HE the Minsiter of State for Defence Affairs Dr Khalid bin Mohamed al-Attiyah is of the opinion that GCC is not just about the three nations but involves all its members. He believes that all the six nations have the responsibility of rescuing the unique entity of the Arab world.
He said that even if the crisis ended, the public would never forget that the main reason for the crisis was the hacking of Qatar News Agency (QNA) and the publication of fake statements attributed to the Emir.
Dr al-Attiyah thinks that dialogue is the only way to save GCC, but said that any dialogue is subject to lifting the siege and not infringing on Qatar’s sovereignty.
He also said that Qatar cannot be accused of interfering in other countries’ internal affairs, in fact it is Qatar, which is suffering from interference, but it has still kept quiet to protect GCC. The minister added that it was hard to understand why such measures was taken by the siege countries, at a time when there was plenty of meetings between the leaders of Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
He informed that Qatar reacts only to the official sources, unlike siege countries who arrive at decisions based on newspapers.
Dr al-Attiyah said the statement made by the UAE‘s ambassador to the US highlighted that the differences with Qatar was not diplomatic, but philosophical as they seek to transform the Gulf region into secular rule.
He cleared that 2013 crisis was not a result of Qatar standing in the face of counter-revolutionary forces in the Arab world, as the recalling of ambassadors was done briefly after His Highness the Emir took office and did not have enough time to show his intentions.
Replying to the remarks of Bahraini Foreign Minister which accused Qatari forces of conspiring with the Houthi rebels in Yemen, the minister said that the Qatari forces were never in Ma’rib as they were charged with protecting seven areas on the southern borders of Saudi Arabia.
He went on to add that coalition countries had already announced that it was one of the siege countries’ journalist who was responsible for leaking the co-ordinates after he uploaded a photo to social media of himself with UAE forces.
He informed that Qatar is participating only in the Peninsula Shield military coalition, and being a part of it doesn’t conflict with having strategic partnerships with other countries like Turkey, US or any other nation.
He strongly said that no country has the right to dictate Qatar and determine which countries it should deal with, as this is a sovereign issue that does not contradict with the GCC principles.
He made it clear that nothing extraordinary should be expected from Qatar as it was the victim and said that Doha was ready for dialogue and supported the mediation of Kuwait.
He noted that crisis has allowed Qatar to open up to other nations because of the good relationship that the Emir has with many countries.
Dr al-Attiyah said that Qatar’s independent policies were nothing new, but were there since its establishment. He said that the preference given to products of neighbouring countries was to strengthen ties and advance mutual interests.