By MOBIN PANDIT - THE PENINSULA - Arabnews -
DOHA: Qatar's leaders on Monday backed and justified the transformations taking place in the Arab world, arguing that they basically reflect people’s aspiration for change and freedom.
In a speech at the opening of the 11th Doha Forum at the Doha Sheraton, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Qatar's heir apparent, pointed out that because the fundamental values of freedom, equality, social justice and respect for human rights that all the religions of the world and international conventions stand for are ignored, the aspirations of the new generations in the Mideastern region remain unfulfilled.
This has meant denial of dignity, self-respect and freedom to the people of the region, he said.
“The transformations are taking place in the region because people want freedom,” Sheikh Tamim added.
He, however, described the failure to deliver justice to the people of Palestinian as the root-cause of all the problems in the region, be it violence, instability or extremism.
Sheikh Tamim urged the world community to put more pressure on Israel and convince it to implement the relevant international conventions.
“Regional as well as global peace will remain threatened unless the Palestinian issue is resolved,” he said, stressing that being a member of the world community Qatar continued to work toward making this world a more peaceful and secure place.
Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem bin Jabor Al Thani, the prime minister and foreign minister, reminded the forum that it was being held at a time when the entire region was witnessing significant political changes and events driven by the people.
“We rely on your points of view and your esteemed contribution,” Sheikh Hamad said in his opening remark. He emphasized the need to delve into issues like transformations rocking the region or other major issues facing the region like energy and water security, trade, peace and development.
The opening session of the conference, the 11th edition of "Doha Forum and Enriching the Middle East’s Economic Future," was devoted to transformations taking place in the Middle East.
Speakers warned that since countries in the Arab world are intertwined culturally and historically, it is difficult for the region as a whole to remain immune to change.
The three-day event concludes on Wednesday. Some 600 delegates from 80 countries are taking part in it.