Tamim's speech reveals determination to deepen rift with neighbors



Tue, 14 Nov 2017 - 10:19 GMT


Tue, 14 Nov 2017 - 10:19 GMT

 Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamam bin Hamad - File Photo

Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamam bin Hamad - File Photo

CAIRO – 14 November 2017: Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani’s speech during the opening of the 46th ordinary session of the Advisory (Shura) Council on Tuesday shows that Qatar has no intentions to respond to the demands of Arab States and to make any concessions to solve the crisis.

Although the consequences of the severe sanctions enforced on Qatar in June have shown huge economic losses, Tamim insisted during the opening session that Qatar does not fear the boycott as it has become better after cutting off ties with the Gulf states, describing it as an “unjust embargo that violates all values.”

Qatar is rich in oil and gas, but it does not produce its own food as it has depended mainly on imports from Saudi Arabia. Consequently, after the borders with Saudi Arabia have been shut, Qatar is facing food shortages.

The same applies to national airlines; according to the Official Airline Guide (OAG) estimates, the suspension of Qatar Airways' services to Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt amounts to about 324 flights per week. Hamad International Airport is losing some $200 million everyday day.

On this regard, a deal between Qatar Airways and American Airlines fell through. Qatar Airways wished to buy 10 percent of the American company’s shares. American Airlines refused to be associated with Qatar Airways due to it being accused of receiving billions of dollars in government support, as well as its country's reputation for terrorism.

Besides, the slump in the Qatari tourism sector is a clear sign that the Gulf state is unable to adequately withstand the effects of the recent diplomatic crisis. Qatari hotels have previously hosted considerable numbers of tourists and are currently witnessing far less, with only 57 percent of hotels occupied on the Eid al-Fitr holiday.

As for the allegations of Qatar’s funding terrorism, Tamim noted that “the international community cannot be deceived by these allegations and Qatar’s record of combating terrorism through history is well known.”

He confirmed on this regard that his country will continue to support the international mediation efforts in Libya and the government of national concordance for their attempts to reach reconciliation between all Libyan parties.

Media outlets in October reported that Qatar has been assisting the transportation of Islamic State (IS) militants from Iraq and Syria to southern Libya.
In early October, the Libya National Army's spokesperson, Ahmed Al-Mesmari, announced that Qatar has been supporting IS terrorists financially; he also added that Doha committed numerous crimes against the Libyan people, especially transporting IS militants from Syria and Iraq to Sudan and then to Libya.

Christopher Davidson, a British researcher who teaches Middle East politics at Durham University in England, also stated that Qatar was involved in the transport of weapons and fighters from Libya to Syria in 2012 and 2013, but is now transporting them to Libya.

A March 2013 UN report pointed out that in 2011 and 2012, Qatar violated the UN's arms embargo by “providing military material to the revolutionary forces through the organization of a large number of flights and the deliveries of a range of arms and ammunition."

Doha has provided more than €750 million to extremist groups in Libya since 2011.
On the other hand, the central Intelligence Agency of America (CIA) on Wednesday, released to the public nearly 470,000 additional files recovered in the May 2011 raid on Osama Bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. CIA director Mike Pompeo authorized the release in the interest of transparency and to enhance public understanding of al-Qaeda and its former leader, the CIA stated on Wednesday.

A paper in bin Laden’s memos said that he wants to transmit his ideas about the revolutions of Arab countries to his son Hamza, who is supposed to travel to Qatar. Bin Laden wrote in the memos that Qatar is the only qualified country to carry this responsibility in order to avoid any crises.

The French website, Therese Zrihen, referred also to Qatar’s stubbornness in supporting terrorist organizations, claiming that it has been double-dealing in the Middle East for decades, as it destabilizes its neighbor’s while acting as though it is paying lip service to Gulf Arab unity.

The report accused Qatar, the world's largest exporter of natural gas, of using part of its wealth to finance extremist groups, such as the Muslim Brotherhood, Taliban, Hamas and al-Qaeda.

“Only in Doha can one see Muslim Brotherhood leaders from Egypt rubbing shoulders with Taliban leaders from Afghanistan and Hamas leaders from Gaza,” the report read; asserting that all those extremists receive personal support from Qatar’s emir.



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