HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani yesterday led a galaxy of global and regional dignitaries at the official opening of the fourth Doha Forum and the ninth Enriching the Middle East’s Economic Future Conference.
HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior HE Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani was present at the inauguration ceremony, which was addressed by HE the Foreign Minister Dr Khalid bin Mohamed al-Attiyah.
Observing that the forum and the conference were taking place at a time of major transformations in the Middle East, al-Attiyah said it was highly significant that the participants would exchange views on the strategic and developmental issues concerning global stability.
“Such transformations in the region have their various implications on the world and some of these may threaten the world harmony,” he cautioned.
The forum, which concludes tomorrow, will deal with a wide range of issues, including democracy, development and free trade in the the Arab countries and the wider world.
Al-Attiyah stressed the importance of maintaining a global equilibrium through the observance and respect of the values of open and fair dialogue, tolerance and accepting others without any alienation.
“The absence of a true global authority that could maintain real stability and enforce justice has resulted in a number of challenges that impede the processes of development and peace in various parts of the world,” he said.
Talking about the Palestinian-Israeli issue, he stressed the need for Israel to review its stand regarding the halting of the peace negotiations with the Palestinians and imposing sanctions on them.
He called upon the international community to intervene and seriously address such challenges. Similarly, he pointed out the escalating situation in Syria with the humanitarian crisis of killing and destruction, which would have its negative consequences on the region and the international community.
Al-Attiyah urged the international community to take effective and practical steps to help the Syrian people attain their expectations for a better life.
He concluded that economic reforms were urgently and seriously needed around the world and these could not be attained without a real political stability. He said that there is a need to build more comprehensive economies that reflect the anticipations and hopes of people through the employment of their potentials and the best use of people’s energies.
Speakers at the opening session were Argentine Vice President Amado Boudou, Sudanese Assistant President Abdel Rahman ElSadig ElMahdi, Albania’s former president Rexhep Qemal Meidani and France’s former prime minister Dominique de Villepin.
They generally stressed the importance of openness, mutual understanding, better distribution of economic resources and opportunities, acceptance of the others, respect of diversity and the need for moderation.
UN urged to ‘impose’ Syria ceasefire
The UN Security Council should impose a ceasefire to end the bloodshed in Syria, HE the Foreign Minister Dr Khalid bin Mohamed al-Attiyah said yesterday, accusing the Damascus regime of using poison gas against rebel-held areas. “It is imperative that the UN Security Council assume its responsibilities and force the implementation of its resolutions for a ceasefire, to protect the Syrian people from killing and displacement,” the AFP news agency quoted al-Attiyah as telling participants in the Doha Forum. He accused President Bashar al-Assad’s government of using “poison gas, in a flagrant challenge to the international community and in violation of international laws”. Al-Attiyah said the international community should realise the “need to end the bloodshed, destruction and human crisis faced by the Syrian people”, the QNA state news agency reported.