Qatar-Turkey talks to bolster ties: Envoy

Underlining the importance of visit of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Qatar’s Ambassador to Turkey Salem bin Mubarak Al Shafi, said several important political, economic and security issues will be covered by the Qatar-Turkey Supreme Strategic Committee.
In an interview with The Peninsula, Ambassador Salem bin Mubarak Al Shafi said that both countries desire to further raise their economic and defense relations to the level of political relations, which are at excellent level.
This is the common desire of two states, he added. “We have achieved significant progress in this regard during the past few years, but still we look forward to see further specially under the increasing challenges at regional and global levels,” he said.
The meeting of the Qatar-Turkey Supreme Strategic Committee under the leadership of the two countries will discuss the most important bilateral issues covering political, economic and security relations.
In addition to exchanging views on regional and international issues of common concerns, the ways to enhance cooperation and coordination will be discussed in the meeting, Ambassador Salem stressed.
He said that the two countries during the two previous sessions of the Supreme Strategic Committee signed some 30 agreements and Memoranda of Understanding and protocols which include several fields including political, economy, security, education, banking sector, finance, business, media and tourism.
“Of course, most of these agreements have entered into force even those which were singed one year ago. We were working for the past several months with our Turkish brothers on the preparation for signing more agreements and they are ready for signing today,” Ambassador Salem said.
However, he said, what is most important for us is not the number of the agreements we have signed but the commitment to develop the bilateral works to the benefit of the two governments and the people of our countries by the end of the day.
Ambassador Al Shafi pointed out that the two countries are conducting regular assessment for implementation of these agreements in order to maximise the benefit of the implementation of these agreements.
“Our political relations are distinguished and we seek to develop the economic and defense relations to reach to the same level. This is common desire of both countries and we have achieved a progress in this regard during last few years. We seek to achieve more in the light of challenges on the regional and international level.”
He said the situation in the region requires more cooperation and we have succeeded to convert some of these challenges into enhanced economical and commercial relations between Qatar and Turkey.
“We think that the Turkey’s position during the ongoing crisis is on logical position from the political side but it is also based on humanitarian side of justice. They have fulfilled their commitments to the strategic agreements which we signed with them in the past years and in the same time they have done diplomatic efforts to solve the crisis through dialogue.”
He said that the dialogue is the right path to resolve differences but the intolerance of siege countries has blinded them.
He said that military and defense relations between two countries are governed by a legal framework and it is like our relation with other countries according to bilateral agreements. “The Turkish military base comes in this framework and it is not exceptional when compared to the US base or other military bases in some siege countries.”
“We think that their problem with the Turkish military base is that it plays a role of achieving security and stability in the region and it is not for any hostile actions,” the ambassador said, adding siege countries were trying to spoil Qatar-Turkey relations.
He said that siege countries know very well that the Turkish military base is not against them but their problem is that it has failed their conspiracy which they prepared against Qatar.
“Their negative reaction on the Turkish base shows that they were preparing something bad against Qatar and we succeeded to foil their plans, hence the region avoided another war,” he added.
He said that GCC has become inactive since the beginning of the crisis. “The occurrence of the crisis itself indicates that they (siege countries) breached rules and regulations of GCC. They could have found a solution under the framework of GCC but they preferred to go beyond it. Perhaps they failed to get approval from other member countries.”
Today, the ambassador said, GCC has become inactive because of them and there are fears that it may disintegrate or turn into an entity like Arab League. “The worst thing is that they used GCC General Secretary as a tool. And he is behaving as foreign ministry spokesman of some blockading countries showing their miserable condition.”
“We are keen to ensure that the GCC remains intact and its role and mechanisms are strengthened as this is the last hope for collective action in the region.”
He said that the crisis brought big challenges for us as Qatari people and on our country. “The crisis is based on treachery and deceit. It is tantamount to stabbing in our back. But it created big opportunity and taught us how we should be self-reliant, revisit our options and go ahead with our real friends and responsible partners. I believe that the suffering caused by this crisis will make us stronger in the future and gain more confidence as a state and community.”
“Certainly, our moral victory is first before anything else as everyone knows about the success of Qatari diplomacy in this crisis. We faced crisis, their escalating and provocative policies with wisdom. We believe that this helped us winning the trust of the international community.”
He noted almost every country of the world except siege countries and those do not have any role in the international politics are standing with us. “They supported us and our stance. We are very keen to make success for all efforts aimed at ending the crisis and we also feel mutual concerns in the officials of brotherly and friendly countries. But, the ball is now in the court of blockading countries if they decide to rectify their mistakes we will be available and our hands are always extended for talks.



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