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Opening Speech of H.E. Sheikh Ahmed Bin Mohammed Bin Jabr Al Thani Minister's Assistant For International Cooperation Affairs, Chairman of Permanent Committee for Organizing Conferences

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Qatar supports Arab Spring as 'it reflects democracy'
2012-02-25

Qatar supports the changes currently under way in the Arab world, in the wake of the Arab Spring, in order to enhance the democratic process and to support freedoms in the region. This came in a speech delivered by HE the Assistant Foreign Minister for International Co-operation and chairman of the Standing Committee for Organising Conferences, Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohamed bin Jabor al-Thani, at a meeting of the IEPM - Club de Monaco Conference, which opened in Doha yesterday in the presence of a group of current and former officials, decision-makers and diplomats from a number of countries. HE Sheikh Ahmed said: 'Qatar could not stand with hands folded while seeing people being brutally suppressed simply because they are demanding their legitimate rights. Therefore, it started to provide all forms of political and moral support.' Qatar supports these changes as they reflect democracy, he said. He said Qatar believes that the comprehensive political reform processes are a necessity for expediting the pace of participation of the popular majority in taking important decisions concerning their lives. These changes can only be achieved in the Arab region by starting the development of institutions guaranteeing such participation and the enhancement of areas of human development, especially the youth, the Assistant Foreign Minister said describing them as 'the new force in the Arab political scene.' He stressed that Qatar believes that an atmosphere of genuine dialogue, based on the respect of people's freedoms and choices, must be available in the region and the whole world. The two-day conference, which is being held at the Four Seasons Hotel, will discuss the developments one year after Arab Spring with specific focus on Egypt, Syria, Tunisia, Libya and Yemen. The Israeli-Palestinian peace process and attempts to relaunch it, Iran and its regional ambitions, the nuclear issue, and Iraq after the American forces' withdrawal will also be discussed. In his opening speech HE Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohamed bin Jabor al-Thani said: 'This conference is organised in the light of the policies adopted by Qatar to enhance dialogue between nations and rapprochement between cultures to find solutions for the problems that threaten security and stability in this vital area of the world.' 'Qatar's foreign policy believes in the necessity of peaceful co-existence on the basis of mutual respect and common interests and in accordance with the international law. Qatar believes in the importance of interaction between cultures and civilisations and the necessity of adherence to the values of tolerance, justice, openness and the right of people to live free and dignified in their countries. 'Moreover, Qatar strongly supports settling disputes peacefully and according to the international law. Force as a means to resolve disputes should be discarded. Respecting freedom and human rights, fighting corruption and advocating economic and social development are the pillars of good governance,' he said. Club de Monaco is the Institute for Mediterranean Political Studies.

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