Qatar’s Ambassador to Germany, Sheikh Saud bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, stressed this week Qatar’s rejection of allegations that the country has ties to terrorism. Additionally, Al Thani said that Qatar has never backed extremist groups and will not support such groups in the future.
In an interview with the German daily Der Tagesspiegel, the Ambassador said that Qatar has rejected those allegations from the outset, adding that there is no proof of such support.
According to Al Thani, such allegations have been directed at Qatar in a sudden manner, and that there have many meetings held under the GCC umbrella over the last few months, none of which saw these allegations surface.
With regard to allegations of Qatar supporting the Muslim Brotherhood, Al Thani said that the State of Qatar only deals with the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas when they are part of a government in a given country. The ambassador gave an example of that during the presidency of Mohammed Morsy in Egypt, adding that Qatar “stopped dealing with the Muslim Brotherhood once they stopped becoming part of the Egyptian government.”
Al Thani added that such was the case with Hamas, stressing that Qatar does not deal with any of those groups as political parties.
Al Thani said that it was normal that family members of the GCC have differences, but stressed that it was important for them to discuss those differences in order to reach a friendly and an acceptable solution. Al Thani added that the important matter is that no side intervenes in the internal affairs of the other.
On the impact of “the siege imposed” by those countries on Qatar, Al Thani said that work is progressing normally. According to Al Thani, alternatives have been found to all the important basic needs for their citizens. His Excellency said that they also developed an emergency plan to deal with such a crisis, adding that Turkey and other countries around the world including Europe are sending food products to Qatar. His Excellency also highlighted that Qatari companies are working more actively to overcome these obstacles.
Al Thani said that the crisis with GCC countries did not impact preparations for World Cup 2022 and that work is progressing on schedule. The Ambassador said that they already finished building the first stadium and that the World Cup will be unique and one that belongs to the entire Arab World that gives hope to people in the region, and particularly youth.
On demands to close Al Jazeera, Al Thani said that the State of Qatar will not sacrifice freedom of opinion and freedom of press, as they represent an important value. His Excellency added that such a step does not fit with the 21st century, is unacceptable, and is considered and interference in internal affairs.