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Qatari Emir: Doha has ‘tensions’ with the Donald Trump administration

Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani. (Reuters)

Qatar’s Foreign Minister said early Wednesday that he did not make any statement regarding withdrawal or eviction of five Arab ambassadors from Doha, Al Arabiya News Channel has reported.

His statement comes following earlier reports, attributed to the official Qatar News Agency, which said that Doha has withdrawn its ambassadors from Saudi, Egypt, Kuwait, Bahrain and the UAE.

It was also reported on Tuesday that the Qatari Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, had said that Doha has “tensions” with the Trump administration, and acknowledged that Iran is an “Islamic power.”

“There is no wisdom in harboring hostility toward Iran,” he said, adding that President Donald Trump is facing legal issues in his home country as claims over his Russia links continue. The Emir made his remarks during a graduation ceremony for new army recruits.

The Emir said Al-Udeid Air Base, which houses both Qatari Air Force and US Air Force, is protecting Doha from some neighboring countries, without mentioning any names. The military base, southwest of Doha, has long been a symbol of US-Qatari alliance.

The Emir also said relations with Israel are “good,” and Hamas is the official representative of Palestinians.

Hamas - either in whole or in part - is regarded as a terrorist organization by several countries and international organizations, most notably by Israel, US and EU.

‘Unjust campaign’

The Emir also said Qatar is facing an “unjust campaign,” coinciding with Trump’s visit to the region, which ended on Tuesday. The campaign is to link Qatar to “terrorism” and to “smear its efforts to create stability with a known purpose and incentive.”

He added: “We will be after those countries and organizations to protect Qatar’s pioneering role regionally and internationally, and to protect its people’s dignity.”

“We denounce charges that we support terrorism despite our efforts with our brethren and participation in the Coalition against ISIS.”

He said: “The real danger is the behavior of some countries that caused terrorism by adopting an extreme version of Islam that does not represent its real forgiving truth.”

“No one has the right to charge us with terrorism just because they blacklisted the Muslim Brotherhood as terrorist or rejected the resistance movements by Hamas or [Lebanon’s] Hezbollah.”

He urged Egypt, UAE and Bahrain to “revise their stances regarding Qatar.” The Emir also said he succeeded in building strong relations with the US and Iran in the same time.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 24 May 2017 KSA 16:11 - GMT 13:11
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