Pedro Sánchez highlights Qatar's mediating role in the Gaza war

The Spanish leader has reiterated his defence of the two-state solution during his trip to Doha 
El presidente del Gobierno, Pedro Sánchez, y el primer ministro y ministro de Asuntos Exteriores del Estado de Catar, Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al Zan, durante la reunión que han mantenido  - Pool Moncloa/Borja Puig de la Bellacasa
The President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, and the Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar, Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al Zan, during their meeting - Pool Moncloa/Borja Puig de la Bellacasa

After visiting Jordan and Saudi Arabia, the President of the Spanish Government, Pedro Sánchez, concluded his trip to the Middle East in Qatar, where he met with the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, and the Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman Bin Jassim Al Thani. 

  1. Qatar, "a strategic and reliable partner for Spain" 

As he did on previous trips, Sánchez discussed with the Qatari authorities the situation in Gaza and the day after the war between Israel and Hamas. In this regard, the Spanish leader reiterated his defence of the two-state solution and recalled his intention to recognise the Palestinian state. 

He also praised the mediation efforts being made by Qatar to put an end to the war, above all to achieve a ceasefire, the entry of more humanitarian aid and the release of hostages. 

Likewise, he stressed that Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Qatar are driving various efforts to achieve a truce, to address the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, to free Israeli hostages and to maintain stability in the region. 

These three countries, along with Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, form the 'Arab Quintet' to push for a proposal for the day after the war. On this point, the Spanish President offered "Spain's full support, both at the national level and in seeking consensus with the European Union and the international community". 

Sánchez also insisted that "it is essential for the European Union to play an active role in the search for solutions". "Our credibility in demanding respect for the principles on which our political project is based and in defending international rules is at stake. Our security is at stake," he stressed, according to a Moncloa communiqué.  

For their part, the Qatari authorities highlighted the Spanish government's pacifist stance and, in particular, Madrid's emphasis on the importance of respecting international law and its determination to recognise the Palestinian state. The Spanish government has been one of the most critical voices of the Israeli military operation in Gaza.   

"I also commend the continued efforts of the Kingdom of Spain to provide emergency aid to the Gaza Strip and the continued support for UNRWA, which plays a vital role," added the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister. 

During the meeting, both sides regretted and condemned the recent attack that killed seven aid workers in Gaza. Sánchez described the response of the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, following the incident as "insufficient" and "unacceptable".  

"We are waiting for a much more detailed clarification of what the causes were, bearing in mind that the Israeli government knew about the actions and the itinerary of this NGO on the ground in Gaza," Sánchez said during the press conference following the meeting. 

Qatar, "a strategic and reliable partner for Spain" 

In addition to the situation in Gaza and in the region, the two sides examined the state of bilateral relations in different sectors. Both Spain and Qatar have described these ties as "excellent" after a Joint Declaration was adopted during the last visit to Madrid by the Emir of Qatar in May 2022, in which the relationship was elevated to strategic status, deepening the political and economic partnership between the two nations.

In order to launch the 'First Strategic Dialogue' envisaged in the 2022 Declaration, both leaders signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) during this meeting.  

On the other hand, as he did on his previous visits, Sánchez met with representatives of Spanish companies with interests in Qatar, a country he has described as a "strategic and reliable partner for Spain". Doha is also a key ally for energy security and the second largest investor in Spain among the Gulf Cooperation Council countries.  

During his visit to Doha, Sánchez also held a meeting with seven women leaders in different areas of Qatari society, such as business, sport and science.