Qatar reiterates opposition to military escalation in the region

August 3, 2010

Qatar’s prime minister has reiterated his country’s opposition to military escalation in the region.

“Qatar is against any military action in the region because the region cannot bear such action,” Shaikh Hamad Bin Jassem Al Thani said. “Iran is our neighbour in the Gulf … and we are keen on the use of diplomacy and negotiation to resolve the issue,” Shaikh Hamad said, quoted by Qatar News Agency.

The premier highlighted Qatar’s stance about the situation in the region hours after US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, said that the US had a plan to attack Iran if needed to prevent it from getting nuclear weapons.

“The possibilities of war of course exist, but unfortunately these possibilities were fuelled by ideas of [Israeli Defence Minister Ehud] Barak and other Israelis who always want to escalate this issue for their own agenda,” Shaikh Hamad, who is also his country’s foreign minister, said. “This, in our view, does not serve the region or our allies in the region,” he said.

Several Arabian Gulf officials publicly said that the region had suffered at all levels from past wars and that they opposed the use of their lands to launch attacks on Iran.

Mullen, the highest-ranking US military officer, has often warned that a military strike on Iran would have serious and unpredictable ripple effects around the Middle East.

However, on Sunday, he said that the risk of Iran developing a nuclear weapon was unacceptable and that the US had a plan to attack Iran, although he added that he thought a strike was probably a bad idea.

Iran reacted by threatening to turn the Arabian Gulf into a war zone unsafe for all if the US attempted to attack its nuclear programme.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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