Qatari Mediator Doubles Down Amid Fear of Collapsing Ceasefire
DOHA, Nov 30 (Reuters) – Amid praises for its brokering of a truce between Israel and Hamas, Qatar’s negotiators feared the ceasefire could fall apart. Sources revealed that the truce and accompanying prisoner and hostage exchanges were not clearly defined, which led to multiple concerns among the participants.
Clarifying the details was necessary as both sides were not in full agreement about the implementation of the ceasefire and the corresponding exchange, making Qatar’s lead negotiator, career diplomat Abdullah Al Sulaiti, express concern. The Qatari Prime Minister also postponed planned trips to broker a new round of negotiations.
The approach to mediation by Qatar was distinct, as they were proactive in brokering negotiations, rather than just being messengers between the parties. This strategy became effective when dealing with complex issues like the prisoner swaps, showing Qatar’s dedidcation to coming to an agreement both sides agreed on.
The intricacies of these negotiations were revealed for the first time, depicting a fuller picture of Qatar’s efforts in facilitating shuttle-style talks between two parties that lacked confidence in each other. As one of the few countries with direct lines of communication to both Israel and Hamas, Qatar’s role as a mediator in this conflict has become crucial, despite eliciting criticism from some Western figures.
The personal connections Qatar has to Hamas figures were key to their effectiveness, making them the only ones in position to lay out the ground for an agreement. The negotiations were detailed and at times, intense, and involved direct communication with both sides, including high-stakes discussions on specific procedures in case of any breaches in the ceasefire.
Although the ceasefire started, the work of Qatari mediator Al Sulaiti and the team is far from over- sustaining the agreement itself is no small feat, and the delicate nature of the negotiations reflects the elaborate details involved in such diplomatic missions.
Contact: [Qatari Ministry of Foreign Affairs](link)