PARIS, France, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, underlined that, Qatar is building its diplomacy on the basis of its principles, and believes that the region needs a coherent security strategy that enables people to coexist and live in peace.

In a speech at a meeting on “Qatar’s perspective on regional issues,” organised by the International Diplomatic Academy in Paris, Sheikh Mohamed said, what happened in the Gulf crisis was an attack and an aggression and an attempt to change the rule in Qatar. He noted that, “This is not new. The same attempt occurred in 2014, and in 1996, this aggression started against Qatar, when it started to adapt to change, implementing a different strategy and a different vision.

“These countries do not accept differences of opinion, and do not accept a country that has a different approach,” Sheikh Mohamed said, stressing, “We refuse to give up our sovereignty.”

He also pointed out that, “no concerns had been mentioned before the siege imposed on Qatar” and that the countries of the blockade have created the crisis at a time when the region faces many challenges. “We are building our diplomacy on the basis of our principles, and we believe that our region needs a coherent security strategy that enables people to coexist and live in peace,” he said.

“The basic pillar of our principle is that people are not subject to any political deal. When the issue is between the government and the people, we stand with the people,” Sheikh Mohamed added.

He said, when we started this policy we focused on different dimensions, “the first step was to liberalise our media. We were the first country in the region to close the Ministry of Communication and Information. We started legislating free media, guaranteeing freedom of expression under the law, focusing on human capital and means of developing it,” he said.

“We have invited different universities in different countries, including France, the United States and the United Kingdom, and we have given them freedom of expression. Investing in the human element has been one of our main priorities,” the foreign minister said.

Sheikh Mohamed said, the region has a lot of resources and high potential. “We have many young people and we consider them fuel for prosperity, but we need to give them the right means to achieve this vision,” describing Qatar’s relations with France as “historic and with its characteristics,” pointing out that France stood with Qatar in the early days of the Gulf crisis.