QNA Doha, Qatar
The Emir His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani on Saturday patronized the opening of the Doha Forum at its 16th session, which is being held under the title “Stability and Prosperity for All”. Former Yemen President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, Afghanistan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, Niger President Mahamadou Issoufou, Mauritius President Ameenah Gurib and Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon and many heads of delegations participated in the forum. Minister of Foreign Affairs HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al Thani underlined Qatar's policy to stick to the need for settlement of disputes by peaceful means, especially through mediation, which is one of the priorities of the Doha foreign policy. He said this policy stems from Qatar's firm conviction under the leadership of HH the Emir in renunciation of the use of force and methods of pressure and coercion. The foreign minister said the patronage and continued support of HH the Emir for this forum has made it one of the most important platforms from where to look into various developments and changes and contribute to the awareness in the face of challenges and crises and work to establish security and stability. Referring to the crises facing the world, he called for taking advantage of opportunities for consultation among politicians and intellectuals to achieve stability and security of the people and of nations. The United Nations chief called on Middle Eastern countries and world powers to press Syria's warring parties to turn their attention to a political transition in the nation. Ban Ki-moon said a full, immediate cessation of hostilities is needed in Syria and must be accompanied by discussions of what will follow. Fighting could escalate without such negotiations, he warned. "I call on all regional and international actors to use their influence with the parties and persuade them to negotiate in good faith on transitional arrangements", Ban said. He accused Assad's government of continuing to drop barrel bombs on civilians and placing "unconscionable and unlawful obstacles in the way of humanitarian aid". Assad's fate remains a key sticking point in any discussions of a political transition. The opening ceremony was attended by Prime Minister and Minister of Interior HE Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al Thani, ministers and heads of diplomatic missions accredited to Qatar.