Qatar says no reason to end Hamas presence in Doha

Ahram Online , Tuesday 23 Apr 2024

Qatar said on Tuesday there was no justification to end the presence of an office for Palestinian resistance group Hamas in Doha while its mediation efforts continued to end the Israeli war on Gaza.

Majed bin Mohammad Al Ansari
File Photo: Qatar s Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Majed bin Mohammad Al Ansari. Photo courtesy of Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


"As long as their presence here in Doha, as we have always said, is useful and positive in this mediation effort, they will remain here," Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Majed Al-Ansari told a press conference.

Al-Ansari added that Qatar remains committed to mediation but was reassessing its role in “frustration with attacks” on its efforts.

Last week, Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said on it was time for a “complete re-evaluation” of Doha's role.

Qatar has rebuffed Israeli criticism of its mediation, including by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, for months.

In a statement, the Qatari embassy in Washington also hit out at Congressman Steny Hoyer, the top-ranking Democrat in the US House of Representatives, who has urged the administration to rethink its relationship with Qatar, and called on Doha to pressure Hamas for a captive release.

Without naming any individuals, Sheikh Mohammed said Qatar had been the victim of “points-scoring” by “politicians who are trying to conduct election campaigns by slighting the State of Qatar.”

The US State Department alleged Hamas has “moved the goalpost” and changed its demands in negotiations with Israel.

But it’s not clear what exactly has shifted in the details of the talks, which are being mediated by Egypt and Qatar.

Earlier in the day, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said he does not believe Hamas will leave Qatar, where it is based, adding he had seen no such signs that Doha wished the group to leave, either.

"What is important is not where Hamas' leaders are, but the situation in Gaza," Erdogan said, according to a text of an in-flight interview, on his way back from Iraq.

"The sincerity they have toward them, their stance toward them, has always been like a member of the family. In the coming period, I absolutely do not think it is possible for them to change this approach," he said.

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