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heard in davos

Qatari PM calls for ‘irreversible’ solution to Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Mohammed Bin Abdul Rahman Al-Thani said that the only ‘active’ conversations happening around the Israel-Hamas war are around releasing the remaining hostages in exchange for a cease-fire

Halil Sagirkaya/Anadolu via Getty Images

Qatari Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani attends an interview as part of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on January 16, 2024.

Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed Bin Abdul Rahman Al-Thani said at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Tuesday that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is “a very central issue not for the region, but for the entire world,” and that any resolution needs to be “time-bound” and “irreversible” so that future governments cannot derail efforts toward a two-state solution.

Al-Thani added that other keys to securing a two-state solution included resolving divisions among Palestinian factions and tempering the rhetoric of right-wing Israeli officials.

“We cannot have a two-state solution without ending the Palestinian division,” Al-Thani said in conversation with WEF President Børge Brende, a former Norwegian foreign minister. “We cannot have a two-state solution without having a government and politicians in Israel who believe in coexisting together, side by side peacefully. And we cannot have all this ongoing without ending this war.” 

Al-Thani voiced concerns about efforts to rebuild Gaza, saying that “many countries” are reluctant to contribute financially to any sort of reconstruction because “they don’t believe in the sustainability of the situation.”

The prime minister’s appearance in Davos comes shortly after he met with a bipartisan delegation of House members and senators who also traveled to Egypt, Israel and the United Arab Emirates. The focus of the legislators’ trip was the remaining hostages in Gaza – both securing their release and encouraging Qatar to apply pressure to the International Committee of the Red Cross to provide medical care for those still alive in captivity.

The only active conversation happening at the diplomatic level, Al-Thani said, is a discussion on releasing the hostages in exchange for a cease-fire, Al-Thani said.

He raised concerns about rising tensions in the Gulf of Oman, where Houthi rebels are launching attacks on cargo and military vessels. The U.S. and U.K. retaliated with strikes on Houthi facilities last week, further inflaming tensions.

Al-Thani said that a “military resolution will not bring an end to this, [and] will not contain it,” warning that further confrontations could lead to a “further escalation.”

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