Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas - Press photo
CAIRO – 19 June 2017: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had a doubtful position towards the Qatari crisis, raising questions over his relation with Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad, Emir of Qatar.
The Palestinian Fatah leader has declared neither his support nor rejection to the Egyptian and three Arab Gulf states’ decision to sever their diplomatic relations with Qatar.
Sources near Abbas said that the Palestinian president intends to mediate between the disputed parties, though he did not announce his intentions clearly, unlike the Sudanese President Omar Hassan el-Bashir who announced his country’s neutral position towards Doha.
Some sources in the Qatari opposition revealed that Abbas has mutual commercial interests and huge investments in Qatar and so do his sons; Yasser and Tarek. They added that Abbas holds Qatari nationality and has a good long relationship with Sheikh Tamim.
The sources noted that Abbas had worked as a representative of the Fatah movement in Doha, where he had good relations with the officials there. In 1957, he was responsible for the human resources department in the Qatari civil service agency.
Abbas visits Doha frequently more than any other Arab capital. His most recent visit was a few months ago when he met Sheikh Tamim and a number of Qatari officials to discuss the national reconciliation with the Hamas movement.
Qatar’s relations with several Arab states have been strained since May 24 over a leaked statement attributed to Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad, criticizing Gulf foreign policy with Iran, describing it as “unwise”.
The Qatari crisis was escalated when Egypt and a coalition of Arab states in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) announced a coordinated diplomatic break with Qatar, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. The Arab countries, in dispute with Qatar, accused the peninsular country of funding Islamist terrorists, in part, via the Doha-based Al-Jazeera satellite channel.
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