Monday, April 14, 2008

Qatari Prime Minister: "We (Arabs) have to blame the Israelis, always"

Israel minister's visit sparks boycott

DOHA: Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni attended the opening of a forum on democracy in Qatar yesterday on a rare visit to the Gulf that sparked boycotts by other invited guests. The leader of the emirate which hosts US Central Command, Shaikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, opened the three-day forum shortly after Livni was welcomed by Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Shaikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr Al Thani.

Livni was with the Qatari prime minister at a dinner table at which Omani Foreign Minister Yussef bin Alawi bin Abdullah was also seated.

"I have seven cancellations because of your arrival. Don't cause any more problems," Hamad bin Jassim told Livni jokingly. "We (Arabs) have to blame the Israelis, always," he added.

Livni was in Qatar to address the forum on democracy and meet leaders of the emirate, which also maintains relations with Iran.
She was due to address the Doha Forum on Democracy, Development and Free Trade today, but no Arab participant was listed among the speakers at the session.
Members of the West Bank-based government named by Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas are attending the forum.
Other Palestinian figures attending the forum include Jawad Naji, an adviser to Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, and Mustafa Barghuti, secretary general of the Palestinian National Initiative. Israeli-Arab MK Ahmed Al Tibi was also present.
"Our presence here has nothing to do with her (Livni). But we should not stay away from any forum, especially in order (to lobby for) lifting the blockade imposed on the Palestinian people," Barghuti said.
"We reject her presence in the Arab world before the (Israeli) occupation ends."
A Livni aide said her meetings would focus on Iran's nuclear drive and also discuss developments in Syria, Lebanon and the Gaza Strip. (Gulf Daily News)


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home