Qatar is cautiously optimistic about the ongoing negotiations in Doha to stop the war on the Gaza Strip, said Official Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Dr Majed bin Mohammed Al Ansari on Tuesday.

Delivering the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ weekly media briefing, Dr Al Ansari said the technical teams are engaged in their work. He, however, declined any comments on what is happening so as not to affect the progress of the negotiations. He also voiced hopes that talks would press on, building on what has been achieved.

The work of these teams does not indicate that a truce agreement is imminent, it is part of the procedures followed in such circumstances, and it is too early to talk about progress or successes in these negotiations, Dr Al Ansari said.

He pointed out that it is not possible to set a time frame for the talks currently, as it is linked to the exchange of proposals between the two parties and reaching solutions to the main controversial issues. He expressed his cautious optimism about the resumption of the negotiations — indirect between the two conflicting parties — and the possibility of building on them.

Meanwhile, Dr Al Ansari warned that any possible attack on the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah would lead to massive destruction, a humanitarian catastrophe, and unprecedented atrocities – something that is disgraceful for the free world and its unpredictable repercussions would disrupt the course of negotiations. Rafah is currently home to hundreds of thousands of inhabitants and displaced people already suffering shortages in food, medicine, water and all necessities of life, he added.

He hailed an initiative to establish a sea route for aid delivery into Gaza as part of a group of initiatives to increase the delivery of aid into the Strip, highlighting Qatar’s key operational role for this route in collaboration with its partners.

Since the first day, Qatar announced its support for efforts that ensure the entry of aid into Gaza in light of the increasing need there, and that it will be one of the countries funding the entry of aid into Gaza through the sea route, Dr. Al Ansari added. Yet, he stressed that this corridor does not replace the unconditional need for aid to enter through land corridors, especially since field reports about the situation in Gaza are horrifying.

He noted that Qatar supports all efforts to deliver aid and that one way of aid delivery will not be sufficient, with the Gaza Strip on the verge of famine.

He added that it is shameful for the humanitarian issue to be on the negotiating table and for aid trucks to be exploited for pressure, while a famine looms in the Strip, something unacceptable at this time, in this manner, and under the nose of the international community.

With regard to the Qatari position on the ongoing attacks on civilian and medical facilities, Dr Al Ansari asserted that the Qatari position has been consistent in this regard since the beginning of the war, that the Israeli side must bear its responsibilities to ensure the safety of civilians, medical facilities and staff, and patients, pointing out that over 100 journalists were martyred and dozens others were detained in what suggests that it is a systematic method within the framework of covering what is happening in the vicinity of hospitals.

Dr Al Ansari denounced what is happening in the Gaza Strip, hoping that the international community will not deal ambivalently with regard to crimes related to international humanitarian law. When Israel commits atrocities, it turns a blind eye to them, unlike dealing with any other country, he explained, adding that international community must find a clear formula to stop these violations and ongoing crimes.

He reviewed the efforts of the Ministry and its officials, their meetings and participation in regional and international events, including the ministerial virtual meeting on the sea corridor initiative to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza; the arrival of the 86th aircraft of the Qatari Air Bridge to the Egyptian city of Al Arish carrying aid to Gaza , including food aid, bringing the total amount sent to 2,580 tons; evacuating the 19th batch of wounded Palestinians from the Gaza Strip, while the 20th will be evacuated from the Strip today, as part of the initiative of HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani to treat 1,500 Palestinians from the Gaza Strip; and the arrival of several guests, including the Singaporean Foreign Minister and the Belgian Prime Minister, within the framework of enhancing joint cooperation.

Dr Al Ansari also indicated that Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani would meet on Wednesday with Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan Olzhas Bektenov, to discuss bilateral relations and sign a number of agreements.

He recalled the meetings of the Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs with HH Foreign Minister of UAE Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan; the meeting of HE Minister of State at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulaziz bin Saleh Al Khulaifi with the representative of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs; the meeting of HE Minister of State for International Cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Lolwah bint Rashid Al Khater with HE French Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa Frederic Clavier, within the framework of the state’s support for Sudan and coordination with regional parties in this regard.