DOHA: Reactions poured in yesterday on social media and news portals across the GCC and the rest of the Arab world to the interview former prime minister and foreign minister of Qatar, H E Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem bin Jabor Al Thani gave to Bloomberg late last week.
This was the first time Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem gave a media interview after stepping down as prime minister last June.
Several Egyptians, reacting on a Cairo-based website, fondly remembered him and recalled how Qatar, under his premiership, helped the people of Egypt during different regimes.
A commentator said regardless of who ruled Egypt, Qatar extended its wholehearted support to the people of the country.
“Qatar deals with governments and states and not with political parties, factions and individuals,” wrote another commentator.
When Qatar was backing Egypt, it really didn’t know that the Muslim Brotherhood would ride to power, said yet another commentator.
“We have tremendous respect for Qatar’s stance whatever it is,” said still another commentator.
On another portal, a Saudi commentator said although he differed with Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem’s views on various issues, he couldn’t deny that he was an excellent and popular GCC and Arab politician.
The online edition of London-based Al Arab newspaper, reacting to the interview, wrote that Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem gave his ultimate support to the Arab Spring.
“His support for the Arab Spring was unflinching and without any hesitation,” it said.
People commenting on Qatari social media were also all praise for Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem, with some saying they missed him.
“He was a charismatic leader and diplomat,” said a commentator, with several others recalling how Qatar extended its support to the people of Egypt even before the Muslim Brotherhood came to power.
“Whether you agree with Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem or disagree but he left his footprint on the foreign policy of Qatar,” said one commentator, writing on a local social networking site.
The site was full of reactions to the interview. “He is one of the politicians I am very fond of,” was how another person reacted.
“We miss him immensely. He knew how to deal with different issues. His ways were transparent. Qatar, the entire GCC and Arab world should be proud of him,” said yet another commentator.
“He is one of the greatest Arab leaders and diplomats and will go down in the region’s history as a legend,” said still another commentator.
“We will miss his statements. He put his points of views in a very clear-cut and explanatory way.”