Qatar’s former emir reveals close ties with Libya, Syrian regime: Audio leaks

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Qatar’s former Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani expressed Doha’s support for and revealed its close ties with Libya and the Syrian regime in a leaked audio recording that reportedly captured a conversation between him, the late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, and Qatar’s former Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem.

“As you know, as a small country we used to be ostracized by the big countries. But thank God there [are countries] like Libya standing with us, Oman, Syria recently,” Sheikh Hamad can be heard saying.

In the recording, the former Qatari emir also expressed his support for the Syrian regime, saying “I mean, to be honest, I am happy that Syria is beginning to think about how to rely on itself.”

“And in terms of coordination, thank God, there is great economic and political coordination between us and them, and affairs are moving forward in a satisfying way. There is almost constant communication,” the former prime minister then replies.

The audio recordings were reportedly secretly recorded by the late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi and were posted on social media by Qatari opposition activist Khalid al-Hail.

Al Arabiya English could not independently verify the authenticity of the recording.

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Al-Hail released the recording after the former prime minister tweeted his support for the UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) led by Fayez al-Sarraj.

The Libyan National Army (LNA) led by Khalifa Haftar had on Thursday said it was withdrawing from Tripoli districts, according to a military source, while forces fighting for Libya’s UN-recognized government said they had regained control over Tripoli.

Al-Hail has in recent weeks released several audio recordings involving Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim and Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa, including one in which the former emir can be heard calling former US president Barack Obama a “slave” during a conversation with Gaddafi.

A similar recording between former emir of Qatar and Gaddafi was released in 2017, in which the two leaders attacked Saudi Arabia and the ruling family.

In another recording leaked from the same year, Gaddafi and the former prime minister can reportedly be heard discussing plans to carve up Saudi Arabia.

Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim did not deny the recording and said that the issue was discussed to appease Gaddafi.

In 2013, Sheikh Hamad handed over power to his son, current Emir Sheikh Tamim al-Thani. Hamad bin Jassim stepped down from his positions in government at the time and reportedly has strained relations with the current emir.

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