Qatar is ‘re-evaluating’ role as mediator in cease-fire deal, PM says

(17 Apr 2024)
RESTRICTION SUMMARY:

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Amiri Diwan Annex, Doha, Qatar – 17 April 2024
1. News conference
2. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, Qatari Prime Minister:
"The matter has taken many months and the differences have been widespread. We have always worked closely with our partners in this mediation, whether they are the United States and the Arab Republic of Egypt, to bridge this gap and submit proposals based on it. However, in the end, the role of the mediator is limited, I mean, it has its limits and cannot provide things. The parties themselves are refusing."
3. Various of briefing
4. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, Qatari Prime Minister:
"Unfortunately, I mean, we have seen that there has been an abuse of this mediation and an abuse of this mediation in favor of narrow political interests. This means that the State of Qatar has called for a comprehensive evaluation of this role. We are now at this stage to evaluate mediation and also evaluate how the parties engage in this mediation. "
5. Various of briefing
6. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, Qatari Prime Minister:
"We are committed to it from this humanitarian point of view, but there are also limits to this role and limits to the ability to which we can contribute to these negotiations in a constructive manner. The State of Qatar will make the right decision at the right time. Thank you."
7. Various of briefing
8. SOUNDBITE (Turkish) Hakan Fidan, Turkish Prime Minister:
"Today, we had a nearly three-hour meeting with Hamas Political Bureau Leader Mr. (Ismail) Haniyeh and the other executive team of the (Hamas) Political Bureau. We expressed our condolences to them and conveyed the greetings of our President. During our meeting, we focused on a few issues. Chief among these are the negotiations regarding the ongoing ceasefire, which was the subject of our conversation with my dear friend Sheikh Mohammed today. We had intense exchanges of views on what Hamas’s perspective is in these negotiations, where they stand, how they evaluate the current situation. "
10. Wide of briefing
STORYLINE:
Qatar’s prime minister said Wednesday the country is reevaluating its role as a mediator between Israel and Hamas, accusing some of the sides of “abusing” it to score political points.

Qatar has been a key intermediary between Israel and the militant group throughout the war in Gaza.

Along with the U.S. and Egypt, it was instrumental in helping negotiate a brief halt to the fighting in November that led to the release of dozens of hostages.

Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, Qatar’s Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, said there were “limits” to the role of mediator and “limits to the ability to which we can contribute to these negotiations in a constructive manner.”

In a news conference with the Turkish foreign minister in Doha, Al Thani said there had been an “abuse” of Qatar’s mediation for “narrow political interests.”

He did not name one side in his remarks.

But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly criticized Qatar throughout the war and recently threatened to shutter Qatar-owned broadcaster Al Jazeera.

Top Hamas leaders live in exile in Qatar and it is seen as one of the only parties with influence over Hamas.

Mediators have been trying to push Hamas and Israel toward a cease-fire deal but a truce is still elusive and the sides are far apart on a number of key terms.

AP video shot by Lujain Jo

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