US Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson, US Secretary of Defense James Mattis, Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, and Qatari Defense Minister Khalid bin Muhammad al-Atiyah. Photo Credit: US State Department video screenshot.
Qatar’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani has underlined that the results of the strategic dialogue between Qatar and the United States in the fields of security, defense and politics are a strong response to all the allegations of the “siege countries” of Qatar in support of terrorism.
This was in reference to current diplomatic crisis as a result of the allegations by Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates that Qatar is supporting terrorism and the Muslim Brotherhood.
In an interview with the Al Jazeera channel Program “from Washington”, Al-Thani said that the State of Qatar has realized many strategic achievements in various fields, he said, referring to the formation of the political working groups between the two countries to follow up on regional issues, continuous work, mutual cooperation and exchange of views.
Al-Thani said that at the military level, there was a declaration of joint defense, which also addresses the US base and the presence of US forces on the Qatari territories, as well as the joint military exercises and military procurement of the State of Qatar, noting the talks between the parties in the field of combating terrorism and the memorandum of understanding signed by Qatar, which defines the relationship between Qatar and the United States in the fight against terrorism through the exchange of more information and capacity building.
Al-Thani stressed that Qatar believes that what have been achieved in this dialogue in general in the areas of security, defense and political fields is a clear statement and a clear position from the United States that Qatar is a strong partner in the fight against terrorism and a strong economic partner. This represents a strong response to all the claims of the siege countries that Qatar supports terrorism.
“This is a clear testimony from the US, which is well aware of the Qatari efforts and regards Qatar as a key partner in its fight against terrorism,” Al-Thani said.
Al-Thani also said that Qatar’s relationship with the United States did not start with the current administration, but with previous administrations.
“Our agreements, whether security, military or other economic agreements, were in different periods, and yet remain,” Al-Thani said.
Al-Thani pointed out that the United States is a state of institutions that respects its agreements, stressing that Qatar believes that its future partnership with the United States is promising, and there are many opportunities to achieve this partnership.
On the US position towards the Gulf crisis, Al-Thani said that “Washington’s position has been clear since the beginning of the crisis, which is still in place.” He explained that the United States wants to see a unified cooperation council and appreciates its relationship with the State of Qatar. That the State of Qatar is going on its way in strengthening its partnerships with all countries, including the United States.
On the announcement of the US Secretary of State on his country’s commitment to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Qatar, Al-Thani pointed out to the existence of a clear and strong partnership between the two countries, adding that there is American knowledge and awareness that the accusations against Qatar are false and did not based on any evidence, However, the State of Qatar as a partner has the right that the United States to stand with it.
“This is the nature of the friendship and partnership relationship,” Al-Thani said. “As for the statements made by the US Secretary of State, which he spoke in public, we see them very different from the past, but we are aware that the United States recognizes Qatar’s seriousness in resolving the crisis, that there is a unified cooperation council once again, and also recognizes that this crisis has started without foundation.”
As for Qatar’s assessment of the issue of the US administration’s perception of the complexities of the Gulf crisis in the United States, Al-Thani said, “In general, there has been an impact at the beginning of the crisis, unfortunately, by the propaganda of the siege countries in the United States. There has been exploitation of the legal methods in the United States to serve their purposes in the demonization of the State of Qatar. Some intellectual centers and newspapers in the United States were provided with information which were not based on facts, but based on lies and charges, but of course with the State of Qatar’s contacts with all the spectrum of political and media institutions in the US to clarify the picture and also the view of these institutions of the behavior of the State of Qatar and the behavior of the siege countries against Qatar all began to distinguish between what is real and what is only spreading lies and ideas which were baseless.”
About hosting Qatari officials at American institutes known for their right-wing tendencies, Al-Thani underlined the openness of Qatar to all institutions in the United States, whether from the right, the center or the left. He said, “We had multiple participations with organizations from the right, the center or the left, as for Enterprise Institute, I had a closed participation in the past and we are in constant contact.”
Al-Thani stressed the importance of all institutions and spectra to learn the story of the State of Qatar from the words of the State of Qatar and not taken from other parties already have a rivalry with Qatar. He expressed his regret for the marketing of lies and cultivation propaganda in the American media and social media.
In this connection, Al-Thani pointed out that, “A company registered in US Department of Justice records with whom the United Arab Emirates (UAE) contracted to broadcast on social media that Qatar is supportive of terrorism, this is just one example of the many companies that have been employed to demonize Qatar.”
Al-Thani said, “Qatar has always been calling for dialogue, and there should be an understanding of the causes of this crisis because today they launch accusations and abuses against Qatar and its people without any explanation of the causes and motives of this crisis.” He explained that Qatar asked the “siege countries” to sit at the table to discuss a solution based on clear principles and foundations.
Al-Thani added, “Today the State of Qatar is still in the same position, and other countries still reject dialogue and continue to spread the same lies without any justification and without logic”. He stressed that the crisis will be in place as long as the other side is still arrogant and in denial that what they did is a mistake against the State of Qatar and against the people of Qatar.
“We see that everyone is a loser in this crisis. We see that we have lost so much in the GCC, which was built by our fathers and founded in 1981. It was in the direction of moving from the stage of cooperation to the Union phase. All of this we have lost because of reckless acts,” Al-Thani said.
Al-Thani said that the Gulf crisis has stopped all forms of collective cooperation between the GCC countries in the regional security issues, whether in the Yemen issue or the regional tragedy experienced by the Syrian people and in many issues concerning Iraq as well as Gulf-Iranian differences. He added, “For us, we clearly explain to the United States that there is a product of the accumulation of these reckless policies, whether against the State of Qatar or the policies taken recently with Lebanon or the policies that are taking place today in changing positions, whether in Yemen, Somalia or Syria and other countries, We believe that the region, in general, lacks a clear and wise policy.”