Qatar stays quiet about “Abraham accord” in talks with Palestinian authorities

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Qatar kept mum on the UAE’s accord with Israel to normalise ties, in a statement after talks Thursday with Palestinian official Saeb Erekat.

Palestinian chief negotiator Erekat and Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani in a phone call “discussed developments in the Palestinian arena”, an official statement said.

Qatar reaffirms firm support for Palestine 

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The minister “reaffirmed Qatar’s firm position in supporting the rights of the brotherly Palestinian people… and the Arab Peace Initiative”.

Read more: UAE-Israel deal is a “Zionist occupation”, must be rejected: Kuwait lawmakers

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The statement made no mention of the accord between Israel and the United Arab Emirates announced by US President Donald Trump on August 13.

Qatar is locked in a diplomatic standoff with the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt, which accuse it of supporting Islamic extremists and conniving with Iran. Doha denies the charges.

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The UAE became the third country after Jordan and Egypt to normalize ties with Israel.

The Doha-based and Qatari-owned Al Jazeera ran a half-hour program on Thursday following the UAE’s announcement, hosting Nabil Shaath, adviser to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on international relations.

“I felt ashamed after the state ruled by the sons of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan, may God have mercy on him, did. What the UAE is doing is a betrayal of Arab decisions and the Arab League,” Shaath told Al Jazeera.

Al Jazeera’s “al-Hasad” program also hosted Kenneth Katzman, a senior analyst of Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Arabian Gulf Affairs at the US Congressional Research Service. Katzman attempted to tie the Emirati decision to normalize ties with Israel with the UAE dispute with Qatar.

Turkey and Qatar have theor own bloc

Turkey and Qatar have signed a tripartite deal with the Libyan government for military cooperation, in a new development set to enhance the government’s defence against the forces of Khalifa Haftar.

The agreement, which was announced by Libya’s Deputy Defence Minister Salam Al-Namroush yesterday, will establish military facilities and training programmes within the country. This cooperation will include Qatar’s funding of military training centres and the establishment of a trilateral coordination centre and Turkish naval base in the city of Misrata. Consultation will also be provided to Libyan government forces as part of the agreement.

The deal was struck after a visit and meetings between Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar, his Qatari counterpart Mohammad Al-Attiyah, and the Libyan Prime Minister Fayez Al-Sarraj and other Libyan ministers yesterday. The representatives of the three countries then discussed a number of issues regarding trilateral relations and defence.

On his arrival in the capital Tripoli, Akar stated that, “We believe that we will achieve the wanted results by supporting our Libyan brothers in their just cause,” during his visit to the capital Tripoli.

On the same day, Tripoli was also visited by German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas who made an unannounced arrival in which he gave a statement saying that he was to meet with officials of the UN-backed government in order to “talk about ways out of this very dangerous situation,” referring to the ongoing conflict within Libya.

Maas said that although there is currently little action on the frontlines between government forces and the forces of Khalifa Haftar, the world must not be deceived by the “deceptive calm” and must find a solution to the conflict.

The military cooperation deal is the latest such development in Turkey and Qatar’s long-time support for the Libyan government throughout Libya’s civil war, in which Haftar has also been backed by international and regional states such as France, Russia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, as well as various mercenary groups deployed by those countries

UAE and Qatar are in dispute

“The UAE and Qatar are in dispute, as the UAE has hindered a solution to this Gulf dispute with Qatar. The agreement with Israel increases the pressure on Qatar and may push the Trump administration to sympathize with the UAE with this dispute,” Katzman said.

Doha has an on-off relationship with Israel, having hosted an Israeli economic interests office from 1996 until 2000.

It is also heavily invested in the Gaza Strip, funding welfare payments to the impoverished coastal territory with Israel’s blessing.

In 2019, Qatar, along with the UN and Egypt, brokered a Gaza truce.

Trump has made it a key goal for Washington’s wealthy Arab allies in the Gulf to cooperate with Israel as part of efforts to help contain Iran.

Read more: Egypt attempts mediation after Israeli bombing of Gaza

But Saudi Arabia has said it will not follow the UAE’s example until Israel has signed a peace deal with the Palestinians.

The Palestinians have condemned the US-brokered agreement as a “betrayal” of their cause.

AFP with additional input by GVS News Desk

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