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Posted On: 12 January 2009 09:31 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:09 pm

Qatar rules out closing Israeli trade office

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Qatari Prime Minister and Foreign Minister H E Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem bin Jabor Al Thani ruled out the closure of an Israeli trade office in Doha over the Gaza conflict, saying such a move needed joint Arab backing. “If Arab countries decide collectively to sever relations (with Israel), we will join the Arabs,” Prime Minister said in an interview with Al Jazeera television. “They only want Qatar to make a sacrifice (while) they continue to deal with the Jewish state,” he added in reference to Egypt, Jordan and Mauritania, which have diplomatic relations with Israel. Qatar has hosted a trade representation office run by two Israeli diplomats since 1996. Meanwhile, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem accused Israel of committing war crimes during its military onslaught on the Gaza Strip and argued that a UN-backed ceasefire should be binding. Muallem said Syria, France, Turkey and Qatar were all trying “to reach a ceasefire, the withdrawal of Israeli forces from the territory, a lifting of the blockade and the opening of the crossing points.”