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Qatar seeks active role for GCC

There is no winner in military conflicts, Hamad says

Gulf News

Manama: Qatar's Prime Minister said the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries should be involved in addressing the latest issues between the West and Iran.

"I believe that the best way is that we should be involved as Gulf States in any process to solve the problem between the West and Iran," Shaikh Hamad Bin Jasem Al Thani said, quoted by Kuwait News Agency (Kuna).

"I think all of us have an interest in not having any conflicts in the Gulf. It is a very sensitive place and at the same time, it is our region. I believe that all of us have tried a military conflict and all of us know that there is no winner in military conflicts, especially for the countries around the Gulf. That's why we have to find other ways," he said when asked what the solution would be and what the Gulf States' reaction would be if there were a confrontation.

Kuna said that Shaikh Hamad, also Qatar's foreign minister, made the statement following a meeting with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in New York City.

The Qatari leader said that there were worries about the escalation of the rhetoric between the US and Iran.

"Of course we are concerned about this, and we believe that what is happening now needs the region itself to be involved in how to settle these problems," he said.

Wary of "ugly surprises", the Gulf states have been for years concerned that Iran-US talks could result in unacceptable deals that would undermine their security and stability.

Gulf officials say that they do encourage a dialogue between Iran and the US that will help the region avoid sliding into military action, but are worried that Washington and Tehran would strike a deal at their expense.

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