Qatar New Emir Extends Conciliatory Hand to 'All'

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Qatar's new emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani said his country seeks ties with "all governments" and will not take sides, in a conciliatory speech Wednesday which steered clear of the Syrian conflict.

In his first address to the nation since assuming power, Tamim said his country "rejects divisions in Arab societies on sectarian lines," in reference to Sunni-Shiite tensions convulsing the region.

"We seek to preserve relations with all governments and countries and we respect all sincere, active and effective political directions in the region but we do not support one side over the other," said the 33-year-old emir.

Qatar has long been accused of supporting Sunni Muslim groups in the region, mainly the Muslim Brotherhood who came to power in several Arab Spring countries.

Sheikh Tamim came to power after his father Sheikh Hamad abdicated in his favor on Tuesday, becoming the youngest Gulf Arab ruler.

Sheikh Hamad strongly supported rebels fighting the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad but his son in his speech made no reference to the conflict, which has left more than 100,000 people dead and has spilled over into neighboring states.

Comments 6
Missing phillipo 26 June 2013, 20:57

"Qatar's new emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani said his country seeks ties with "all governments" and will not take sides,"
Is that why he has already said that his country sides with the Palestinians. If he is really serious, let him announce that he is establishing two new embassies, one in Ramallah for Palestine and one in Tel Aviv for Israel.
Until he shows that he is really "not taking sides", the international community will not take much notice of his declarations on the Palestine-Israel conflict.

Missing beirutbastard00 27 June 2013, 00:14

But Phillipo, in order for a person to be fair, he would have to take the Palestinian side like 98% of the time.

Israel is the aggressor. That is a fact, not taking sides.

If the world really wanted to care about the conflict, they're not gona wait for Qatari embassy.

Israel does not want peace. These Europeans didn't come here to make peace.

Missing phillipo 27 June 2013, 08:39

I understand your first sentence, but remember even at the height of the cold war there were embassies of both sides in the others capitals.
As Mr. Kerry is now in the Middle East trying to bring about the restarting of peace talks, I will be most interested to see which side demands pre-conditions before returning to the table.
Europeans - can you please tell me in what part of Europe Mr. Netanyahu was born ?

Missing beirutbastard00 27 June 2013, 15:59

He was born in telaviv in 1949, his father is from Warsaw Poland. His father was big in revisionist Zionist affairs.

If u count settlement freeze as a precondition, then ok ur right, those unfair Palestinians...

U want embassies to legitimize Israel.

Nothing u say can make the house thief and the house owner equal.

Missing phillipo 27 June 2013, 08:35

It is also not Daily Telegraph or New York Times.
What exactly is your point? Are you telling people that it is now illegal to read and participate in newspaper forums in other countries.
Have you ever read Haaretz articles? In case you didn't know they have an English language version that I (and you) can read. Just as I read Naharnet, I read many other newspapers every morning from Khaleej Times to Washington Post. This way I find out what every side is thinking and can form my own points of view.

Missing beirutbastard00 27 June 2013, 16:02

I do the same. I read haaretz, Jerusalem post, etc... But we're a bit sensitive to Israeli intentions here...