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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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Mideast facing hard challenges, says PM
2012-05-20

HE the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor al-Thani delivered a speech at the outset of the 12th Doha Forum in which he stressed the importance of issues on its agenda, pointing out that they are focused on issues of vital interest to the humanitarian relations at national, regional and international levels and are tabled for free, responsible and constructive dialogue from which we can come out with rules of action that achieve the gains sought by everyone.
He said there was no doubt that the most important elements that represent the characteristics of the political stage the region is passing through, was the strength and effectiveness of the broad popular demands for reform, which were the main motive for Arab revolutions. For this reason we have seen the strong popular move towards demand of the rule of law, respect for freedoms, uprooting of corruption and consolidation of economic and social development, HE Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim said.
The Prime Minister explained that these aspects were interrelated and had reciprocal influences on each other, expressing the hope that the discussions would be comprehensive in nature and focus on accurate analysis and objective criticism.
The Middle East region is facing today hard challenges, starting with the identification of means of movement toward reform and ending with the provision of means of peace, stability and new construction of community life at the national level, he added.
He said: If we added to this the apparent failure so far to eliminate known conflicts on the scene on the basis of a peaceful settlement under the international law, particularly the Palestinian problem, appears the magnitude of the challenges we face. For this reason, we have to acknowledge the fact that the achievement of reform, development, peace, security and stability, requires co-operation and solidarity.
Concluding, HE the Prime Minister believed that the world was now facing serious challenges, whether economic or political which leave for us options that need accurate and effective decisions and mechanisms.
Guest of honour, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaske said that the world now was facing many challenges notably the economic crisis and the food sufficiency issue.
Addressing the forums opening session Rajapaske said Sri Lanka had been emphasising over the last 30 years on being an economic hub in the region, a point deemed important amid the economic crisis. Its also focusing on being an economic hub in ex-trade and commerce in the region.
He further stressed in the same vein that Sri Lanka was putting efforts in the production in rural areas, railways industry as well as building a hub to shipment to be expanded in South Sri Lanka and facilities in maritime.

QNA