Michael Morell, former deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Yousef al-Otaiba, the United Arab Emirates Ambassador to the US appeared on “Charlie Rose” program which aired, Wednesday on PBS channel to discuss Qatar crisis.
Morell and al-Otaiba summed up the key concerns of the boycotting countries and their ally the US with regard to Qatar’s regional policies and their fight against terrorism and extremism.
"I think Qatar, small country, small population, significant wealth from natural gas, wanted to have a foreign policy that was outsized for itself and they looked around and said where can we make a difference? And one of the areas that was open was talking to these groups that the rest of us won’t talk to, and they saw an opportunity to play a role with that,” Morell said.
He added “As they became closer and closer to these groups over time, they started supporting them in many ways, so as Yousef said for example; groups that the United States of America considers to be International terrorist organizations that we have designated as such; Hamas and Taliban have offices in Doha.”
“They are also supporting them and others with money and arms including Al Nusra, another designated terrorist organization of the US in Syria, so clear -clear support of terrorist groups,” Morell said.
As for The Muslim Brotherhood group, he said that the United States looked at it hard, and it doesn’t see it as a terrorist group although they (UAE and other boycotting countries) have a different story to say: “It is absolutely an organization that wants, we think, through political means to impose a particular way of life on the populations throughout the Middle East, and Qatar supports those organizations.”
Morell continued, “How should the American people think about this from my perspective. They should think about it as the Qataris are trying to do with the Muslim Brotherhood in places like the Emirates, in places like Saudi Arabia, what the Russians are trying to do to the United States, in terms of interfering in our politics, it is exactly the same.”
Qatar harbors terrorist groups
UAE ambassador to the United States, spoke of Qatar's support over the past 15 years for terrorist groups such as militias in Syria, in Libya, the Muslim Brotherhood, Taliban and Hamas.
"Inside Doha, you have the Hamas leadership, you have a Taliban embassy, you have the Muslim Brotherhood leadership, you have groups going on Al Jazeera everyday promoting and justifying suicide bombings,” the UAE Ambassador said.
Al-Otaiba said Qatar had breached its commitments and made frequent violations of its agreements since similar talks took place in 2014.