Former Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim – File Photo
CAIRO – 27 October 2017: Former Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani said that he regretted establishing the Al-Jazeera channel, as it has caused many problems for Qatar, in an interview with Qatar TV on Thursday.
Al Thani pointed out that he was among those who participated in the establishment of Al-Jazeera based on the instructions of former Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani.
“We established Al-Jazeera because Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa wanted to have a clear voice for the Arab citizen about what is happening in the Arab world, so there’s no news for Qatar broadcast on the channel,” he added.
Qatar’s relations with several Arab and Gulf States have been strained since May 24, when the Qatari state-run news agency reported Sheikh Tamim bin Hammad Al Thani’s statements, in which he regarded Gulf foreign policy with Iran as “unwise.”
On June 5, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Libya and Yemen decided to cut all diplomatic ties with Qatar, hurling allegations that the state supports terrorism. Ports and airspace were cut off to Qatari vessels.
The countries listed 13 demands to be met by Qatar, including severing ties with terrorist groups, closing down the pan-Arab Al-Jazeera satellite channel, downgrading ties with arch-rival Iran and closing a Turkish air base in Qatar.
Qatar was given a deadline that ended on Sunday to meet the demands. Kuwait request to extend the deadline by 48 hours and the four Arab states agreed.