‘Tamim interview offers nothing new’
UAE minister Gargash accuses Qatari Emir of being in continuous denial of the facts
UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs has played down the importance of an interview by Qatar’s Emir Shaikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani on the 60 Minutes programme on American television channel CBS, saying that it was so insignificant that it would not contribute to a solution of the crisis.
“There is nothing new in the 60 Minutes interview. It is the same talk about injustice and a constant denial of the facts. The messages are addressed to the West. It is an interview to be forgotten quickly and it will not provide a solution nor contribute to it,” Dr Anwar Gargash posted on his Twitter account.
Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the UAE cut their diplomatic relations with Qatar on June 5, accusing it of supporting extremists and of funding terrorism.
The crisis has not seen any breakthrough despite mediation efforts by Kuwait.
Qatar has been on a charm offensive mainly with the US and western countries, presenting itself as a champion of the values embraced by the West and, consequently, as a victim of bullying by the Quartet.
In the latest interview aired late on Sunday in the US, Shaikh Tamim sent out the same messages, painting a dramatic picture of the situation and playing on emotions.
He claimed that Qatari patients were kicked out of hospitals of the four countries that severed relations with Qatar and that they did not like Qatar’s independence, ideas or vision for the region.
‘Freedom of speech’
“We want freedom of speech for the people of the region. And they’re not happy with that. And so they think that this is a threat to them,” Shaikh Tamim claimed.
He denied that his country supported terrorism.
When asked how the crisis will end, Shaikh Tamim was vague.
“We want it to end. Believe me, Charlie, we want it to end. But nothing is gonna be above our dignity, our sovereignty. But we want it to end. I always say that. If they walk a metre towards me. I’m willing to walk 10,000 miles towards them,” he said.
Meanwhile on Sunday information ministers of the four countries reitterated their accusation that Doha was funding terrorism.
The ministers also stressed “the importance of addressing the hate speech promoted by the Government of Qatar and its media that adopted a policy of isolating the brotherly Qatari people from their Gulf and Arab surroundings.”