Foreign Minister: Dialogue Is Qatar's Strategic Choice for Settling Disputes

HE Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani expressed regret over the move by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and UAE, in cooperation with Egypt, to sever ties with the State of Qatar, saying that it is an "unprecedented escalation" and stressing that the strategic choice of Qatar is to solve any crisis through dialogue. "Regarding the reasons for this escalation, honestly, we don't know if there were real reasons for this crisis or whether it was based on things we're unaware of," HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani was quoted as saying during an interview with Al Jazeera. The foreign minister added that if there were real reasons, "there wouldn't have been such an escalation and the media fabrications wouldn't have portrayed such a wrong image about Qatar in an attempt to undermine its security and stability" based on "false stories and fabrications."

Qatar regrets the decision by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain to sever relations

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar expressed deep regret over the decision of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Bahrain to close their borders and airspace and cut off diplomatic relations. Such measures are unjustified and are based on baseless and unfounded allegations. Qatar has been exposed to an instigation campaign based on allegations that amounted to absolute fabrications, which proves that there are premeditated intentions to cause damage to the State. Qatar is an active member of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), committed to its Charter, respects the sovereignty of other countries, does not interfere in their internal affairs, and carries out its duties in combating terrorism and extremism. It is clear that the media campaign failed to convince public opinion in the region and in the Gulf countries in particular, which explains the continued escalation. The fabrication of reasons for taking action against a sister country in the GCC is clear evidence that there is no legitimate justification for these measures, which were taken in coordination with Egypt, and the purpose is clear : the imposition of guardianship over the State. This in itself is a violation of its sovereignty as a state which is categorically rejected. The statement pointed out that the allegations contained in the statements of severing the relations issued by the three countries represent an undisclosed attempt which further confirms the premeditated planning of media campaigns, which contained many fabrications. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs stressed that these measures taken against the State of Qatar will not affect the normal course of life of the citizens and residents of the State and that the Qatari Government will take all necessary measures to ensure this and to thwart attempts to influence and harm the Qatari society and economy. Finally, Qatar's Foreign Ministry expressed its regret that the three countries did not find at this critical stage a more important and crucial challenge for their people than targeting the State of Qatar and attempting to harm it.

The State of Qatar and the United States Stress on Strategic Bilateral Cooperation

Doha / Information Office/ May 30 HE the Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani held Tuesday a telephone conversation with HE U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. The two sides stressed that they will follow up on the outcomes of the meeting held between HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani HE U.S. President Donald Trump, which took place on the sidelines of the Riyadh Summit in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The meeting discussed enhancing the strategic bilateral cooperation in political, economic, security, and military fields to achieve mutual interests. HE the Foreign Minister and HE the U.S. Secretary of State discussed bilateral cooperation as well as regional issues. They focused specifically on Syria, Libya, and Palestine, and possible solutions that could prevent the deterioration of crises in the region. They also discussed the two countries' counter-terrorism efforts and facing the challenges threatening international peace and security.

Foreign Minister: 'Qatar Will Address the Media Campaign Targeting It'

Doha / Information Office / May 25 HE the Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani said the State of Qatar will address the media campaign targeting it, against a backdrop of the hacking of Qatar News Agency's (QNA) website and attributing false statements to HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani. It is clear that there is a media campaign targeting the State of Qatar and we will definitely address it, HE the Foreign Minister said during a joint press conference with the Somali Foreign Minister, HE Yussef Jarad Omar Ahmed, held here today. It is noticeable that there was no mention of Qatar in the opinion articles, for example, in the United States of America, but in the past five weeks we were surprised by the publication of 13 opinion articles on Qatar by different writers in the United States, HE the Foreign Minister said. There was on the same day of the cyber attack on QNA's website a conference on Qatar, to which we were not invited, was held in the United States bringing together all those who wrote these articles against Qatar and on the same night the cyber attack occurred, HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani said, wondering whether it was a coincidence or not. The hacking attack on QNA's website and attributing false statements to HH the Emir is without doubt a cyber crime, he said, adding that Qatar will not rush to issue the results until the investigation is over.

An Official Source at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs: the Perpetrators of the Electronic Piracy against Qatar News Agency website will be prosecuted

Doha / Information Office/ 24 May The State of Qatar announced that it will investigate and prosecute those responsible for the hacking of Qatar News Agency (QNA)’s website. An official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) stated that QNA’s website was hacked at 12:14am on Wednesday morning, with hackers publishing false statements attributed to HH the Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani. He added that they were able to regain control of QNA’s website four hours after the hacking took place, and that they continue to counter ongoing hacking attempts of QNA’s social media accounts. The official further stated that it is clear that this shameful cybercrime was instigated and perpetrated with malicious intent. He also said that the State of Qatar is surprised by the stance of some media outlets and TV channels which continued to publish and comment on the false statements, despite them having been denied by the Director of the Government Communications Office, HE Sheikh Saif Bin Ahmed Al-Thani, in a statement published on Wednesday. The Ministry's official also pointed out that this cybercrime is being investigated. He further added that several brotherly and friendly countries expressed their willingness to participate in the investigation, as part of the framework of international collaboration in the fight against cybercrimes. All necessary legal measures and procedures to prosecute the hackers of QNA’s website will take place, and that the findings of the investigation will be published once complete.

Qatar Strongly Condemns Attack at Concert in Manchester

Doha - Information Office - May 23 The State of Qatar has strongly condemned and denounced the explosion which took place at a concert in the British city of Manchester and resulted in dozens of deaths and injuries. In a statement issued Tuesday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs reiterated Qatar's firm stance on rejecting violence and terrorism regardless of its source and whatever its motives and reasons. The statement also stressed Qatar's rejection of all criminal attacks that terrorize the innocent people and contradict with humanitarian values and principles. The statement further affirmed Qatar's full solidarity with the government of the United Kingdom and its support to all measures taken to maintain the country's security. The statement also expressed Qatar's condolences to the families of the victims and the UK government, wishing the injured a speedy recovery.

HH the Emir Meets President of United States

Riyadh/ Information Office/ May 21 HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani discussed during a meeting with HE President of the United States of America Donald Trump the close friendship and cooperation relations between the two countries and ways of enhancing them in various fields in order to achieve the strategic common interests of the two countries, especially in the security, defense and economic fields. The meeting, which was held at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Riyadh on Sunday morning, dealt with means of enhancing cooperation between the two countries and supporting international efforts in combating terrorism and extremism which threaten the security and stability of the world. The two sides also exchanged views on the latest regional and international developments, especially the latest developments in the Middle East topped by the Palestinian issue. Both sides agreed on the need to resume the peace process and also discussed the situation in both Yemen and Syria. The meeting was attended by Their Excellencies the members of the official delegation accompanying HH the Emir. On the American side, the meeting was attended by a number of Their Excellencies the Secretaries and senior officials accompanying HE the US President.

HH the Emir Participates in 17th GCC Consultative Meeting

Riyadh/ Information Office/ May 21 HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani participated along with Their Majesties and Highnesses Leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries and heads of delegations in the 17th Consultative Meeting held at the King Abdulaziz International Conference Center in Riyadh on Sunday morning. The meeting was attended by Their Excellencies members of the official delegation accompanying HH the Emir. The meeting was also attended by Their Royal Highnesses Princes and Their Excellencies members of the accompanying official delegations.

Statement from the Director of the Government Communications Office on Qatar's Position on Terrorism, Terrorism Finance

Doha / Information Office/ May 20 The following statement was issued today by Sheikh Saif Al Thani, the Director of the Government Communications Office of the State of Qatar: In the run-up to President Donald Trump's visit to the Middle East, an orchestrated barrage of opinion pieces by anti-Qatar organizations in a variety of mainstream and on-line publications has alleged that Qatar is sympathetic to, or turns a blind eye toward, the actions of terrorist groups in the Middle East. This is absolutely and unequivocally false. In fact, as the authors of these articles must know, the government of the State of Qatar – like all of its neighbors in the Middle East – is a target for these terrorist groups. They threaten the peace and stability of our region and they put our national sovereignty at risk. Which is why it is absurd to suggest that Qatar would either aid and abet those seeking to finance these extremist groups or harbor an Al Qaeda mastermind, as the anti-Qatar campaigners have recently alleged. Qatar's determined efforts to defeat terrorism have been acknowledged and appreciated by the security and intelligence services of the United States and its allies, who value Qatar's substantial contributions to the battle against violent extremism. These efforts are long-standing and on going, and will continue until the scourge of terrorism is eliminated in the Middle East and around the world. Our approach to countering the terrorist threat is both tactical and strategic. On the tactical level, Qatar is an active member of the US-led coalition to defeat ISIS and proudly hosts America's Combined Air and Operations Center at Al-Udeid air base. Qatar is also battling terrorism at the strategic level through our support for education, reconstruction and economic development programs throughout the Middle East. We have provided educational opportunities for more than 7 million children and we have created more than 300,000 jobs, offering hope for a better future to those most at risk of terrorist recruitment. To cite a relevant example, Qatar was instrumental in securing the passage of the so-called Doha Declaration at the 13th. UN Crime Congress in 2015, which authorized the creation of a comprehensive program to counter violent extremism through prisoner rehabilitation, social integration and youth education initiatives. Our USD 49 million contribution will help ensure that the UN's good intentions are followed by concrete actions to address the terrorist threat. None of this is to suggest that Qatar has a magical solution to the problem of radical extremism and global terrorism. We do not. But we are absolutely sincere in our commitment to battle and defeat this scourge, and to suggest otherwise is deceitful and disingenuous. We can assume that at some point in the future the identities of the sponsors of the anti-Qatar campaign will be revealed. When that happens we will, perhaps, learn the true motive behind their efforts to damage Qatar's good name. Until then, there is one thing we know for certain: their allegation that Qatar supports terrorism is a lie.

Qatar Spring Festival with Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington

On April 6, 2017, the Embassy partnered with the Boys and Girls Club Foundation of Greater Washington and of the Gulf Coast for the inaugural dual-event, Qatar Spring Festival 2017. The event in Washington, DC drew the participation of hundreds of DC area youths, as well as Embassy staff and a team from the Qatar Foundation International. The event celebrated Qatari arts, culture and food featuring painting stations, egg races, photo booth, Arabic language lessons and more at their center.