Sunday, April 10, 2011

Qatar didn’t interfere in Yemen: PM

Sunday, 10 April 2011

DOHA: The Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, H E Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem bin Jabor Al Thani, yesterday said that Qatar is not interfering in the internal affairs of Yemen.

Noting that the proposed initiative on Yemen is a GCC initiative involving the State of Qatar, he said the initiative was taken at the request of Yemen, where it agreed that the GCC states would draft an initiative to resolve the current situation, QNA reported yesterday.

The Premier said: “This initiative is a GCC one and not a Qatari initiative,” asserting that the State of Qatar respects Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

This the Prime Minister said while talking to to Al Jazeera TV Channel yesterday saying that the provisions of the GCC initiative were published before his reply to a question by a journalist during his presence in New York.

The PM said: “I am really surprised that the topic turned, as if there was a Qatari problem or Qatari interference, we respect any country, especially the Arab countries, we do not interfere in their affairs, but this initiative was at the request of Yemen to the GCC states, and Qatar is the part of the Cooperation Council.”

GCC Foreign Ministers will hold an extraordinary meeting at the GCC General Secretariat in Riyadh today to discuss developments in Yemen in light of the GCC initiative put forward for dialogue between the government and the opposition.

The meeting will be chaired by UAE Foreign Minister and Current President of the GCC Ministerial Council Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Meanwhile, Yemen recalled its envoy from Qatar yesterday.

“The ambassador is being withdrawn for consultations,” a Yemen foreign ministry official said.

Responding to a question on the one of leaders in the ruling party in Yemen saying that Qatar is punishing Yemen since the Gaza Summit, the Premier said: “The Gaza Summit was first requested by the Yemeni president from the Emir,” he added.

“We do not punish and we do not believe in punishment, and deal with Yemen as brothers, and they know perfectly well how much Qatar was sought after in a number of matters.”

The Premier expressed his belief that the task now is focused on resolving the current situation in Yemen in a peaceful way that leads to the stability of Yemen, saying that this stability is important for all the GCC states.

And whether there was any contact with the Yemeni side to explain the Qatari point of view, to inquire about the reason for this overlap between the GCC initiative the Qatari exception, the Prime Minister said: “I don’’t want to comment, why this overlap, but I think that characterisation is misplaced, because the initiative is a GCC one, not a Qatari initiative, I do not want to get into an argument, that is not intended to resolve the matter, so are looking for a solution to it, and not raise non sense problems,” he added.

With regard to the extent reached so far by the GCC initiative, the Prime Minister said that the GCC States’ ambassadors have presented the initiative to the Yemeni President and other opposition parties in Yemen.

“Tomorrow we have a meeting in Riyadh to discuss this issue among the GCC countries.”

On the Yemeni President reportedly saying about Qatar’s inference in the internal affairs of Yemen, the Prime Minister said: “I don’t understand about any interference His Excellency is speaking, of course, as I have mentioned now we have to focus on resolving the issue in Yemen, and help our brothers in Yemen by all GCC states, noting that there are many issues and committees that link Yemen to the GCC.

The Premier urged leaving the rhetoric aside and said, “The Yemeni president, and all the brothers in Yemen, they know that we respect them and value them, and that our goal now is to focus on assistance if they wanted assistance from the GCC states to resolve this issue only.” On the Yemeni position regarding the GCC initiative, as expressed by the Yemeni President, the Premier said: “If there is a solution, we don’t mind, it is important that there be a solution to this issue.”

About how to deal with different reactions coming from Yemen on the GCC initiative, the Premier said that the meeting to be held today, in Riyadh will discuss all these points and said, “I cannot express a view before the meeting, especially as any word I say will be sensitive to the situation in Yemen, and might have been the interpreted another way. “

The Premier noted that all efforts are made for peace in Yemen, calling for waiting for the outcome of the Riyadh meeting. QNA

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