Speaking at the Arab League summit, Qatar’s emir backs military offensive against Yemen but warns against intervention in Libya
Qatar’s Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani told the Arab League summit on Saturday that his country believes “there is no military solution” in war-torn Libya.
Tamim called for a political solution to the Libyan crisis through the participation of all political forces.
Libya is currently divided between an internationally recognised government in the east and Islamist-oriented rebels that control the capital Tripoli and other parts of the country.
Addressing the ongoing crisis in Yemen, where a Saudi-led military offensive has been targeting Houthi rebel sites with airstrikes since Thursday, the emir called for respect for the country’s legitimate regime.
He called on the rebel militias to stand down in order to allow for the completion of a political solution that would gurantee security and stability for the Yemeni population.
He said that Qatar is ready to offer any needed support to achieve these ends.
The emir said that both the Houthi rebels, who are Shia Muslims, and Houthi ally and former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh, violated the process of the search for a political solution and the legitimacy of the regime of President Hadi.
This led, according to the emir, to to the rise of phenomenon that had not been present before in Yemen: “sectarian politics.”
The Qatari head of state stressed the importance of good relations with neighbour Iran, which some critics accuse of arming the Houthi rebels.
Tamim said Iran is part of the Islamic umma, calling on Tehran to respect neighbouring countries’ sovereignty.
“The multiplicity of sects and doctrines is part of our Arab identity, and should not be used as a reason for intervention in our internal affairs,” he said.
No room for Assad in Syria resolution
The Qatari leader also expressed his opposition to allowing the regime of Bashar Al-Assad to be part of the political solution to the Syrian crisis.
“A political solution means that the people make their own choices,” he stated.
He said the Syrian regime had wreaked havoc in the embattled country, accusing it of carrying out “the most brutal forms of savage killings.”
“When will we move, us Arabs, to end this tragedy?” he said.
The Syrian conflict has claimed at least 215,000 lives and displaced half of the country’s population since 2011.
The Qatari emir also said that the Palestinian issue is at the forefront of the challenges in the region.
“Reaching a fair and comprehensive settlement” is a must for peace and security, he said, calling for the implementation of the two-state solution.
“Israel is continuing its aggression against the Palestinian people,” said the emir.
He called on the UN Security Council to “carry out its ethical and legal responsibility to end the Israeli occupation.
He also called on Arab countries and the international community to pressure Israel to achieve that goal.
The Qatari ruler also said that solidarity with Iraq is an Arab responsibility , calling for a comprehensive political solution to resolve the region’s sectarian troubles.