Qatar’s ambitions: What her security deal with UN means?

In a bold step, Qatar asks UN for cooperation on counter terrorism. Qatar signs an agreement that would allow UN to open an office in Doha for better coordination of peace initiatives in the region.

Qatar

Qatar’s Shura Council has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the United Nations, represented by the Office of Counter-Terrorism, aiming at providing a framework for cooperation to enhance the role of parliaments in countering terrorism and the conditions related to this phenomenon, and to facilitate cooperation between the two sides in areas of mutual interest.

It is worth noting that back in 2017 When the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt accused Qatar of aiding “terrorism” and being too close to Iran last year, they unleashed a media onslaught that made TV airwaves and the internet a battlefield to make their claims stick.

The office will cover activities of the parliaments of world countries. Diplomatic observers are attaching significance with the development and see it as an enhanced role of Qatar.

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According to the Qatar embassy announcement the MoU states that the Shura Council and the UN enter into direct arrangements to establish the Office of the UN Counter-Terrorism Programme in Doha, which will be concerned with the parliamentary participation in preventing and combating terrorism.

The office’s headquarters will be in Qatar and its activities will cover the parliaments of world countries. The MoU was signed by Speaker of the Shura Council Ahmed bin Abdullah bin Zaid Al Mahmoud and Under-Secretary-General of the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism Vladimir Voronkov.

Speaker of the Shura Council Ahmed bin Abdullah bin Zaid Al Mahmoud underlined the role of Qatar in countering terrorism, noting that the establishment of the UN office in Doha affirms the confidence of the international community in the efforts exerted by the State of Qatar under the leadership of Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani to counter terrorism and address its roots and causes, highlighting the essential role of parliaments in preventing and combating terrorism in light of their basic functions in enacting legislation, setting policies, allocating budgets, monitoring government actions, and ensuring the implementation of international pledges related to terrorism.

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The Doha-based Office of the UN Counter-Terrorism Programme will provide technical assistance and training to world parliaments in order to build capacity of parliamentarians to better understand and respond to terrorism-related issues.

Recently, the state of Qatar has amended its penal code to determine punishment for those who spread “Fake News”. New amendments to the penal code were announced in a statement by the Emiri court on January 14, 2020. The statement did not include the text. Analysts believes that the overall context needs to be understood before maligning Qatar for restricting space for dissidents.

According to Dina Matar, a senior lecturer in Arab media and political communication at SOAS: “It’s not only a political battle, it’s also a media battle. We have a huge problem in the Arab world just as you do in the West. Fake news is everywhere. Arab politicians and leaders are completely aware that the media is important and that the media is an important weapon. It is a weapon for propaganda, a weapon for private and public interests.”

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Qatar is becoming an inclusive modern Muslim state day by day. In an interesting move, Qatar, a country with more than 95% Muslim population and located in the Middle East, has announced to accommodate homosexual couples and transgender fans in the upcoming football world cup in 2022. This is a major step a conservative Muslim state has taken in modern history in order to attract a greater number of foreign fans to watch the event and visit Qatar.

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