British Members of Parliament have discussed relations between Britain and Qatar at the request of a Conservative MP. Sir David Amess, the MP for Southend West, explained that he had called for a parliamentary debate in the light of the continuing Gulf crisis and the close economic and political relations between Qatar and Britain.
According to Minister of State for the Middle East and North Africa, Alistair Burt MP, the British government still supports Kuwaiti mediation efforts to resolve differences between Qatar and its Gulf neighbours. Burt added that the Gulf States must come up with a formula to ease tensions.
“We have always said that demands [made] of Qatar should be measured and realistic, and we encourage those involved in the dispute to take that into account,” added the Minister. “There is a need for all sides to maintain dialogue and to find a resolution that everyone can support. Gulf states need to find a way of de-escalating the situation and lifting the current embargo and restrictions.” Burt also suggested that having “close ties” with Israel “makes Qatar a possible candidate to be a negotiator for peace between the Palestinian people and the Israelis.”
During the debate, Sir David Amess stressed the importance of Britain’s relations with Qatar as an important economic partner. “Such is the degree of Qatar’s UK interests,” he pointed out, “it was reported in March last year that Qataris own more of our capital than the Mayor of London’s office, and own a staggering three times more than Her Majesty the Queen. That is quite astonishing.”