HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani has said the siege countries have a systematic behaviour that prevents the achievements of the joint efforts of the United States, Qatar and all the global partners to combat terrorism.
Speaking during a discussion at the Center for the National Interest (CNI) in Washington, DC, Sheikh Mohamed stressed that the siege countries have been trying to “twist the truth with a scheme to flood the media with egregious lies about my country, but now over the past six months the truth is surfacing.”
The foreign minister said that lately the world has been watching the news and seeing images from “my region which are full of drama and discord,” adding that it wasn’t always like that as the region used to be “a place of prosperity thanks to shared effort” to enhance the values of peaceful coexistence.
“That time has been lost, and a dark period of close mindedness, totalitarianism and aggression has set in. The Middle East went from a centre of connectivity and enlightenment to being a region of turbulence.” The FM added, “Aggression, extremism have flourished. Governments are seeking dominance and intimidating smaller countries into submission. The dark age is not in the distant past. It is happening right now.”
“The illegal blockade launched against my country six months ago is just one move in this aggressive power play. The blockade was not really about those fake demands or ultimatums, but rather about modern-day powerful regimes threatening freedom, liberty and sovereignty.
“These threats are being played out in a dangerous game of power against many nations in the region, against Yemen, Somalia, Libya and now Lebanon. Aggression gone wild,” the minister emphasised.
Sheikh Mohamed added that it seems that these powers “are willing to use unbridled means of intimidation; creating humanitarian crisis, shutting down communication, manipulating financial markets, bullying smaller nations, blackmailing, fracturing governments, terrorising citizens, strong-arming the leaders of other nations, and spreading propaganda.” He added that “some journalists and think-tanks sacrificed their journalistic integrity for their donors’ favours.”
“We are a tiny nation in the Middle East sandwiched between two powerful forces in the region; Iran to the north and Saudi Arabia to the south. Then there is the UAE to the east, ‘the largest trade partner with Iran but at the same times acts as an accomplice with Saudi Arabia’,” the FM pointed out.
“Twenty years ago,” he said, “Qatar decided to make a bold move for independence. As our neighbours reverted to the dark ages of closed diplomacy and consolidation of power, Qatar decided to chart a course towards openness. Qatar believed that the best way to seek peace would be through international collaboration and sharing.”
The foreign minister said that the reason given by the siege countries for the current Gulf crisis “is and was a smokescreen,” adding that “Qatar is actually a global leader in the fight against terrorism and the blockading states are well aware of this reality.”
The current Gulf crisis “is and was a blockade against my country in an attempt to choke our efforts to resist the centralisation of power in the region,” Sheikh Mohamed said, adding that, “what started six months ago as a crisis of betrayal today looks much worse.” “The disrespect of international law and the absence of enforcement mechanisms made our region an experimental field for the power seekers’ adventures. Regional players are acting irresponsibly, taking political gambles with the lives of other nations’ citizens with no exit strategy.
“Aid for starving children is being used as a leverage. While the atrocities of Syria are being tolerated and in the same way Yemen is being put in a meaningless stalemate, now these powers make their attempt in Lebanon.
“This systematic behaviour is a reckless pattern for seeking power with a complete disregard for the suffering left in their wake. That suffering includes lost opportunities in the war against terror.
The blockading states who are among the power players in the region have a systematic behaviour, which distracts the US, Qatar and all our global partners from our shared anti-terrorism efforts,” the deputy prime minister and foreign minister said.
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