Secretary Clinton’s Remarks with Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani (excerpt)

PRIME MINISTER AL THANI: (In progress, via interpreter) – discuss the bilateral relations and issues of interest between the United States (inaudible). Once again I want to welcome her and give the floor to Her Excellency now.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much, Prime Minister. And let me express – let me express my pleasure at being back in Doha and to have had this opportunity this evening to have met with both His Excellency the prime minister and with His Highness the Amir. As the prime minister just said, we had very substantive, comprehensive discussions. And I thank also Qatar for hosting this year’s meeting of the Forum for the Future, which I will be attending tomorrow.

In our meetings with my friends here as well as with the Gulf countries in the GCC forum, we discussed a number of issues related to Gulf security and stability. As I outlined in my speech at the Manama Dialogue last month, America’s commitment to the security of the Gulf region is unwavering. We will continue to support our partners, including Qatar, as they work to address threats and create the conditions for long-term peace, prosperity, and human progress.

We also discussed Iran and the threat that its nuclear activity poses to the region and the world. The United States will continue to work with the international community toward a settlement that will hold Iran to its responsibilities to assure that its program is indeed peaceful. When the members of the P-5+1 meet in Istanbul at the end of the month with Iran, they will focus on practical steps that Iran must take to address the international community’s concern. And we urge Iran to come to this meeting prepared for these serious discussions.

I am delighted also that we had an opportunity to cover so many issues, and one in particular stands out because our two countries, as well as all the Gulf countries, share a strong commitment to support the sovereignty and independence of Lebanon. No country should be forced to choose between justice and stability. The Lebanese people deserve both. We were pleased that Prime Minister Hariri met with President Obama in Washington today. In recent hours, we know of the withdrawal of 11 members from the cabinet, and we are consulting closely with concerned parties and nations as the best way forward to support the stability and sovereignty and independence of Lebanon and the needs of the Lebanese people.

We also discussed Sudan, and I especially appreciate the good work that Qatar has done and that the prime minister personally has done as hosting the Darfur peace talks. Qatar has played an instrumental role in urging the Sudanese Government and rebel groups to unite around a diplomatic solution. We share that commitment and are working closely together.

On these and many other issues, Qatar is a trusted leader and a valued friend. The United States is proud of the partnership between our two nations. It has yielded positive results for the people of both of our countries, and we look forward to continuing to work together on the full range of issues that are important to us both. Thank you again, Prime Minister.

PRIME MINISTER AL THANI: Thank you, Madam Secretary. Can we move to the questions, please?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Our official stance is to support the effort that Qatar has been leading to bring the conflicting parties together. We know that the government in Khartoum had decided to try to move some of the discussions to Khartoum. I don’t think anyone objects to that so long as progress is made. Under Qatar’s leadership, there was a clear message that expectations were set and responsibility was expected, and people were being pushed to resolve the ongoing conflict in Darfur.

So I am certainly supportive of the efforts to date. If there are additional steps that could be taken, I am sure the prime minister would be the first to support those. We want to see a resolution. A lot of people had given up on whether or not there could ever be a resolution in Darfur. Qatar kept working at it and never gave up, and I think that deserves a lot of appreciation from the international community.

PRIME MINISTER AL THANI: Thank you very much.

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