“Partnership and approval” … What does it mean to establish an international anti-terrorist office in Qatar?

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In light of repeated Arab accusations of it supporting terrorism in the region, the State of Qatar, represented by the Shura Council, signed a memorandum of understanding with the United Nations represented by the United Nations Office to Combat Terrorism, with the aim of providing a framework for cooperation to enhance the role of parliaments in countering terrorism and the conditions related to this phenomenon.

The office that the United Nations aims to launch in Qatar aims to combat terrorism, at a time when all reconciliation efforts between Qatar and “boycotting countries” accusing Doha of supporting terrorists failed, and diplomats attributed to “Reuters” the recent failure to Riyadh’s adherence to Qatar’s first change Intrinsically important in its conduct, especially in its foreign policy, in which Doha supported opposing parties in several regional conflicts, an idea that has been rejected from the start for Qatar.
In previous statements to “Sputnik”, a prominent Emirati politician, Dr. Abdul Khaleq Abdullah, said that “the Gulf boycott of Qatar is continuing, and the crisis is still ongoing, and there is no progress in the way of the solution.”

Qatari observers said that the choice of the United Nations for Doha to open an anti-terrorism office confirms international confidence in the Qatari government and its programs in this regard, especially its mediation between the United States and the armed Taliban, stressing that it totally refutes any accusation of the state of supporting terrorism.

International office

The memorandum, which was signed at the United Nations headquarters in New York, stipulates that the Qatari Shura Council and the United Nations will enter into direct arrangements to establish the office of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Program, concerned with parliamentary participation in preventing and combating terrorism, whose headquarters will be in Qatar and whose activities cover the parliaments of the countries of the world.

The memorandum was signed by Qatari Shura Council Speaker Ahmed Al Mahmoud and Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations Office for Counter-Terrorism, Vladimir Vorenkov, in the presence of the President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union Gabriela Baron.

Al Mahmoud stressed the role of the State of Qatar in countering terrorism, pointing out that the establishment of the office in Qatar “comes as a confirmation of the confidence of the international community in the efforts made by the State of Qatar to combat terrorism and address its roots and causes.” Vorenkov expressed his appreciation to the President of the Qatari Council for his personal and strong commitment to strengthening cooperation with the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Office.

The office provides technical assistance and training to world parliaments to build capacity for parliamentarians to better understand and address issues related to terrorism.

It also supports the implementation of major initiatives within the framework of the joint program of the United Nations and the Inter-Parliamentary Union, on the role of parliaments in countering terrorism and violent extremism leading to terrorism, and promoting a balanced and integrated implementation of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and relevant Security Council resolutions.

Refute allegations

Dr. Jassim bin Nasser Al Thani, a Qatari political analyst, and a member of the European Committee for International Law, said that “the recently signed memorandum between the Qatari Shura Council and the United Nations according to which an office of the anti-terrorism program will be opened reflects the international confidence in the Qatari government.”

He added in statements to “Sputnik”, “The United Nations with this step declares its conviction and confidence in the countrys counter-terrorism programs, and its ability to contribute regionally and globally in reducing terrorism and its implications for international peace and security.”

He stressed that “choosing Qatar as an international headquarters to combat terrorism reflects the country’s record in combating terrorism, and denies all accusations leveled against Doha in relation to supporting terrorism, or supporting any armed groups.”

Neutral broker

In a related context, Abdullah Abdul-Aziz Al-Khater, the Qatari analyst, said that “the launching of an international counter-terrorism office in Qatar means a partnership between Doha and the United Nations and is the first body concerned with combating manifestations of violence and terrorism at the international level.”

Al-Khater said in statements to “Sputnik” that “the fact that the United Nations chooses Doha in a region teeming with manifestations of violence, extremism and terrorism, it recognizes that Qatar is a key element in establishing international peace and security, and that it has a fundamental and pivotal role in seeking this.”

The Qatari analyst pointed out that “the choice was also made because of the United Nations’ need for Qatar’s efforts in the midst of its mediation between the United States and the armed Taliban, and the ability of the country to follow the active positive neutrality line and its humanitarian and charitable actions.”

He stressed that “the United Nations knows very well that Qatar can play the role of honest broker, which gives it an important and essential role to achieve international peace and security, and you see that this role is essential to enable it to play its assigned role in the region, as it has an office in Qatar.”

Accusations and boycotts

Last December, Qatar’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sheikh Muhammad bin Abdul Rahman Al Thani, announced for the first time since the outbreak of the Gulf crisis, the existence of a communication channel between Doha and Riyadh and their agreement on the basic principles of dialogue, as well as on stopping mutual media attacks.

Two days ago, the Qatari minister said that efforts to resolve the crisis with Saudi Arabia and the UAE were unsuccessful and were suspended at the beginning of January and Qatar is not responsible for that.

Last month, the Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Adel Al-Jubeir said, “Qatar supports the financing of extremist groups such as Hezbollah, and that we have problems with Qatar because it interferes in our affairs, and that its media are a beacon to promote hate speech.”

On June 5, 2017, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, and Egypt severed their relations with Qatar and imposed a blockade on the grounds of supporting terrorism, which Doha denies, and accuses the Arab Quartet of seeking to impose guardianship of its national decision.

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