‘We must not allow governments to use terrorism as pretext to persecute political opponents,’ FM asserts.
Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani blamed ongoing turbulence in the Middle East to a prevailing culture of “despotism”, the Qatar News Agency (QNA) reported on Friday.
Speaking Thursday evening at the Westminster Counterterrorism Conference in the U.K., the Qatari FM warned that children living under disastrous circumstances -- in places like war-torn Syria, Iraq and Yemen -- had been left with “no hope for the future”.
“We must not allow governments to disrespect the rule of law or use terrorism as a pretext to persecute their political opponents,” Qatari daily The Peninsula quoted Al Thani as saying at the conference.
He added that Qatar sought to provide “educational opportunities” to deprived children throughout the region and “empower minors and young people in the Middle East and North Africa with a view to rescuing them from despair and frustration”.
Many people in the region, the FM added, “suffer under rulers seeking power and exercising bad governance who deprive their people of their rights and dignity”.
Under such circumstances, Al Thani lamented, such people “can easily fall prey to extremist groups”.
“The maintenance of regional stability,” he added, “is one of the ways to win the war against terrorism and break the cycle of violence.”