Doha, Qatar
Doha, QatariStock

Qatar’s Prime Minister said on Wednesday that his country is re-evaluating its role as mediator in ceasefire talks between Israel and Hamas, citing concerns that its efforts are being undermined by politicians seeking to score points, Reuters reported.

Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, who is also foreign minister, said there was a "misuse of this mediation for narrow political interests, and this necessitated Qatar to undertake a full evaluation of this role".

While he did not identify any politicians by name, but on Tuesday the Qatari embassy in the US expressed surprise at comments made by Congressman Steny Hoyer (D-MD) regarding the Gaza hostage crisis and his threat to "reevaluate" the US relationship with Qatar.

Hoyer said on Monday that Qatar, which along with Egypt is mediating negotiations for a ceasefire in Gaza, should tell Hamas there will be "repercussions" if the terrorist group "continues to block progress towards releasing the hostages and establishing a temporary ceasefire".

In response, Qatar said Hoyer's comments were not "constructive".

"Qatar is only a mediator - we do not control Israel or Hamas. Israel and Hamas are entirely responsible for reaching an agreement," the embassy statement said.

Before that, Economy Minister Nir Barkat recently criticized Qatar, saying he didn’t trust Qatar to act as a mediator with Hamas and accused the Gulf country of “funding terror all over the world.”

Majed Al Ansari, the spokesperson for Qatar’s Foreign Ministry, later responded to Barkat, writing on social media, “Yet another headline seeking politician in Israel is using ‘Qatar-bashing’ as a means to further his own political future. Rather than being preoccupied with supporting in the efforts to secure a deal, Minister Barkat finds his time is better spent attacking the mediators who are working round the clock to reach a deal that ensures the release of hostages and stop the bloodshed.”

Reuters noted that some other US lawmakers have suggested in recent months that Qatar supports Hamas, an accusation rejected by the Gulf state.

Qatar has played a key role in attempts to reach a deal between Israel and Hamas that would allow for the release of the hostages who are still held by Hamas in Gaza.

Qatar and the US have cooperated on other issues, and most recently the two countries reached an agreement that extends the US military presence at a sprawling base in Qatar for another 10 years.

Sheikh Mohammed underscored on Wednesday that the role of mediator has limits, saying,"(Mediators) cannot provide things that the parties themselves refrain from (offering)."