Qatar Emir Tamim Open to Dialogue, Insists Respect for Qatari Sovereignty

Emir Tamim of Qatar during a public statement aired on Qatar Telivision
Emir Tamim of Qatar during a public statement aired on Qatar Television

Qatar emir Tamim Bin Hammad Al Thani said in a statement that his country is open to dialogue but the blockading countries have to respect the sovereignty of Qatar. Since the beginning of the blockade against Qatar by several GCC countries, it was the first time emir Tamim gave a public statement.

Sheikh Tamim said, “We are open to dialogue to resolve the outstanding problems [so long as Qatar’s] sovereignty is respected.”

Mr. Al Thani accused the blockading countries of launching a preplanned campaign. He said, “It is clear that the campaign against us was preplanned. We took a test and passed it… the perpetrators have undermined our sovereignty and independence by fabricating false statements to mislead international public opinion.”

Recently, Qatar’s Ministry of Interior officially accused UAE of hacking its national media to spread the false news that triggered the gulf crisis.

“We are open to dialogue to resolve the outstanding problems [so long as Qatar’s] sovereignty is respected.”

Emir Al Thani, however, praised common Qataris for their solidarity with the regime during this ongoing blockade. He said, “It was a true ethical trial. Our people have passed the test with colours, and we have held steadfast to our principles and traditions even in the time of trials, simple for the reason that we respect ourselves. I call on all of you to continue to hold on to that.”

He acclaimed Qatari people of “maintaining a high level of morale despite the unprecedented smearing campaign.”

Sheikh Tamim thanked Turkey for their support in the current crisis. He thanked his ally for “putting into force quickly a cooperation agreement signed between us and meeting our basic needs”.

Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt announced a blockade on Qatar on June 5 accusing the country of supporting terrorism. Mr. Thani said in his statement that Qatar fights terrorism as part of its mission, “not to please others.”  Emir Al Thani said, “Qatar is fighting terrorism, relentlessly and without compromises, and there is international recognition of Qatar’s role in this regard.”

Tillerson’s efforts to deescalate the crisis

Qatar has been under fierce pressure ever since the neighboring Arab countries severed ties with the emirate. But things began to look better for Qatar when US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson joined the mediation process led by Kuwait. He visited Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait to speed up the mediation process. Rex Tillerson again urged the GCC countries to lift the blockade recently.

Praising Qatar’s commitment to July 12 agreement between Qatar and USA to combat terrorism, Mr. Tillerson said, “I hope the four countries will consider as a sign of good faith lifting this land blockade which is really having the most, I think negative effects on the Qatari people.”

A sign to de-escalation

Qatar’s emir recently issued a decree that redefined definitions for the terms like “terrorist”, “crime”, “terrorist acts”, “terrorist entities”, “the freezing of funds” and the “financing of terrorism.”

UAE welcomed the move as a positive sign. UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said on Twitter, “The Qatari decree to amend the anti-terrorism law is a positive step to deal seriously with the 59 terrorists.”

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