His Highness the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani is keen on healthy Qatar-Gulf relations and on resolving any problems between the brothers in the GCC, HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani has said.
He said no demands should be imposed on a sovereign state. “We received the demands of the blockading countries as a mark of appreciation for the Kuwaiti mediation.”
Talking to Al Haqiqa (The Truth) programme of Qatar TV yesterday, he said Qatar responded to the mediation efforts of the US Secretary of State and announced “our readiness” for dialogue. “Saudi Arabia was supposed to welcome that mediation too, but it did not do so.”
Sheikh Mohamed said though the siege countries say “the problem with Qatar is very, very, very small their media is attacking Qatar 24/7; their media too incites Western countries against Qatar”.
He said it is the legitimate right of the Qatari people to know the facts because the actions taken by the blockading countries are directed against them [Qatari people].
Tracing the events that led to the blockade of Qatar on June 5 last year, he said the UAE had launched a media campaign against Qatar two months before the Gulf crisis. “The UAE requested the extradition of the wife of an Emirati dissident in exchange for stopping the media campaign against Qatar. The former Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia (Prince Mohamed bin Nayef) said Saudi Arabia will not interfere in the case of extradition of the wanted woman, and said that it was against Arabs’ and Gulf people’s morals.”
“The Emir said he will not allow anyone to use Doha as a platform to attack the UAE or any other Gulf country.”
The foreign minister said Gulf ministers had held a ministerial meeting before the Arab-American summit in Riyadh but no differences were raised regarding Qatar at the meeting.
“The visit of Bahrain’s Crown Prince and Prime Minister to Qatar before the crisis confirms the absence of any differences; and suddenly we found these attacks against us after the hacking of the Qatar News Agency (QNA).”
He said the crisis proved two assumptions - first: Saudi Arabia was not sincere in dealing with us before the crisis; and the second: Saudi Arabia believed the fake news that was posted after hacking the QNA website.
“The relationship between His Highness the Emir and the Saudi leadership was normal before the crisis and we did not see any change in the relationship.”
On Egypt, the foreign minister said it was “a central and pioneering country” in the region and it was not in Doha’s interest to interfere in its affairs and “we tried to remove the differences after Mursi was deposed”.
Referring to the hacking of the QNA website, he said Qatar wanted the investigation into the cyberattack to be conducted transparently and “we welcomed the participation of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the British Crime Enforcement Agency and found out where and how the attack took place.”
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