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Doha Forum closes. Date is set next year for the 13th edition.      
       

His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, Emir of the State of Qatar, opens the Doha Forum

Welcoming speech by His Excellency Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassem Bin Jabr Al Thani, Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs
 
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Learn from Arab Spring, Israel told
2012-05-21

Qatar yesterday asked Israel to learn a lesson from Arab Spring and make serious efforts for the long-awaited peace, reminding it that it cannot rely anymore on its friendship with Arab rulers who have been toppled in revolutions.

A strong coalition government in Tel Aviv now leaves Israel with no excuse that the fragility of earlier coalition dispensations did not allow it to be flexible and make compromises for peace, said the Emir H H Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani.

Addressing a key forum here, the Emir said: The Israeli premier is now required to take a long-awaited step towards achieving peace. And the peace must be based on cessation of (Jewish) settlements (in occupied Palestinian territories), the 1967 borders and the two-state solution.

The Emir reminded Israel without mentioning any (Arab) country that it should not be betting on others against their people or it would be isolated and left with no friends.

Arab public opinion seeks freedom of citizens as well as of countries. Palestine is the last Arab homeland that has not been given its freedom till date, and its time to earn it, said the Emir while opening the 12th Doha Forum and Enriching the Middle Easts Economic Future Conference at the Sheraton Doha.

The three-day event concludes tomorrow. Present were Prime Minister and Foreign Minister

H E Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem bin Jabor Al Thani, and the Chairman of Administrative Control and Transparency Authority H E Abdullah bin Hamad Al Attiyah, among others.

The Emir told Israel in no uncertain terms that it is a mistake to leave the Palestinian issue pending on the international agenda. The will of the Arab people will not allow that anymore.

The Arab people will not forget Palestine nor will they forget the thousands of the Palestinian prisoners who are languishing in Israeli jails or their besieged brethren in Gaza and elsewhere.

Therefore, Israel must adhere to the rules of international law, recognize the legitimate (Arab) rights of the Palestinian people, withdraw from Syrias Golan Heights and Lebanons Shebaa farms and refrain from practices that hinder the peace process, including Judaization of Jerusalem.

If not, Tel Aviv will miss the opportunity for peace since the coming generations of Arab people will not accept injustice or occupation, said the Emir.

He noted that the 12th Doha Forum was being held at a crucial and decisive stage in the history of the Arab nation and amidst several important regional and global developments.

Many of the events that are currently taking place in the Arab region and elsewhere in the world had already been issues that had been listed on the agendas of the Doha Forum since its 4th edition held in 2004.

Citing an example, the Emir said the Forum has called to begin reforms in the region. If these calls would not have fallen on deaf ears, the history of the region should have taken a different course over the past year.

Deprivation is one of the main factors that sparked revolution in the Arab world, said the Emir, adding that unemployment having the potential to undermine social stability must be tackled effectively coupled with educational reforms.

Talking of the impact of the economic crisis on poorer nations, the Emir said they are faced with deepening poverty, food shortages, declining flow of direct foreign investment and exports.

Official aid to these countries fell last year causing concern, the Emir said. Qatar, he said, had doubled its official aid in 2011 to $730m over the previous year.

Government and non-governmental aid (from Qatar) this year is expected to reach $990m and this does not include the aid provided by some government agencies, the Emir said urging donor countries to provide aid to poor countries in ratios suggested by the United Nations.

The Peninsula