There was no inkling of the siege countries' intention during the participation of His Highness the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani at the summit in Riyadh in May, in the presence of US President Donald Trump and a few days before the a fake statement attributed to the Emir was broadcast and the siege on Qatar began, former prime minister and foreign minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor al-Thani has said.
Speaking during an interview broadcast by Qatar TV on its 'Al Haqiqa' programme on Wednesday evening, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor al-Thani said that the fabricated statement (attributed to the Emir) on May 25 was to justify a certain thing, noting that he does not want to enter into its details.
He added: "I have a question that puzzled me: Did we need all these media programmes for several days especially as we were telling them that this statement is fabricated."
Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim explained that he was of the belief at the beginning and after the fabricated statement that there will be a media attack for certain purposes and reasons... and the reason was the fake statement attributed to His Highness the Emir. They did not need to fabricate because it is a legal offence and not at the level of States and individuals belonging to countries doing such work to enter the next phase .. They could start with a statement or a clear speech about their justification for the work they are doing .. I think this was a technical error and consumption for several days before entering the second phase."
Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim pointed out that the siege was not based on the fabricated statement. There was clear planning for this.
He expressed his surprise that when His Highness the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani was present in Riyadh and attended the summit held there, in which the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and the US president also participated, there was no sense that there was a problem, and the intention of the siege countries during the summit was unclear.
'No GCC role'
The former prime minister noted that he did not find any role of the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) in this crisis. He said: "We did not see the GCC officials in this crisis. I wish I could see them in this crisis even if they held Qatar responsible or even called for a meeting to discuss the crisis. This has not happened."
"We cannot impose opinions by force, especially as we look forward to attracting investors, changing our education or health system, taking care of jobs, creating a better life for our people and raising the per capita income of GCC states", he stressed.
"In this crisis we know our friend and our enemy. And the manner in which His Highness the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani has managed the crisis shows his wisdom. His Highness has managed the crisis with serenity and power. His Highness is of a generation we are proud of and proud to hand over the power to this generation. And the staff that work with him have worked with him diligently and honestly and showed us many talents and new ideas. And this crisis has brought many good people in this country. Also, His Highness the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani has brought people together and taken care of their daily issues from the first minute and the first hour".
"I pray to Allah that this shameful crisis ends with reason and wisdom, and I count on King Salman to take the initiative, with the Saudi position, to overcome this situation in the way we know between us and not in the way that some want, because this method will not succeed".
Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim added: "We know that Saudi Arabia is the big sister and we respect and appreciate, and it must also take into account the small countries in the region. I always say that Saudi Arabia is the backbone of the GCC, but we should take our differences and deal with other countries on a clear basis".
In response to a question about the failed coup attempt in 1996, in which the same parties that are currently imposing the siege on Qatar took part, the former prime minister and foreign minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor al-Thani said it was clear that failed coup attempt was meant to change the regime inaugurated by the people of Qatar. At that time when His Highness the Father Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani assumed power, this was welcomed and approved by all. We do not need the approval of anyone to inaugurate the Emir in Qatar, and we do not need recognition or support from anyone", he said, adding, however, the four countries recognised it.
"After getting permission from His Highness the Father Emir to talk with the late King Fahd, who I respect so much and who wanted to speak with me via telephone, King Fahd told me that he wanted me to go to Egypt and Syria after the change in Qatar. After that I spoke with His Highness the Father Emir, who told me that he had no objection. I went to Egypt and spoke to the officials there. Following that, Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak called His Highness the Father Emir and congratulated him. Then I went to Syria and met with president Hafez al-Assad, who had a different point of view.... that we do not need the approval of anyone, this is something that belongs to us just as they are in Syria".
"When the change took place, things were clear. We started to feel at the Muscat summit when we wanted to nominate a Qatari candidate for the position of secretary general of the GCC, Abdulrahman al-Attiyah. They said no, there was a Saudi candidate. Then His Highness the Father Emir gave no objection to that, but said let us agree that they should ask us to withdraw our candidate even when our candidate was the first to submit his nomination and there are agreements with some GCC countries to nominate him. When the Saudis said we do not want to send the request to withdraw the Qatari candidate, then we felt that there is a problem other than the issue of the secretary-general. There is a will to create a problem with the new regime in Qatar".
"After the Muscat summit, we began to see conspiracies from the four countries...and leaks by some conspirators began, and there were intelligence and specialised bodies that began to reveal things clearly until the conspiracy was uncovered. In these conspiracies, there were prisoners, including military prisoners from a brotherly country and were in Doha. After a period of time, there were requests from the then Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz and Prince Sultan and an official letter requesting to pardon these prisoners and to end this problem. His Highness the Father Emir accepted that request and pardoned them, although there were judicial verdicts against them".
Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim said: "Although there was tension between us and these countries, there was a minimum of mutual respect, so there is no harm to the symbols, pointing out that King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz told him this is villainy, and we do not want to engage in any plot, and then handed over the conspirators, who took refuge in Saudi Arabia, to Qatar. We, in recognition of his request and his position, pardoned prisoners".
He added: "I cannot say that everyone in Saudi Arabia participated in this plot, as there were some who didn't accept it. We discovered that countries that must not interfere in internal affairs took weapons from one country to another through planes and had stockpiled. All of these were documented by photographers and there was an international party that was a witness to what happened and then there were face-to-face meetings and we solved this crisis. Some senior official in Saudi Arabia, who is still now there, told me: 'I cannot blame you in some of the issues that you have taken, we also did things that we should not do'. This senior official is there now and I do not want to name him in order to preserve relations and preserve what can be preserved. Unfortunately, there's nothing can be preserved after all what has happened"
On the real reasons that pushed Riyadh and Abu Dhabi and their continuous attempt to isolate Qatar in the Gulf on more than one occasion, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor al-Thani expressed his surprise at this policy because Qatar has over many years had good relations with Abu Dhabi. Regardless of differences that occurred in the past, there was a privacy in relations between Saudi Arabia and Qatar and there was a back channel due to the strength of this relationship.
He added: "This privacy in relations has always been playing a role in solving the problems, whether the mistake is by Qatar or Saudi Arabia because the former kings of Saudi Arabia intervened clearly and the issue get resolved because they consider themselves the big brother. Qatar also considers them the big brother and the backbone of the Gulf Co-operation Council. That is why there was a kind of solution to any problem and on a sound basis and not just words".
Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor al-Thani said that he had close and good relations with many officials at the time in Abu Dhabi. He expressed his surprise "at this campaign" from Abu Dhabi because "if there is an attempt against Qatar from other parties or in other regions or as mentioned by WikiLeaks, we have to look for the reason behind that. If the reason is the success that has taken place in Qatar during the past period, I think this should have been a catalyst for them as I had said that Dubai was a model in certain things for Qatar and the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) countries. Why don't brothers help each other to progress instead of trying to defeat them."
He added: "GCC countries need several capitals for issues such as economic, sports, political or social issues, and the Gulf population is small. Why do we compete and waste a lot of money instead of using this money for the benefit of our people and developing them Why do we use the money to defeat a parson in an election or defeat a case here or there."
He noted that Qatar had given up more than once in favour of Gulf and Arab states. This was often the case. "There was a Gulf and Arab consensus at one point that HE Abdulrahman bin Hamad al-Attiyah become a secretary-general of the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation. Saudi Arabia asked us to withdraw that and the State of Qatar immediately withdrew the nomination. We also gave up in the Arab League. In the past, we submitted more than 18 written papers asking that the secretary-general of the Arab League be selected through election, and when we were asked to give up this paper, Qatar gave up and did not nominate for the post of secretary-general, especially that Egypt has just emerged from the January 25 revolution and our goal was why not be an Egyptian".
He said: "When Qatar nominated a person for a certain post they always demanded that it withdraw and we met that demand or they work against it to thwart our request, despite the fact that there is always a decision in the GCC to stand with any Gulf nomination and this is not a custom but a written system in the GCC."
In response to a question about the renewed hostility towards Al Jazeera channel and whether the channel was established to settle accounts with some Gulf and Arab countries, the former prime minister and foreign minister said that when His Higheness the Father Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, considered the establishment of Al Jazeera, the aim was to be heard by all Arabs and non-Arabs, and to be as neutral as possible.
Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor al-Thani pointed out that he was among those who participated in the establishment of Al Jazeera on the instructions of His Highness the Father Emir at the time.
He said: "After two or three years of founding, I felt regretful because of the many problems that it caused to the State of Qatar because it adhered to a certain line and this line was harmful to us in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and in the State, because there are certain Arab countries that were not used to freedom of expression."
With regard to the UAE's incitement to bomb Al Jazeera, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor al-Thani said when journalists wanted to go to Iraq in 2003, Al Jazeera was in one way or another in Iraq. The Americans told us that it is better to have all the journalists in Kuwait to enter with the other journalists, when we asked them why, the Americans said they would prefer that they be with other journalists. There was a trick that we did not know as all the journalists were brought into Iraq except Al Jazeera journalists and this was justified by various arguments".
Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim pointed out that at this time there was a news channel that broadcast from the UAE, namely, Abu Dhabi channel, in addition to Al Arabiya channel. They were given preference in agreement with the Americans. He added after a period of time Al Jazeera journalists managed to enter Iraq from others ways and began to work and write their press reports from there. "Then we were surprised and asked why they accepted their entry. The Americans said that they asked us to do so and there must be more channels than they compete together and there was a stand against Al Jazeera".
Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor al-Thani pointed out: "There may be things that Al Jazeera has dealt with, or which it may have talked about, which may be unusual in our Arab region and it was put forward with such openness."
He expressed his belief that the existence of errors in Al Jazeera was because "The channel moved from "No freedom to freedom" .....chaos occurs, which happened in some programmes and with some guests".
He said: "We always discussed these matters without interference in editorial policy. It was the commitment of His Highness the Father Emir not interfere in editorial policy. We understood many of these demands or anger from some countries. Many issues have been resolved face-to-face that do not require a conspiracy, because Al Jazeera's position even on the subject of Yemen, Syria, Libya and the Arab Spring has pros and cons. Therefore, if it was criticised. I have to be fair and talk about the positive aspects of Al Jazeera, which opened a horizon for the Arab citizen to know the truth".
His Highness the Father Emir wanted Al Jazeera to be a voice for the Arab citizen to know what is going on in the Arab world, so its news about Qatar was few or nonexistent at that time because it was talking about the whole Arab world and was a real inconvenience to us and caused the withdrawal of a number of ambassadors", he noted.
On the role played by Qatar in resolving the political dispute in the past between Saudi Arabia and the UAE, the former prime minister and foreign minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor al-Thani said: "There was a border dispute on a tripartite point between the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Oman. Saudi Arabia had a point of view. This was one of the issues. There were demands on the border between them. I was appointed by His Highness the Father Emir. We held a meeting for them and His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed al-Nahyan, UAE minister of foreign affairs at the time, came with us, and this issue was settled in the presence of His Highness the Father Emir".
On the previous dispute between Qatar and Abu Dhabi, late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan, said during a visit to Egypt that the people of Qatar do not exceed the population of one of the neighbourhoods of Egypt. Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor al-Thani said: "When this statement was issued, I was at a meeting in Kuwait, and I was surprised by this statement because there were no reasons for this. We ended our meeting and returned to Doha. His Highness the Father Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani told me if you want to respond, it has to be a positive response and the response was positive and it was that Sheikh Zayed is the father of all."
Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim said: "After that Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan, the heir apparent at the time, visited Doha and he had a strong personal relationship with His Highness the Father Emir and there was mutual trust, and Sheikh Khalifa said the statement was made in a way that was intended on this subject, adding with our respect for Sheikh Zayed as an old man and a leader of a state, we did not have a response other than what was said.
Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim explained that he met with Sheikh Zayed during the preparation of a conference of the GCC and said to him very positive words and this indicates that he did not have any hatred of the State of Qatar.
On some voices in the GCC, which seek that Qatar not become politically independent in its decision and remains subordinate to some countries, the former prime minister and foreign minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor al-Thani said in his interview with Qatar Television that the dominance of states existed previously, but eased by the global polarisation of the Soviet Union and the United States. "After the creation of the United Nations, justice and law began to take hold, except for the Palestinian question and some issues that have complexities different from the complexities we are currently talking about".
He said, "Fist there is a very important point. Has Qatar one day said it is a match for Saudi Arabia. They match each other in terms of dignity, brotherhood and rights. We know that Saudi Arabia is bigger and stronger. I criticised some writers who talk about small and big issue which should no longer be an issue. Now if a democratic state dominates in the Gulf, big or small, and if it wants to spread justice and dominate, this can be logical. But international law is known. The same flags are hoisted at the United Nations and if we look at Hong Kong, which was a British colony, and China, which has 1,300mn people and a great power, it did not attack Taiwan and did not attack Hong Kong. Taiwan didn't return to China, and Beijing has always been talking about the political solution, and when Hong Kong separated through an agreement though China can annex it without even taking military intervention. Of course it did not do that".
He said there are many examples in the world, such as Singapore, a newly established state and a small country. "It lives among powerful countries but it is legally viable country as it is an independent country with a membership in the Asean and the United Nations. It is working together with its neighbours though it is better and more advanced, but its neighbours admiringly look at it and know where their borders are with it because they all follow the law. Another example is Monaco or Luxembourg or Canada and there are many examples in the world".
The former prime minister and foreign minister expressed regret that he did not see any role for the Gulf Co-operation Council in the current Gulf crisis. "We did not see the GCC officials in this crisis. I wish I could see them in this crisis even if they held Qatar responsible or even called for a meeting to discuss the crisis but this hasn't happened".
"We cannot impose opinions by force, especially as we look forward to attracting investors, changing our educational or health system, caring for jobs, creating a better life for our people and raising the income of the individual in the GCC, he added. In all of our countries there were mistakes in the use of wealth in the past, but there are countries that changed this and created a new environment to better work through the law and developed incomes. Why do we talk about a large and small (country), and that the small has to accept us or act with you in a non-civilised way or stir problems between tribes The issue is over, and we must act as states", he said.
Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor al-Thani
"We know that Saudi Arabia is the great sister country, and we respect and appreciate it. It also has to take into account the small states in the region. I always say that Saudi Arabia is the backbone of the GCC, but we should handle our differences and deal with other countries on a clear basis.
"In response to a question about Qatari-Bahraini relations and their border disputes, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor al-Thani said this Qatari-Bahrain dispute over some islands and marine waters was handled for many years by sister Saudi Arabia.
"I remember that before going to the international court His Highness the Grandfather Emir Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad al-Thani, may God have mercy on him, received a map with an idea from Saudi Arabia to divide the disputed border area. The response was given after consultations and after some days His Highness the Grandfather Emir travelled to Dammam where he met with King Fahd and told him about Qatar's approval for the Saudi proposal and thanked him for his initiative to resolve the issue and asked him about the date of resolving the issue, and he told him that after a week or two there will be a solution to the problem, and after that I went several times for several weeks but nothing happened. The issue lasted several months and nothing happened".
Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim pointed out that it was agreed to formulate a paper to go to the International Court of Justice and King Fahd agreed to this, but the invasion of Kuwait took place and everything stopped. Then the Doha Conference was held where the Qatari paper was presented in the presence of all, and King Fahd asked the agreement of our Bahraini brothers on the Qatari paper, but they refused to sign the paper before they signed it two days later. And we sought before going to the court to find a friendly solution but there were parties against the friendly solution and against going to court, and the issue remains as it is".
He explained: "His Highness the Father Emir said that this issue is like bleeding for us and for the brothers in Bahrain and we have to go to the court and we will accept its rule. We went to the International Court of Justice. The court accepted the jurisdiction. The borders were divided and we announced at the time our acceptance of this solution. We started on our part to normalise relations with Bahrain, and we were talking about joint projects and a bridge and other projects. When a problem occurred with any country we find that Bahrain is a key part in that".
In response to a question about the Qatari mediation to resolve the Bahrain crisis in 2011, he said at the time Hamad bin Khalifa al-Attiyah was in contact with the Bahraini government at the highest level to find a peaceful solution and there was approval from them on this subject. "Hamad al-Attiyah told me that the Bahraini government accepted our mediation. I also received a call from Jeff Feltman, US assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs. He asked me to help with mediation and told me he would be in Bahrain when I go there.
"Prince Saud Al Faisal, may God have mercy on him, also contacted me and told me that he wanted me with him in Bahrain to resolve the issue. I asked for the approval of His Highness the Father Emir, who agreed to that. Prince Saud al-Faisal arrived there before me. We met with HM King of Bahrain and we talked about the issue and I told him I will go to Ali Salman on the basis that he was going to withdraw from the Pearl roundabout. And by the way I did not know Ali Salman and did not meet him...not even once. Only I had a phone conversation with him that came based on agreements reached and when I spoke with him he told me that Jeff Feltman is with him and I talked to Feltman and he told me that he will wait for me with him to solve the matter. This is the truth, and this is what happened. Then there was a signal from the King of Bahrain that I should not go to meet Ali Salman... The goal was basically to allow Al Jazeera shield forces, in which we have forces, to enter the island. Our efforts in any GCC country is only in support of the stability of the Gulf.
He pointed out that Al Jazeera shield forces, including Qatari forces entered the island. "We were present to prove to our brothers in Bahrain that we are with stability of Bahrain. Of course the matter was resolved by force and we did not mind, but our question was why the issue was not resolved calmly and peacefully to avoid many things.
"We are accused of interfering in Bahrain and I challenge this as I challenged it in the recording that was circulated about the brother Hamad bin Khalifa al-Attiyah. This was in the interest of Bahrain and its stability and we have many evidence to prove how we have co-operated with them on many issues".
On the joint land border between the State of Qatar and the United Arab Emirates in the past, and who benefited from the prevention of projects such as the bridges between Qatar and the UAE or between Qatar and Bahrain, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor al-Thani said the issue of borders was an agreement between the UAE and Saudi Arabia, as the two countries divided their border, and on the basis of this agreement the borders of Qatar was separated from the UAE, and we respect this agreement between the countries. We in the State of Qatar when we finished our land border and Khor Al-Aideed with Saudi Arabia and with Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz, may Allah have mercy on him, and Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz supervised the issue when he was crown prince before his death, and also resolved the maritime border. We then mediated between the UAE and Saudi Arabia, and we exchanged maps and all this in good faith from us. When we resolved our maritime issue we sought to resolve the issue of the UAE-Saudi border, and because this time witnessed an escalation between the two sides, this escalation led to border problems and led to the idea of establishing sea bridge between the State of Qatar and the UAE.
"We in Qatar requested that we study the issue of the bridge in private, but the UAE requested it to be public ... because that would put pressure on Saudi Arabia to end the border problem with the UAE. I was aware that this issue is only aimed at putting pressure on Saudi Arabia. We tried to help in good faith .. but unfortunately they do not remember now all these things.
"The bridge between Qatar and Bahrain is another story. After the end of the border dispute and the verdict of the International Court of Justice, this bridge was a priority. I remember that His Highness the Father Emir asked me to speed up the implementation of the bridge. I told him that we need a year or a year-and-a-half for finalising designs and implementing the projects.
"We are talking about 6 or 7 years. His Highness asked that the bridge be implemented in two-and-a-half or three years. The project was launched and the Qatari side was rushing and we agreed to pay the full cost of the bridge, although the brothers in Bahrain contributed half of what they have to pay of the bridge's annual amount to the Qatar Committee. I think that the bridge is very important and vital for both countries and can drive the economy of the Kingdom of Bahrain in the field of employment, where Qatar has many job opportunities that can accommodate a large number of Bahrainis.
"The bridge would have been an important economic pillar especially for Bahrain, a social link between the brothers. There was seriousness in this work, but it was delayed because when we get to a stage a problem arises that hinders this issue and the current crisis is an example.
"The last of these stages was last year when the Bahraini prime minister Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman, who we highly respect, came to Qatar and was accorded the reception he deserves. After his visit, the crown prince of Bahrain, who we highly respect, paid a visit to Qatar and there were other visits by the leaders aimed to bring things back to normal course, but the current problem has occurred and the subject has stopped again".
On Qatar's hosting of US forces and whether it was because of fear of external aggression on Qatar, and whether there was a Qatari-Saudi co-ordination to transfer US troops from the kingdom to Qatar and who is responsible for the slogan that they should be driven out of the Arabian Peninsula, he said when Kuwait was occupied by Saddam Hussain, US forces asked to station in the region to help liberate Kuwait. At the time, Qatar was blacklisted in US because of ridiculous issues. When they asked us to land, we demanded that our name be removed from this blacklist. The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdul Aziz visited Qatar and asked that the troops be sent to Qatar. And from that day relations between Qatar and US improved. With regard to the slogan that they should be driven out of the Arabian Peninsula, Qatar did not adopt this slogan, because it was raised by Al Qaeda and because it was their goal to exploit the fragile situation at the time in the region to seize power and because they wanted power and to implement their goals that we do not agree with.
"The slogan started to surface after the liberation of Kuwait until a contact came to me during a visit to Paris. They said that there were American forces on the border who want to contact you. They said they wanted to move the troops to Qatar. They were transferred to Doha airport and then to Al Sailiya as they came in an unorganised way and quickly due to several explosions in Saudi Arabia at that time. The US-Qatari relationship began to develop. We worked on the agreement to build a base for them and Al Udaid base was built by both sides. This base was used in the Afghanistan war. It fully served the US and there was an American ambition for a huge base in the region to serve its military policy. We had our ambition to have our relations with the US as our country is small".
"On the Qatari-Iranian relations, the former prime minister and foreign minister noted that in 1989 he had made his first visit to Iran when he was the minister of municipality and was the first official to visit Iran after the revolution at the time, adding that Iran then offered to deliver water to Qatar, and we know that it was economically useless at the time, we had a shared gas field and we wanted to resolve all common issues and then visits continued until I became the Minister of Foreign Affairs. Later. we reached a system for the exploitation of the shared field between us and Iran.
"Iran, as a major country, should have normal and excellent and economic relations because we are opposite on the Gulf and we share a gas field which the distance between the platform and the other is 25 meters.
Talking about an issue that took place between Qatar and Iran in the past, he said at one point, the Iranian navy entered the Qatari territorial waters and Doha asked the Qatari navy to capture the forces that had penetrated into its territorial waters. The forces were captured, and we informed Iran that our border is a red line and has been attacked. Iran replied that its forces did not enter our territorial waters. We asked for a neutral party. Iran dealt with the matter calmly because they know their strength. The neutral side proved that this is Iranian territorial water, and Qatar apologized for Iran. But if that happens with an Arab country, what would have happened Iran deals smartly with issues and we see this in dealing with its nuclear file during the past thirty years.
"He expressed his belief that handling Iran should be though a friendship and discussion of things openly and face-to-face, not in hostility. Therefore, it is very important that there should be a dialogue between the two sides of the Gulf. "I wrote a memorandum on this subject earlier on the need for a Gulf system, that included Iran and Iraq post-Saddam, and this system will be an economic force and incentive for Iran to co-operate more with the West in the nuclear file.
He added that Qatar does not agree with Iran on many issues in Syria and Yemen and some interventions in the Gulf countries. This was a dispute with Iran, but it must be discussed face to face.
On Qatari-Israeli relations, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor al-Thani said this relationship began in the days of peace and after the Madrid conference. There was optimism for establishing peace, and frankly at the time there was a need for becoming closer and closer to America. It was important to establish a relationship with Israel to open for you many doors in US and the relations were established and developed until the opening of an office in Doha and we had agreements and disagreements, and even after the closure of the office the relations continued.
Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor al-Thani said that the office was closed after an agreement whereby medical and food aid was provided through the port of Ashdod to the besieged Gaza at that time. The then Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni agreed with us even though we wanted to bring this aid to the Gaza port, but they refused and asked that it be brought to Ashdod first and then transferred to Gaza by cars. But we were surprised one day before the arrival of the ship that the Israelis told us that the ship will be targeted on the pretext of receiving instructions from the Israeli army, and then we knew that the instructions came from an Arab country and this is for sure, because it is not reasonable that Gaza is besieged from everywhere and Qatar can enter an Israeli port. When we asked them to implement the agreement, they said that the instructions came from a major Arab state and we do not want to get into problems with them because we have mutual interests and therefore the relations were severed, but some kind of communication continued.
He stressed that he knew the Israelis well and had been attacked because of dealing with them. The goal was to establish peace and end the Palestinian issue peacefully, both in Gaza and in the West Bank. We always sought to resolve this issue. I had experience in dealing with the Israelis, and there are many in the region now dealing with Israel. I know that many meetings are taking place between some of the leaders in the region. They are coordinating meetings. I know that there is a perception of the peace process, and I know that it will not work now, and I know why did the border between Rafah and Gaza open, which is something positive.
HE Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor al-Thani said that during the Doha conference it was agreed that Palestinian reconciliation should be carried out through Egypt, which is taking over the reconciliation process, and therefore we were not competitors and all the meetings for reconciliation held in Doha are preparation for the meeting of Egypt. We went to Cairo and we met with the Palestinian factions to bring the views closer because we did not have any sensitivity of those who deal with this file and because the purpose of this file is to succeed in lifting the siege of the Gaza Strip, which is inhabited by 2 million Arab Muslims.
The main problem now is the intimate Israeli relationship with some of the brothers. I am not against it and I think it is positive, but I warn them and I want them to be aware that it must be based on sound foundations without compromising Palestinian rights or Jerusalem or Arab Muslims. We are with them in any effort aimed to establish peace and we are with peace and calm and with people living in a normal way in the region.
He pointed out that Qatar prepared the lists of Palestinian prisoners for their exchange with the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit and in cooperation with the German mediator and other parties, but one day before the completion of the exchange process we were asked to give a state .... we told them if you want to hand them to Egypt we have no problem. What is important is to resolve the issue and release prisoners.
Regarding Qatar-Hamas relations and the call by the siege countries to stop it, he said you are now rebuilding Gaza and you want to deal with Hamas, but one of the 13 demands is that Qatar stops dealing with Hamas, adding that "our intentions are different from those of the Hamas movement, Qatar is a royal state with different objectives than theirs. But we are talking about the besieged people of Gaza and how they are being helped. This is the main objective and anyone tries to solve this we will help him.
Being closer to Israel and fierce competition over who can solve this or that issue is a waste of time for us in the region because we need to focus on other issues, he aid. We are in need of an economic, educational, social, functional and health focus, and our people will ask us where are millions and billions that came from oil. Where did they go And what did you do for the people
Israeli aggression on Gaza
On the emergency summit called by the State of Qatar to stop the Israeli aggression on Gaza in 2008 and the reasons for the non-completion of the quorum of this summit, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor al-Thani said as His Highness the Father Emir said the quorum was incomplete because of some Arab countries trying to fail it and there was no reason for that, only because the summit will be convened in Qatar.
"We did nothing but support brothers who were attacked for no reason, but this was a sensitive issue, saying that a large part of our problems that we created is because we put others in a position to show that they did not do anything. I believe that Qatar has played many roles, some of them were good and some may be negative, but at the same time we did not take into account the distribution of roles though we are not the one who distributes roles because there are countries bigger than us that distribute roles.
In response to a question about the attack by the Bahraini foreign minister on Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor al-Thani said the foreign minister of Bahrain is my friend and I have a relationship with him even after I left my post. I have a point of view on what comes out of it, but I say God help him.
On the sound recordings that were said that it's for His Highness the Father Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani and His Excellency with the late Libyan president Muammar Gaddafi, he said the subject of the tapes was killed and buried then returned, in 2013-2014. His Higheness the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani discussed these matters and concluded that things and there were mutual visits between us and the brothers in Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi.
He added: "We cannot keep the 1996 conspiracy forever, or the subject of Al Khofous, now Hamad bin Jassim and His Highenss the Father Emir left power and His Highenss Sheikh Tamim started with you, although historically Sheikh Hamad in the beginning of his the rule, said that he wants privileged relations with the kingdom, there are errors from us and errors from them, but they are the largest and strongest party and we resolved things through discussion and they stand beside us and we stand beside them.
He continued: "I have done many things for Saudi Arabia. I was the one who went to the former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and then the meeting that took place in Pakistan with King Abdullah then a breakthrough in relations happened and I delivered a message from King Abdullah. There were many situations between them and us, positive situations from them and positive situations from us, but all of it has disappeared and now we focus on the bad issues and didn't focus on the positive issues and built on them.
He added: "I have one analysis. Is this what happened to impose a certain policy in the region Should Qatar be preoccupied with this dispute to impose a specific policy in the region.. We do not have a disagreement if they have a clear policy and plan we share, and brief us on it'. He said we participated with them in Yemen without knowing the cause of the fighting, and in Syria, and when the Saudi embassy was destroyed in Iran, they told us to withdraw our ambassador and we withdrew our ambassador, the same as they did for us, everything we asked was done.
He continued: "We boycotted Iraq because the policy of Saudi Arabia at the time has no contact with Iraq, they are calling now in Iraq. Have they come to tell anyone in the GCC that they are taking this step I am sure everyone welcomes that this step is a good step and should be done for a long time and that Iraq is in the embrace of the Arab and Gulf".
On the border dispute with Saudi Arabia, he said this border dispute with the Kingdom in Al Khafoos has been dealt with in a non-positive way by both parties, but the party that is blamed is the aggressor who used force because there was no need to use force. I was visiting Pakistan and I received a call that King Fahd wanted the foreign minister and I went to Saudi Arabia and he was annoyed by this subject, and I told him to give me time to know what had happened. He told me that the border would be demarcated in an amicable manner because there was a previous promise to modify this border, Qatar has had some existing farms but expanded somewhat and in the meantime this attack was escalated by both parties but this issue has been resolved, mediated by former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and the Medina agreement was sealed. The agreement was signed and when the dispute was present and the bad psychological factors were present, the friendliness and communication were present because we considered King Fahd bin Abdulaziz the great of the family and even if something happened he would resolve it and satisfy his brothers in the GCC. This is always the thought that made Saudi Arabia the leader in the region".
In response to the opening of an office of the Taliban movement in Qatar, HE the former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor Al-Thani said the office came after the Americans wanted to exchange a prisoner for them and want a line to negotiate and the negotiations were held here in Qatar between us, the Americans and Taliban, until it was agreed to open an office and hand over five prisoners and come to Qatar under certain conditions with the extradition of the American prisoner. Back in the past, we were pressed a little earlier to open an embassy for Taliban in Qatar after it took over the pre-war rule in Afghanistan in 2003. But we rejected it and said that we would not do so until after a state recognised by all sides. The UAE opened in return the embassy and other countries did so and we did not tell them why you opened the embassy to Taliban, they may have another point of view.
About the Gulf crisis and the annexation of the Gulf peoples and those who benefit from it, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor al-Thani addressed in this regard the speech of His Highness the Emir of the State of Kuwait, in which he stressed that the GCC is the last Arab entity to remain until now. "This word was sincere in order to preserve this entity," he said.
He added: "Everybody was watching us and watching the bad use of technology, the creation of a rift between peoples and this is more dangerous than the rift between governments and countries, the Gulf people are closely linked and now created a split, it became a shameful topic .. you are saying that your disagreement with governments and not the people, but what is happening is that the people are now warned not to cooperate and sympathise with the people of Qatar or else they were imprisoned and arrested .. so now the rift has become very big, how is the situation now and the families and trade and economy among the Gulf.
His Excellency pointed out that "in contrast during the invasion of Kuwait, there was a complete merger between all the Gulf states because there was something in Kuwait which is not accepted by the Gulf people, but now we have reached a level of degenerate and I, therefore, commend the invitation of His Highenss the Emir of Kuwait to stop these arguments and conflict because it will not lead to a result, but deepen the differences between peoples.
On the politicisation of religion, tribe and sport, he said now they have created armies called electronic flies and reached this level, tomorrow they will write against their countries and their countries will imprison them because they have an opinion. This subject, rather than being used to bring people closer together, has been used to differentiate between peoples and therefore there is a great danger in this matter.
On Kuwaiti mediation to resolve the Gulf crisis, he praised the emir, government and people of Kuwait and said His Highness Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah, the Emir of Kuwait, played a mighty role and made the impossible to reach a result in this matter. We cannot forget the role of the emir of Kuwait and the state of Kuwait because it is a clear role. Because if the GCC collapsed or if this rift that took place, which would take years to heal, we would never rise again".
On the activity of the siege countries in the capitals of the world, especially in Washington and whether it succeeded in demonising and distorting the image of Qatar, the former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor al-Thani said that Washington is witnessing the establishment of new offices of pressure groups in favour of the GCC, and there is an economic renaissance behind the crisis and there are halls rented for meetings or seminars.
He added: "The others are exploiting and disparaging us and collect all the information we send, and one day this information will be against us all as countries, so we are playing a uncalculated game on the basis of who is now advanced in Washington on the second party, and the US is institutions country, but if there is room for arms deals, projects or billions to be paid, as well as political beneficiaries, we have entered a very low stage of thinking on this subject and my last word that this issue is not going to be solved this way".
The interview with Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor al-Thani can be seen on Qatar TV social media accounts: