No differences with UAE and Saudi: FM

February 04, 2014 - 5:05:26 am

DOHA: Qatar said yesterday it has no differences with the neighbouring UAE over its support for the military regime in Egypt.

There are no differences at all with Saudi Arabia as well over the Syrian issue, according to the Foreign Minister, H E Dr Khalid bin Mohamed Al Attiyah.

In an interview with Al Jazeera Arabic Channel aired yesterday, Al Attiyah said Qatar and the UAE enjoy very cordial relations and even share joint strategic projects.

“Our communication with the UAE is excellent,” said the Foreign Minister.

Talking of Riyadh, he said Qatar and Saudi Arabia were the first countries to support the Syrian opposition alliance, so the talk of differences is baseless. “We have high-level communication with Riyadh.”

Al Attiyah said a beautiful thing about GCC states is that member states respected each other’s viewpoints and sovereignty and they know where the red line is and they never cross that.

He, though, admitted that Qatar’s stand on Iran’s nuclear issue was different from those of other GCC states.

“Qatar considers Iran as an important neighbour and despite our differences over the Syrian issue, we believe that it can play a key role in resolving the Syrian crisis.”

Iran wields influence over the Syrian regime so it can play a key role in resolving the Syrian crisis. “So Qatar is against Iran’s exclusion from the Geneva II conference.”

The agenda of Geneva II should be clear-cut so that time is not wasted. “Geneva II is a good opportunity for the Syrian opposition alliance to show the world that they are serious.”

If Geneva II fails, the foreign minister said there could be direct intervention of the UN Security Council in Syria.

“Qatar sticks to its unflinching stand on the issue of supporting the people of Syria.”

Al Attiyah said in reply to questions that there is consensus in the international community that the resolution of Geneva I should be implemented.

“All military operations should be brought to a stop in all parts of Syria and safe passage must be ensured for humanitarian aid to the needy all over the country.”

There are no differences of opinion over the formation of a transitional government in Syria, he said. The Syrian opposition, however, doesn’t want (President) Bashar Al Assad’s men in this government,” said Al Attiyah.

The Peninsula

‘Qatar-UAE ties strong’

ABU DHABI: UAE-Qatar relations remain strong despite Doha’s ambassador being summoned over remarks by a cleric linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan said yesterday.

“There are no disputes between the brothers” said Abu Dhabi’s strongman, who is also deputy commander of the UAE armed forces, in remarks carried by WAM state news agency.

“Differences take place between brothers in one family, but nothing can separate between us and our brothers in Qatar,” he said, stressing that he enjoys strong links with Qatar’s Emir H H  Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

Abu Dhabi summoned Doha’s envoy on Sunday to protest against remarks about the UAE made by cleric Dr Yousuf Al Qaradawi, who is based in Qatar.

Qaradawi’s comments came just days after the UAE jailed a group of 30 Emiratis and Egyptians to terms ranging from three months to five years for forming a Muslim Brotherhood cell.

On Saturday, Qatar’s Foreign Minister H E Dr Khalid bin Mohamed Al Attiyah disavowed Qaradawi’s remarks, saying “they do not reflect Qatari foreign policy” and insisting that ties between the two nations are “strategic in all aspects”.

But the UAE foreign ministry said that response “did not reflect a decisive stance rejecting Qaradawi’s speech”, and therefore Abu Dhabi had to take “an unprecedented measure” and summon Doha’s ambassador.