GCC must learn to live with differences: Former PM

 15 May 2014 - 4:49

H E Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor Al Thani.

DOHA: The GCC region should get used to different opinions and should be able to solve issues through discussions, according to former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister H E Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor Al Thani.
In an interview with Bloomberg yesterday, the former Premier said Qatar was keen to have good relations with all its neighbours, especially Saudi Arabia.
“There  are countries bigger than us around us, but we always look to have good relationship with our neighbours, especially with Saudi Arabia. This is a principle in the relation and the policy of Qatar. We should be more used to different opinions, and to discuss it and try to reach a solution.  But that is not the habit in the region,” said Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim.
Asked why they (some neighbouring GCC countries) are upset with Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim said: “I don’t know. I believe whether you are upset or not is not the problem, but whether you are willing to sit at this critical time and discuss. The GCC has to see how to defend ourselves together politically and economically.”

On the power transfer in Qatar, the former Premier said: “The Father Emir was thinking seriously to give more powers to his son when he was crown prince as soon as possible. 
Sheikh Hamad believed that he had to transfer  power when the crown prince was ready. 
He was capable and he did a good job during the three or four years when his father gave him lots of responsibility to prove that he is up to the job and this is why the change happened. 
And it was planned and it was not done just like that.” He affirmed that the power transfer was not due to health reasons. 
Asked about his perceived support for the Muslim Brotherhood and Qatar’s differences with some neighbouring countries over Egypt, Sheikh Jassim said: “If we support the Brotherhood, and Saudi supports Sisi, who will judge who is right?  First of all we didn’t bring the Brotherhood to power in Egypt. They were elected by the Egyptian people. We announced the aid package for Egypt before Brotherhood came to power. 
“And when they came we continued because they were elected by their own people.”
The Peninsula