Qatar: Normalizing ties with Israel conditional on two-state solution

Qatar’s ambassador to US says his country has no objection to normalizing ties with Israel if “the conditions are proper”.

Elad Benari, Canada ,

Doha, Qatar
Doha, Qatar
iStock

Qatar has no objection to normalizing ties with Israel if “the conditions are proper” and there is a commitment to a two-state solution between Israel and Palestinian Arabs, Qatar’s ambassador to Washington Sheikh Meshal Bin Hamad Al-Thani told Voice of America radio.

“Qatar is part of the Arab Peace Initiative. We believe in a two-state solution for the Palestinians and in securing Israel’s borders, and if these conditions are fulfilled, then we don’t see any reason for Qatar to not normalize relations with Israel,” said Al-Thani.

His comments came as the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain officially normalized relations with Israel during a signing ceremony Tuesday hosted by US President Donald Trump at the White House on Tuesday.

Despite ruling out complete normalization with Israel, Al-Thani told VOA that Qatar continues to mediate negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinian Arabs, and it sends humanitarian relief to Gaza in coordination with Israel and the UN

“Qatar and the US have been working together for many years on regional issues and we were mediating at the request of the US administration, therefore we were talking with Hamas to encourage it to engage in political negotiations,” he said.

Indeed, while Qatar does not have diplomatic ties with Israel, it has heavily invested in the Gaza Strip, funding welfare payments to the enclave with Israel's blessing.

The Qatari envoy to the region, Mohammed al-Emadi, acknowledged in an interview last year that cooperation with Israel is needed in order to improve the situation in Gaza.

Qatar's assistant foreign minister and official spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Lolwah al-Khater, told Bloomberg on Monday that her country was not joining the other two Arab states to establish diplomatic ties with Israel because “we don't think that normalization was the core of this conflict and hence it can't be the answer.”

In the wake of the agreements with the UAE and Bahrain, US President Donald Trump said this week that two other countries may soon recognize Israel.

"Four or five" other Arab countries "want to come in" and normalize ties with Israel following the deal with Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, Trump told a news conference.

"I talked to two of them yesterday and they are ready to try," Trump told reporters. "You're going to have a whole level of peace in the Middle East without blood all over the sand."

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Rosh Hashanah in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)



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