Addressing the US-Islamic World Forum, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim said the developments in the region showed what the people felt about the governance in their countries.
He said the entire Muslim world was looking at the US response to the ongoing happenings in Afghanistan, Pakistan and parts of the Mena region.
Insisting that the US had a major role to play at different levels and in different capacities, the Prime Minister said the initiatives made by the US for more than a decade since 9/11 had contributed considerably to bridging the gap between the Western and Islamic worlds.
Reaffirming the Muslim world’s support to the people of Syria in their struggle against the regime, Sheikh Hamad said no one could stop the will of the people and every leader was duty-bound to understand and respect the hopes, wishes and aspirations of his citizens.
“The recent developments in many countries across the region have demonstrated in no mean way that the citizens have broken the barriers of fear and they are at ease asking for their legitimate right to live, talk and gather,” said Sheikh Hamad.
The Prime Minister also reminded the Islamic world that it had a responsibility to support such essential requirements as education and employment for the people of countries where leaderships have been forced to quit following agitations for change.
Sheikh Hamad said that though Qatar and the Islamic world wholly supported international envoy Kofi Annan’s six-point peace plan for Syria, it was unfortunate that not even one point could be implemented.
The Prime Minister also called for an effective, peaceful and permanent political solution to the Palestinian issue. While appealing to the US to have a clear look at the happenings elsewhere in the region, where changes have taken place after considerably long intervals, Sheikh Hamad said the US should take a realistic stand on the Palestinians’ legitimate right to live based on the pre-1967 position.
The Prime Minister said even though there had been a lot of frustration in the whole of the Arab world over the plight of the Palestinians, it firmly believed that the US was in a position to effect a decisive change in the scenario.
The prime minister said there were many areas where the US and the Islamic world shared the same concerns compared to the very few areas where they took divergent positions. “Such a situation would facilitate more meaningful and effective dialogues between the two worlds and thus there is every hope for long-lasting solutions to many a long-standing issue in the region.”
In his speech, the Prime Minister offered his condolences to the families of the victims in the Villaggio mall fire.