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  Politics
Qatari PM, Ban discuss US-Iran rhetoric about Gulf, Syria crisis
05/01/2012   |   12:16 AM | Gulf News
تصغير الخطالشكل الأساسيتكبير الخط

By Salwa Jendoubi

UNITED NATIONS, Jan 4 (KUNA) -- Qatari Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem bin Jabr Al-Thani Wednesday said the Gulf States should be involved in any process to solve the problem between the West and Iran regarding their recent rhetoric.
He told KUNA and the New York Times following a meeting with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon "I believe that the best way is that we should be involved as Gulf States in any process to solve the problem between the West and Iran." Asked what the solution would be and what the Gulf States' reaction would be if there is a confrontation, he said "I think all of us have an interest in not having nay conflicts in the Gulf. It is a very sensitive place and in the meantime, it is our region." "I believe that all of us tried a military conflict and all of us know that there is no winner in military conflicts, especially for the countries around the Gulf. That's why we have to find other ways," he added.
When asked if he is concerned about the escalation of the rhetoric between the US and Iran, he said "of course we are concerned about this, and we believe that what is happening now needs that the region itself to be involved in how to settle these problems." He added, "we've always said that there is no way to sort this out without a dialogue between the region and Iran, between Iran and the West. I don't believe that there is another way to sort this out." On the crisis in Syria, he said he discussed with the Secretary-General what technical help the UN could provide to the Arab League mission should it go back to Syria for a second time.
"We discussed today with the Secretary-General mainly this issue, and we are coming here for technical help and to see the experience the UN has, because this is the first time the Arab League is involved in sending monitors, and there are some mistakes," he said.
Asked what kind of mistakes, he said "this is the first experience for us. I said we have to evaluate what sorts of mistakes we have (made). There is no doubt for me. I can see there are mistakes, but we went there not to stop the killing but to monitor." He said it is the Syrian Government's responsibility to stop the killings, pull the troops, release the detainees, let all the international media enter the country, insisting that that is not the Arab League's business.
He said but this is not happening and the monitoring people tried their best, noting that they have less experience.
That is why "we need the experience from the UN and we need to see how we can evaluate if they go back, how they will work. But if they go back, also the Syrian Government has to do its own commitment, according to the protocol, " he insisted.
Asked what he expects the League's Committee to achieve this Saturday, he said "we are going to evaluate all (aspects of) the situation and we will see whether we can continue the mission or not, and how we can continue the mission. But we need to hear the reports of the people who have been on the ground first." On whether he sees the Syrian crisis on its way to the UN Security Council, he said "we always try to solve it in the Arab League. But this depends on the Syrian Government, if they will be very clear with us to solve it or not."

On the situation in the Gulf region, UN Spokesman Martin Nesirky said the Secretary-General was "closely following the developments," and expresses hope that the concerned parties - US and Iran - will do their best to defuse the tension in the region." On the Iranian nuclear programme, he said Ban "strongly believes that the issues surrounding the Iranian nuclear program need to be addressed by peaceful, diplomatic means." (pickup previous) sj.bs

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