Arab World Conflicts Catalyze Discussions in Doha
Politicians, analysts and diplomats from more than 50 countries have gathered in Doha to discuss the Arab world’s struggles and possible solutions as conflicts grip several countries in the region.
Sheikh Hamad bin Thamer Al Thani, Chairman of Al Jazeera Media Network, launched the 10th Al Jazeera Forum, “Regional and International Struggles in the Middle East,” a two-day event which concludes today.
“There is no doubt that this region is affected by developments on the global arena,” he said, and the dialogue from the events “should help determine a clearer picture and a more comprehensive vision that answers many of the questions regarding how to end these crises.”
In a keynote speech, Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani said that the region’s instability can be traced back to six decades of Israeli occupation in Palestine.
He said there was an “absence of any real international efforts to put an end to such an occupation, despite Israel’s violation of the international resolutions, laws and practices,” as he called for a sovereign Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders.
Qatar’s foreign minister also laid blame on the international community for failing to stop five years of bloodshed in Syria.
A solution is urgently needed “to save Syria from fragmentation with its serious repercussions on the Syrian state, community and entire region,” he said.
On the subject of rising Islamophobia across the world as Islam is equated with “terrorism,” he said that this phenomenon would hurt international relations.
“Deep-rooted hatred towards Muslims and discrimination poses challenges for the entire world and threatens the stability of international relations” between Muslim-majority countries and others, the foreign minister said.
The fighting in Yemen, which began one year ago and intensified with the start of Operation Decisive Storm, was also discussed during the opening session. Saudi Arabia and its allies launched air raids in March 2015 against the mostly Shia Houthi rebels who control large parts of Yemen. Saudi Arabia fears the Houthis will give its regional rival, Iran, a foothold on the Arabian Peninsula.
Yemen Foreign Minister Abdel-Malek al-Mekhlafi said what began as a political dilemma in Yemen had been transformed into a sectarian conflict as a result of several variables, and that “interference” from countries such as Iran exacerbate the situation.
In his view, “the Arab alliance and the strength of the Yemeni people will cause the Houthi illusion to fade away,” he said, adding that he hoped similar intervention could help in the push for peace in other Arab nations, especially Syria.
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