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
The minister “reaffirmed Qatar’s firm position in supporting the rights of the brotherly Palestinian people… and the Arab Peace Initiative”.
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.
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
Thread on opposition to the UAE-Israel deal from sections in the Persian Gulf's Arab countries.
None of these positions will be able to reverse the trend toward GCC-Israel normalization.(Except in Kuwait, for a variety of reasons, and Qatar, for another set of interim reasons.) https://t.co/80Zf4rA9Zw
— Arash Azizi (@arash_tehran) August 16, 2020
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.
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