The Emir of Qatar Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani stressed that the country’s sovereignty is a red line, adding that Doha will not accept anyone interfering in it.
“Our sovereignty is a red line. We don’t accept anybody interfering our sovereignty,” Sheikh Tamim told US television programme “60 Minutes”.
“The blockade countries simply want us to give up our independence. They fear freedom of expression and consider it a threat,” he said, noting that Qatar will not close Al Jazeera; one of a number of conditions the boycotting countries have set for a restoration in relations.
“History will record that Al Jazeera changed freedom of expression.”
We want freedom of speech for the people of the region and they’re not happy with that, and so they think that this is a threat to them.
“We want to end the crisis, but not at the expense of our dignity or our sovereignty,” he added.
The Emir has also expressed surprise at the crisis saying Doha participated in the Riyadh summit in May and no one raised concerns about his country. “We were discussing terrorism, financing terrorism, and nobody brought any concern from those countries. Nobody told me anything,” he said.
Remarking on his country’s relations with Iran, he explained that although Doha has differences with Iran “it is the only way to provide our needs”.