FM of Qatar talks about nuclear issue and suspected deaths in FIFA 2022 stadium’s construction site

H E Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister, has encouraged Iran and the United States to resume nuclear negotiations, stressing that the region cannot afford a nuclear or weapons race.

In an interview with Christianne Amanpour on CNN yesterday, he said, “We are hoping that this happens as soon as possible because we cannot afford to see a nuclear or arms race in our region,” Sheikh Mohammed stated that Qatar does not support the development of a nuclear programme in the Middle East area, emphasising the importance of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

“We are encouraging Iran to re-engage and be back in the deal. We are also encouraging other Gulf countries to engage with Iran directly to address other concerns,” Sheikh Mohammed said.

In May 2018, the United States withdrew from the nuclear agreement, which then-President Donald Trump referred to as “terrible.” President Joe Biden, on the other hand, indicated that if he is elected in 2020, he will rejoin the agreement, but the two parties have yet to reach an agreement.

“The US role is important in the JCPOA re-engagement. We heard yesterday from Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi that they don’t want to have a nuclear weapon, and that is what we share. We don’t want to see a nuclear programme developing in our region. We hope that this statement is followed by re-engagement from both parties,” he added.

In terms of Afghanistan, w omen’s mistreatment in Afghanistan is unacceptable, according to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs. Qatar would not allow “Afghanistan transferring into a breeding ground for terrorist organisations.” he said.

“It’s unacceptable for us to see any mistreatment of women in Afghanistan. Qatar, as a Muslim country with an Islamic system, has shown we can progress with the active participation of women. There’s nothing in our religion preventing them from going to school or letting them just stay at home, which is not acceptable to use in the State of Qatar,” H E Sheikh Mohammed said.

Sheikh Mohammed responded to a question on the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 preparations and stories of suspected worker deaths on the tournament’s building sites by saying that the public has been given “misleading information.” He added that Qatar has achieved great progress in labour and human rights over the previous decade and that the government will take full responsibility for further investigation of any issue.

“I think that the progress that Qatar has achieved in labour and human rights in the last 10 years is something ahead of the entire region. The ILO has publicly acknowledged Qatar’s progress. Unfortunately, there has been so much misinformation and misreporting about the facts and the numbers. The life of anyone living in Qatar matters a lot for the government, and we cannot leave it like this without any accountability. The government always investigates if there’s any cause of death and holds the parties accountable,” Sheikh Mohammed said.

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