Asharq Al-awsat English https://aawsat.com/english Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper http://feedly.com/icon.svg

Qatari Emir Admits to Doha Backing Arab Revolts

Qatari Emir Admits to Doha Backing Arab Revolts

Tuesday, 31 October, 2017 - 09:00
Qatar’s Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. (Reuters)

In his second public appearance since the start of the Arab quartet boycott against Doha, Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani said that his country has backed uprisings across Arab countries.


He said Doha supported the revolts on the premise of the demonstrators “demanding freedom and dignity.” As for Qatar hosting the Taliban office in Doha, the Emir explained that the office was opened on a request from the US in order to start a dialogue with the Afghan movement in Qatar.


On CBS’ 60 Minutes with host Charlie Rose, Sheikh Tamim was interviewed in a car he himself was driving across shut land borders with Saudi Arabia.


In the interview, the Emir voiced his support for the invitation of United States President Donald Trump to a meeting at Camp David “for holding talks with the brothers” to end the crisis.


The Emir expressed his willingness “to walk 10,000 miles” towards boycotting neighbors, “if they walk one meter toward” him.


He explained that President Trump exclusively told him that he would not have US allies going into war with each other.


Sheikh Tamim said that Trump told him so on the sidelines of the United Nations meetings in September—Trump also offered to host talks between Qatar and the boycotting countries.


On the relationship with Iran, he considered Tehran the only way for his country to "provide food and medicine, and all that is necessary for the Qataris during the crisis."


“Iran is our neighbor. And we have more differences in our foreign policies with Iran, than the siege countries do-- but the only way for us to provide food and medicine for our people was through Iran,” he told Rose.


The prince said that he was “shocked” by the decision of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE and Egypt to impose a siege on Qatar.


He pointed to his fear of the region sinking into chaos if any military action took place under the crisis, refusing to interfere with the sovereignty of his country, stressing that his government will not close down the controversial television station "Al-Jazeera."


On a visit to his former English speaking school, Sheikh Tamim told Rose he never expected to become prince since he was not in the line of succession.


As a teenager, his ambition was to become the Arabic Boris Becker. Then, he said, one night his older brother Jassim, the heir apparent to their father, asked to see him to tell him he was better suited to be emir.


Editor Picks

Multimedia