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Qatar PM: Negotiation on Gaza ceasefire reaches “stalemate”

DOHA, Talks over a ceasefire in Gaza reached a state of "stalemate", Qatar's Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammad bin Abdulrahman said on Tuesday. The best way to stop the ongoing fighting in the besieged Gaza Strip, that Qatar calls for, is the necessity of reaching a deal to put an end to atrocities committed against civilians and holding talks on the release of those hostages, Sheikh Mohammad added in the fourth edition of the Qatar Economic Forum (QEF) in Doha. There is ambiguity about how to halt the war from the Israeli side, which does not desire this option, he said. "We did not stop our role as a mediator despite several challenges facing us over the past weeks that pushed us for re-evaluation," he said. There is a fundamental difference that makes talks difficult; there is one party that wants to end the war, and then talks about the release of hostages, while the other party needs to continue the war, he noted. He stated that as long as there is no commonality between the two par ties, it will not "get us to a result". As for the ongoing war in Gaza, the Qatari Premier said it is enough, referring to the reports that confirm that the rebuilding process in the Strip needs USD 40-50 billion that will continue until 2024. Asked about Hamas' office in Doha, Sheikh Mohammad said the office has been open since 2012, with the aim of creating a communication channel between Hamas, Israelis and the Americans. He affirmed that this channel is effective, as the office has played a main role in the release of the 109 captives which was the only release process during the ongoing war. Regarding the situation in Gaza after the war, Sheikh Mohammad affirmed that it is still early to talk about this matter. However, he said "we believe in one Palestinian government responsible for the West Bank and Gaza to be formed by consensus among the Palestinians to lead the transitional process in the country. He also stressed the need to consider the region's stability and security. On Qatar's investmen ts in the next period, the premier said the Sovereign Investment Fund is following a diversification strategy, noting that Qatar is trying to expand its investments to emerging markets such as the Central Asian and African regions. On local level, he noted that Qatar launched its third strategy for national development, the third stage of implementing Qatar Vision 2030, elaborating that Qatar during the past 25 years focused on infrastructure, while the current stage is concerned with building up on what has been achieved. He said that artificial intelligence needs huge investments in infrastructure and application, referring to ambitious projects in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in this regard. He pointed to the launch of the' Fanar' artificial intelligence regional project, which is set to collect high-quality data. On investment relations between Qatar and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Prime Minister emphasized that there is existing cooperation, especially since the Saudi market is larg e and important for Qatari companies' business. The three-day forum kicked off earlier in the day, with the participation of heads of state, premiers, ministers, businesspersons and experts to discuss comprehensively global economy. Source: Kuwait News Agency

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