Qatari FM Meets US Delegation to Discuss Strategic Ties, Mediation Efforts

Qatari Prime Minister meets with US Congress delegation to discuss strategic relations and mediation efforts in conflicts, including Gaza Strip and Ukraine. Qatar's role in Gaza cease-fire negotiations faces scrutiny, with some US lawmakers urging expulsion of Hamas from Doha.

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Qatari FM Meets US Delegation to Discuss Strategic Ties, Mediation Efforts

Qatari FM Meets US Delegation to Discuss Strategic Ties, Mediation Efforts

Qatari Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani met with a delegation of members of the US Congress in Doha to discuss the close strategic relations between Qatar and the US and ways to support and develop them. The delegation included Democrat Derek Kilmer and Republicans Dave Joyce and Lance Gooden.

Why this matters: The meeting highlights the crucial role Qatar plays in mediating international conflicts, and its influence can significantly impact the outcome of these crises. The success or failure of Qatar'sefforts can have far-reaching implications for regional and global stability.

The meeting also focused on Qatari mediation efforts in various crises, including the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, Afghanistan, and Venezuela. Qatar has been playing a key role in mediating these conflicts, with the US relying on Qatar to negotiate with the Taliban to help end the war in Afghanistan. Qatar has also been facilitating communication between Russia and Ukraine in their ongoing crisis.

However, Qatar's role as a mediator in the Gaza Strip conflict between Israel and Hamas has come under scrutiny. Despite providing monthly payments in the tens of millions of dollars to Hamas for running the Gaza Strip, Qatar has had limited success in forging an agreement to stop the fighting and release Israeli hostages held by Hamas. Egypt has taken the lead in the latest round of Gaza cease-fire negotiations, prompting Qatar to reassess its role.

"Qatar says it's reassessing its role," stated Qatari Foreign Ministry spokesman Majed Al Ansari. Some US lawmakers have urged Qatar to expel Hamas from Doha, citing the group's refusal to accept deals offered by mediators. Republican Sens Ted Budd and Joni Ernst said in a statement, "Qatar's harboring and support have led Hamas to believe that it can kill and kidnap Americans with impunity. This must end now."

Despite the criticism, Qatar has been one of the few countries able to secure the release of hostages held by Hamas. "From Qatar's perspective, they are the only ones who have been able to bring any hostages home," said Khaled Elgindy, senior fellow at the Middle East Institute. The Biden administration has called on Qatar to use its influence to send a clear message to Hamas. "It no longer can be business as usual with Hamas, and any country who may have a relationship with Hamas influence with Hamas needs to send a very clear message," said State Department spokesman Vedant Patel.

The meeting between Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani and the US Congress delegation underscores the close strategic ties between Qatar and the United States. While Qatar's mediation efforts have yielded some successes, its role in the Gaza Strip conflict remains a point of contention. As the war in Gaza continues to claim lives and displace thousands, the international community is urging all parties to work towards a sustainable cease-fire and the release of hostages.

Key Takeaways

  • Qatar's PM met with US Congress members to discuss strategic relations and mediation efforts.
  • Qatar plays a crucial role in mediating international conflicts, including Russia-Ukraine and Afghanistan.
  • Qatar's efforts in Gaza Strip conflict have been criticized, with limited success in forging an agreement.
  • US lawmakers urge Qatar to expel Hamas, citing refusal to accept deals and harboring of terrorists.
  • Qatar's influence is key to securing hostage releases, but its role in Gaza conflict remains contentious.