Emir of Qatar Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani – File photo Emir of Qatar Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani – File photo

Honeymoon is over, Gulf countries consider Tamim statements ‘war declaration’

Fri, May. 26, 2017
CAIRO - 25 May 2017: Few hours have passed since the controversial statements of the Emir of Qatar, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, but it seems that Arab media outlets will not let it go.

At dawn on Thursday most of Gulf and Egyptian media attacked the young emir and his small emirate, not convinced that his statements are just a slip of the tongue, but they are revealing of his true, hostile stance. However, Qatari officials denied the statements completely, claiming that the official website of their news agency, QNA, had been hacked by unknown entity.

Tamim addressed four Arab countries in his controversial statements, Egypt, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), and Bahrain, while he expressed the warm relations with Israel, alleging that Hamas is the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, asserting that Iran is part of the Islamic world, and has heavy political weight in the region.

Leaders of the mentioned Arab countries have not yet commented on the statements, however their stance on the matter can be ascertained through the media.

Egyptian, Saudi and Emirati newspapers and websites attacked the Qatari regime, ignoring the denial.

Saudi newspaper “al-Watan” considered Tamim’s statements as betrayal, and accused all his supporters on social media as allies of the Muslim brotherhood. It published an op-ed byBandar el-Turky and Khaled Modahy evaluating the estimated amount of Saudi exports to Qatar, saying that they form two-thirds of Qatari markets, besides the 740 thousand Saudi tourists who visited Qatar last year, 315 pure Saudi capital companies reside on Qatari soil, and the trade deals between the two countries reached RS 7 billion, in reference to the dependence of the Qatari economy on KSA.

The newspaper denounced Qatari officials’ stance toward the Emir’s statements, since they only announced the hacking of QNA, while they never condemned the statements or tried to ease the tensions between the Gulf Countries Council (GCC). They also said that Qatar ranks third in supporting terrorist acts, following Israel and Iran, and using its media outlet, Aljazeera, as a platform for radical terrorist leaders to deliver their messages to the world.

Al-Riyadh newspaper slammed Qatar’s grotesque attitude towards Iran, unlike GCC who unanimously consider Iran as ‘the source of all evils and terrorism’ in the region. The newspaper accused Qatar of playing a double-faced role in an attempt to add political weight to its existence in the region, which will not be achieved by joining Iran’s team, according to the newspaper.

The newspaper’s editor-in-chief, Mohamed el-Ghoneim, denounced the Emir’s statements which insult the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and King Salman, saying that it is time for Qatar to go back to its real size, calling on GCC to isolate Qatar from the Gulf region.
Okaz newspaper described the statements of the young Emir as “political suicide,” and its supporting role to Iran in the region is a ‘stab in the back’ of its brothers, threatening that the silence phase is over.

As if the media attack against the emirate and its leaders was not enough, Gulf States alongside Egypt blocked Qatari media outlets on Wednesday, right after the Qatari denial, including Aljazeera websites.

The English edition of the alarabiya website numerated the proofs proving that QNA wasn’t hacked, undermining Qatar’s response which claimed it was hacked.

The Emirati “al-Bayan” said that Qatar was stabbing Arab unity in favour of flattering Iran. Meanwhile, editor-in-chief of “al-Ittihad” newspaper, Mohamed al-Hamady, stated that the statements are just the irrational words of a young leader, saying that Qatari media’s attitudes ahead of the Islamic-American summit prove that it’s the official stance of the whole Qatari regime.

Emirati “al-Youm” said that Qatar felt the danger of world’s unity against terrorism, which may touch its own interests of housing and funding terrorist leaders and movements.

During the latest Arab-American summit, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi called on the world leaders attending to cut off terrorism’s sources, affirming that terrorists are not only the armed militants, but also the funders and hosts of it, among silence of the Gulf monarchies in the hall. A few months ago, Gulf states attacked Egypt, after the latter accused Qatar of involvement in the Botroseya Church bombing in Cairo last December.

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