Qatar welcomes US peace plan but urges changes

Qatar says it welcomes efforts to broker Israel-PA peace, but also calls for concessions to Palestinian Arabs.

Elad Benari ,

Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani
Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani
Flash 90

Qatar responded cautiously on Wednesday to US President Donald Trump's Israeli-Palestinian Arab peace plan, saying it welcomed efforts to broker "longstanding peace" but warned that was unattainable without concessions to the Palestinians, AFP reported.

"Qatar welcomes all efforts aiming towards a longstanding peace in the occupied Palestinian territories, appreciating the endeavors of the current US administration to find solutions for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict," said a statement carried by the state-run Qatar News Agency (QNA).

"Qatar reaffirms its commitment for supporting the Palestinian institutions, noting that peace cannot be sustainable if Palestinians rights in their sovereign state... including east Jerusalem, and the right of return are not preserved," the statement added.

Qatar is a strong ally of the United States, hosting Washington's largest airbase in the region, but it has also hosted leaders of Hamas and has provided millions of dollars in aid to Gaza.

Meanwhile, Qatar's ruler, Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, called on Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas, whose Fatah faction has for decades been at loggerheads with Hamas, to push for "ending divisions".

Sheikh Tamim, who made the comments during a phone call with Abbas, also pledged Qatar would help reach a "fair, comprehensive, and permanent resolution" to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Abbas immediately rejected Trump’s peace plan and said it would be relegated to the "dustbin of history."

Meanwhile, protests against the deal took place in Ramallah, where rioters burned pictures of Trump and shouted that he was a "dog".