Posted on January 25, 2019

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs H E Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani has affirmed that there is no alternatives for the GCC countries for the State of Qatar, saying that Qatar believes in the strength of the authority of the GCC since its establishment.

“Turkey, Iran and Iraq are important parts of the region and Qatar needs to build strong relationships and partnerships with other countries in the region. Qatar needs to have positive and constructive relations with those countries and this is not because of the blockade crisis but it is a part of Qatar’s strategy to maintain its friendship relations with all countries in the region,” H E the Minister of Foreign Affairs added.

H E Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said that there is no sign of a breakthrough in the Gulf crisis so far. In an interview with Bloomberg, H E the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs said that no movement or further steps have been made since the GCC Summit in which some breakthrough has been expected, stressing that the State of Qatar remains open to dialogue and is still carrying on with its own national agenda.

H E the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs expressed the hope that the GCC countries, especially the blockading countries, go back to reason, start to engage with their region and resolve this issue. Asked if Qatar would consider closer relationships with Iran, Iraq and Turkey if the blockade persists, H E the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs said that Qatar has already strong strategic relations with Turkey. “We stood next to each others during difficult times. When Turkey went through difficult time Qatar stood for it, and when Qatar went through difficult time Turkey stood for it, we have this strategy.”

H E the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs added, “Iraq is also a part of our region, and we welcome Iraq back to the Arab world as a stable nation and we are trying to help in stabilising this nation. A closer relationship with Iraq is a plus for Qatar.” Regarding Iran, H E the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs said: “Iran is a part of our geography, and we hope also that the GCC countries start to engage with Iran in a positive and constructive dialogue to resolve this outstanding issue of our regional security which is impacting our security directly and indirectly”.

On Qatar’s decision to invest $500m in the Lebanese government bonds, H E the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs said, “Lebanon’s stability is our regions stability and its very important for Qatar,” adding that Qatar has been an active player regionally in stabilizing different countries, and Lebanon is one among them. He said that Amir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani attended the Arab Economic Summit and had a discussion with the Lebanese President, and the Lebanese explained their situation that any help would be in buying the government’s bonds which would help to stabilise their economy. “We took our decision both based on our assessment to stabilize Lebanon and also as an investment decision, this is a good investment.”

On the commitment of Qatar Investment Authority to invest 10 billion euros in Germany, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs H E Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said that Qatar Investment Authority is looking at different sectors including financial services and infrastructure as well as the industrial sector. On Qatar’s interest purchasing stake in Deutsche Bank, His Excellency said, “We are interested in all the big companies. We are talking with everyone.”

Asked about management changes in Qatar Investment Authority and if the change will include priorities, The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs said that it is part of the normal structural change for any government bureaucracy, to renew experiences and have new bloods and new generations. He added that Qatar Investment Authority is a part of the government structure that has to be changed, “We look forward to contribute positively, myself and my colleagues the board members, to the growth of our country and the diversification of our economy.”

On the possibility of Qatar’s exit from investments relating to the UAE or any of the blockading countries, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs said, “We never politicize our investment decisions. The policy of Qatar Investment Authority has been very consistent from the beginning and we take out decision based on pure commercial assessment.” The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs said that many countries had investments in the blockading countries and this reflects our commercial activity, not according to the policies of Qatar Investment Authority, but in accordance with the policies of the State Qatar.

He referred to one of the examples, which is the gas pipeline which is still supplying the UAE with its requirement of energy. “So we have a clear a very strong view on this, that we should have a china wall between politics and other things, such as culture, trade and relations between people. We don’t politicize every thing.”

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