First Deputy Premier: Stability in region calls for protection from outside threats

Foreign Information Agency of the State of Qatar:02-12-2005

Addressing the inaugural session of the NATO conference, Qatari First Deputy Premier and Foreign Minister H.E Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassem Bin Jabor Al Thani underlined that the work to institute and root the stability in the area requires, undoubtedly, the protection of this area against current and potential external risks
that arises from circumstances which the area have undergone within the two last decades, with the cooperation of the affecting parties to realize the security and the mutual interest of the related parties.

"In gulf area, we are utterly aware of essential reasons and
elements that made our area important for the superpowers in the east and the west within long ages. the importance of our area refers to the rich raw materials vital to the world, its economy and its existence such as, crude oil and natural gas", he said.

The area has also geographical special location which forms a link between the continents, oceans, civilizations and cultures of the world, he added.

Therefore the state of Qatar, which is distinguished with its external policy by virtue of His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, Emir of the state of Qatar, has assured the peaceful co-existence, and the international cooperation for providing the security, peace and stability based on mutual respect, common interests in accordance with international legal rules and values of tolerance, justice and openness.

its well known that NATO has witnessed an important transformation in the nature of its objectives and missions after the cold war as well as the experience accumulated up to date from the NATO practices. h.e added.

He noted that the most distinguished transformation for the
Arab world and gulf area is the importance given by NATO to the area and its endeavor to make cooperative relations with area countries.

this role was clearly determined in the statement issues by
Istanbul summit held in 24th June 2004, which resulted in the launch of Istanbul initiative for cooperation with the desiring countries of GCC for useful bilateral relations for both parties to enhancing security and stability, h.e said.

H.E  pointed out that NATO has declared that such initiative
concentrates on the practical cooperation, so that the NATO can give an additional value especially, in the field of defense, security and disasters management in peace time.

For his part NATO secretary general Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said: "My visit today is the first official visit by a NATO secretary
general to the Gulf region, and I am both honoured and pleased to be here in Doha. I want to extend my sincere appreciation to the state of Qatar for its generous hospitality, and for organizing this conference in cooperation with the rand corporation and NATO".

The theme of our conference is NATO's role in Gulf security  and I
value the opportunity given to me at the beginning of our programme to set out why the security of this region matters to the alliance, why NATO and the countries in the gulf have an interest in working together, and how we could enhance our cooperation, he added.

The day long conference winded up with a speech by Mohammed Abdulah Alrumeihi, the assistant of the foreign minister in charge of followup affairs, in which he outlined the security challenges facing the world such as terrorism and human trafecking and the Palastenian issue and weapons of mass desctruction.

Addressing the same venue, the chairperson of the closing session, ambassador Robert Hunter, who is the permanent representative of the NATO said that 9/11 and what is happening in Iraq have changed the region at large. Peace has become a prerequisit to combat terrorism and WMD, he said.

He also lauded Qatar for its efforts to set up a research and studies center, which would lay the foundations for new strategic ideas that would benifit not only NATO, but the Gulf countries.