HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani gave an interview to Charlie Rose for CBS show earlier this month, which was aired this morning gave an insight of Emir’s thoughts.
Here are the key points from the interview:
- The emir said that the blockade came as a shock as he had no clue even when the leaders of the blockading states met just before the crisis broke out. Things were cordial and as usual and the crisis was totally unexpected.
- Speaking about Iran, he said that Iran was Qatar’s neighbour, and it was the only neighbour through which supplies for its people flowed in once the crisis began, despite Qatar having differences with the nation. On terrorism, he flat out denied the accusations, saying, “Absolutely not, we do not support terrorism.”
- Talking about Al Jazeera, the Qatar-owned media organization that has been dragged into this political dispute: “No, we’re not going to shut down Al Jazeera,” the Emir said directly. “Our sovereignty is a red line. We don’t accept anybody interfering in our sovereignty,” he said.
- The emir said that the siege nations want Qatar to give up on its independence and it was obvious that they were looking for change in leadership in Qatar. He added that they wanted regime change even when his father came into power.
- Once again, the Emir was all praise for the people of his country as he simply said, “They have underestimated the Qatari people. I’m so proud of the people.”
- The President of the US told Emir that this was unacceptable and his friends cannot be fighting among themselves.
- The emir expressed fear of military action, adding the move would put the entire region in chaos.
- Regarding the Taliban, the Emir said the only reason they were hosted in Qatar was because other people like the US asked for a place to host them to facilitate dialogue, and Qatar happened to be asked.
- Emir spoke about the difference between Qatar and the rest of the countries during the Arab Spring, he said that Qatar was behind the people because they wanted freedom and dignity. He also said that he now believed that was the right decision.
- The Emir said he wants the blockade to end. “Nothing is above our dignity and sovereignty, but we want it to end. If they walk one meter toward me, I’m willing to walk 10,000 miles towards them,” he said.