Emir Tamim bin-Hamad al-Thani, the Emir of Qatar, said on Tuesday that the people of the Arab Spring countries are now more aware of and more interested in public issues. He noted that such countries will not return to the old days that are past.
Speaking at the UN General Assembly, Emir Tamim pointed out that the revolutions in the Arab Spring countries are facing great difficulties, "but the people will not allow the clock to go backwards". Such difficulties were expected, he said, as all revolutions are faced with attempts to reinstate ousted regimes.
This was the Emir's first major international speech. He took the opportunity to remind the gathering of world leaders about Israel's ongoing aggression in the occupied Palestinian territories.
"The Palestinian cause has become more complicated," said the Qatari ruler, "because Israel continues to impose facts on the ground." He blamed Israel's illegal colony-settlement policy for the inability to find common ground for a solution to the conflict. Moreover, he insisted that the international community should abide by, and enforce, international law to maintain peace and security.
This is also necessary to protect the people of Syria, he added. He called for the Syrian opposition to unite for a transitional stage that can lead to a government which guarantees the freedom and dignity of all Syrians without any discrimination.