath Nasli - February 07, 2024

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