| 10 December 2023, Sunday |

Qatar open to reconsidering Hamas presence in Qatar, US official says

A senior U.S. official stated on Friday that Qatar informed the U.S. that it was willing to reevaluate Hamas’s presence in Qatar after a crisis was handled to ensure the release of several hostages kidnapped by the Palestinian militant group and sent to Gaza.

According to the official, the agreement was made during a meeting this month in Doha between Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, the emir of Qatar, and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken. It was initially reported by the Washington Post.

There was no immediate response from Qatari officials to the news on Friday.

The Gulf state, in coordination with the U.S., is leading mediation talks with Hamas and Israeli officials over the release of more than 200 hostages captured in the Palestinian group’s Oct. 7 cross-border attack.

The wealthy gas-producer country has brought about the release of four hostages through its dialogue with both Israel and Hamas.

On Wednesday, Qatar’s prime minister said negotiations the Gulf Arab state was leading to secure the release of hostages held by Hamas were progressing and he was hopeful there would soon be a breakthrough.

  • Reuters