(MENAFN - Gulf Times) HH the Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani witnessed the signing of the Doha Declaration of the Palestinian reconciliation by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Khalid Mishal at the Emiri Diwan yesterday.
HH the Heir Apparent Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and HE the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor al-Thani and several ministers attended the signing ceremony.
On the Palestinian side the members of the two delegations accompanying the Palestinian president and Hamas leader attended the ceremony.
Following the signing of the Doha Declaration, HH the Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani gave an address. The following is an unofficial translation of the address:
" I congratulate the Palestinian people and our Arab nation on the signing of the declaration which took place in Doha between the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Khalid Mishal. Undoubtedly it is a historic responsibility laid upon their shoulders to unify the Palestinian national movement".
"The declaration is a good evidence of the determination of the brethren in the Fatah and Hamas movements to bring cohesion to the Palestinian political body ... and we in Qatar firmly believe in the intention and determination shown by the brothers in Fatah and Hamas to overcome all obstacles".
"In view of our assessment, the Palestinian brethren have to proceed towards achieving their national unity which is no longer an option but their destiny and they will find us and the Arab nation supporting their efforts to regain all the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people."
The Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, in his address, expressed his thanks and appreciation to HH the Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani for the effort he has exerted to push forward the Palestinian reconciliation.
Abbas also thanked Egypt which started the reconciliation effort.
President Abbas reiterated his complete commitment to implement what has been signed in the Doha Declaration yesterday with regard to the elections, the government and all issues relating to the internal reconciliation regardless of the difficult circumstances.
President Abbas regarded the Palestinian reconciliation a vital Palestinian and Arab national interest, stating: "When I say Arab, this is what has made HH the Emir, HH the Heir Apparent and HE the Prime Minister assume such efforts which led to this". He promised to take similar efforts as soon as possible.
Hamas leader Khalid Mishal said: "From dear Doha, we joyfully announce such a declaration and such a reconciliation to our Palestinian people and our Arab and Islamic nation."
"After the efforts of our brothers in Egypt ... today we thank HH the Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, the Emir of the State of Qatar, HH the Heir Apparent and HE the Prime Minister and all the officials and the Qatari people who support the Palestinian cause".
Mishal expressed pleasure and delight at signing the Doha Declaration which he described as an "accomplishment", and pledged to the Palestinian people that the two parties, namely Fatah and Hamas, are fully prepared and keen to implement the declaration.
Mishal also pledged that the Palestinian decision-making process would be unified again on the basis of partnership either within the framework of the Palestinian National Authority or the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO).
Separately, HH the Heir Apparent Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani met Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Khalid Mishal at the Emiri Diwan yesterday.
HE the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor al-Thani and a number of ministers attended the meeting.