Search

 

Cablegate: Fm Calls for Gcc-Iran Nuclear Talks, Urges Attendance At

VZCZCXRO0402
OO RUEHROV
DE RUEHDO #0201/01 0701432
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 101432Z MAR 08
FM AMEMBASSY DOHA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7684
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 1086
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC//DHO-6//
RUEHUNV/USMISSION UNVIE VIENNA 0031
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1350

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 DOHA 000201

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR INR/R/MR, NEA/PPD, NEA/ARP, NEA/IPA
LONDON FOR SREEBNY

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KPAO PREL MNUC IR QA

SUBJECT: FM Calls for GCC-Iran Nuclear Talks, Urges Attendance at
Arab Summit


1. (U) Summary: All the Qatari local dailies and Al Jazeera provided
prominent coverage for a lecture delivered by Qatar's Premier and
Foreign Minister Hamad Bin Jassim A Thani (HBJ) on March 9 on Gulf
security at the onclusion of the seventh Doha Cultural Festival.HBJ advocated direct talks between the Gulf statesand Iran on the
nuclear issue, and urged fellow Arab leaders to attend theupcoming
Arab League summit in Damascus. He assrted that Arab nations
should not boycott "their ummit" in Damascus, even if they
disagreed with he hosts, particularly since they attended the
Anapolis conference. He also discussed U.S.-Qatarirelations,
noting that disagreements with friend were natural, but that the
United States has been "exploiting Arab disunity" to serve its
purposes, and "Israel dares to kill Palestinians again because the
Arabs are divided." HBJ also touched on Yemen's status within the
Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and the rights of foreign workers in
Qatar. END SUMMARY.

2. (U) Local Headlines:

1. The Security of the Gulf is the responsibility of its people
2. HBJ: We will not allow anyone to put the Gulf in a new military
adventure
3. HBJ: Boycotting Damascus's summit is not beneficial
4. HBJ: We must talk
5. PM for direct talks with Iran on nuclear issue
6. Alliances are crucial for Gulf region
7. The Gulf needs a security program that is based on partnership
and collective responsibility

3. (U) Al Jazeera:

Al Jazeera's Arabic channel, in its hourly news bulletins on March
10, focused on the Prime Minister's comments with regard to the Arab
summit and his call for direct talks between GCC countries and Iran
on the nuclear issue.

4. (U) BLOCK QUOTES:

All papers ran full page coverage of the lecture and almost all
carried the same information. Following is the coverage of the
English daily "Gulf Times," which was the closest to the Arabic
dailies in terms of complete and accurate information.

"Alliances are Crucial for Gulf Region"

Semi-Independent English daily "Gulf Times", (03/10)

The Prime Minister delivered a speech yesterday on "Security in the
Gulf" at the end of the seventh Doha Cultural Festival. On the
security of the Gulf, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim said it was the
responsibility of its own people "but some alliances are needed to
protect such a vital region" in the world. "If something bad
happened to a country, the ruler would be the first to be blamed.
His people would ask him why he did not take the necessary measures
to avoid such a disaster."
"Coalitions are known to exist since the beginning of humanity, and
it is the basic right of any country to have alliances with others,
in accordance with national interests." The Premier, who is also the
Foreign Minister, said that the Gulf States must avoid unilateral
positions and "be mature enough to have a collective voice" at
international forums. "Mistakes are taking place, as in the rest of
the world, and we are not shy to say that but we take care to
correct these mistakes."

He confirmed Qatari participation at the Arab leaders' summit
planned in Damascus in the last week of this month "regardless of
disagreements with the hosts," saying that the Syrians were only
hosting the meeting and they did not own it. He said that boycotting
the summit did not serve any purpose. "Arab states ran one after
another to attend the Annapolis talks, so it is better to do the
same at their leaders' summit. "We never doubt the loyalty of the
Arab leaders towards their people, and therefore they have to speak
frankly with each other to solve problems. Instead of taking up 120
subjects, it is better to choose the important ones and deal with
them."

On the Iranian nuclear dossier, the Prime Minister said Tehran had
kept on insisting the program was peaceful, but the West did not
agree with that position. "We believe that we have to conduct
direct dialogue with Tehran in order to understand why they have to
develop a nuclear program and for what purpose. Iran is a key state
in the region and it has never invaded us. It is true that some
people view Iran with suspicion but it has not reached the level of

DOHA 00000201 002 OF 002


tensions."
On Qatari-U.S. positions on different issues, especially regarding
the Palestinian cause and the Iranian nuclear program, he said:
"Naturally we have different views from our American friends but
this is always the nature of the friendship."

Asked about the "Islamic reaction" to the Danish cartoons, he said
that Qatar was ready to join a "unified position" of taking economic
actions against Denmark. "If such a unified position was
impossible, we should not issue threats of this sort in the first
place. If you cannot carry out your threat, it is better to remain
silent. I hope that the West understood that the Prophet Muhammad is
a holy figure for us. If they don't believe in him it is up to
them."

On the withdrawal of Qatari troops from the UN Interim Force in
Lebanon (UNIFIL), he said that Doha had clarified from the beginning
that Qatar's mission would be for a limited period and it had
nothing to do with any possible development in south Lebanon.
The U.S. has been exploiting the disunity among the Arabs to serve
its purposes, and Israel dares to kill Palestinians again because
the Arab ranks are divided, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim said.

On the role of Yemen in Gulf security, he said that Yemen's entry to
the GCC would strengthen the council, but there were regulations
that should be followed, including amendments in Yemen's internal
laws. "It took the six-member GCC 25 years to unify the majority of
the laws in our countries," he said.
When asked about the law protecting the contractual rights of
foreign workers, he said: "We cannot call expatriates a minority
anymore and the relevant ministries are working hard to protect
their rights. No doubt we need them for our development process. The
workers' contracts should be fully respected but on the other hand,
they (workers) have to respect our laws and traditions."
On the de-pegging of the Qatari riyal from the U.S. dollar, he said
that such a decision was not easy and it was under study, and "I
hope the GCC states take a unified position in this matter."
Asked if the GCC citizens felt that their rights were protected, the
Prime Minister said: "Talking about Qatar, statistics show that
during the last 10 years, citizens won 92% of the court cases filed
against government bodies. Naturally we are not a mistake-free
country, but I can speak about a strong judiciary that is open to
everyone."

5. (SBU) COMMENT: HBJ did not break new ground in Qatari policy.
His public comments highlighting different perspectives with the
United States on the nuclear threat from Iran and the Palestinian
situation are in all likelihood designed with Arab and Iranian
audiences in mind.

Ratney

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC