The illegal siege of Qatar, started by four neighbouring countries, has now been on for more than a year.
The Gulf crisis, along with other issues, have pushed the Middle East from a bad situation to worse in the last decade, according to Qatar’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs HE Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani.
Speaking at a special session on the sidelines of the Mediterranean Dialogue Conference in Rome, Sheikh Mohamed was referring to the illegal siege of Qatar as well as problems in Lebanon, Syria, Libya and Yemen, reported Gulf Times.
“The situation in the Middle East needs to be addressed,” Sheikh Mohamed told the session.
When asked about US President Donald Trump initially calling Qatar a funder of terror and then a friend, Sheikh Mohamed had this to say.
“We can’t base policies of entire countries on tweets. US institutions were against the blockade and have great relations with Qatar and they mentioned that Qatar is a partner of the US. This was mentioned by the State Department, the Department of Defence, the Department of Treasury.
“They had also commended Qatar’s role in counterterrorism. The president’s initial statement may have been derived from false information that was given to him at that time, perhaps even by the blockading countries. At the end we see that the truth will prevail, and that’s what happened.
“I’m sure American institutions have shown the president that Qatar is a strategic ally and not a financier of terrorism. The war on terror starts from the bases in Qatar,” he was quoted as saying by The Peninsula.
“A massive propaganda campaign was started against Qatar and in time, everyone realised this wasn’t true. The veil has been uncovered. The same methods were used against any country that opposed their policies — take Canada for example,” he noted.
Responding to a question about social media and how it fanned tensions in the region, Sheikh Mohamed said misuse of social media was noted ‘against Qatar and its people’ at the start of the Gulf crisis.
“Trying to change the perception has shown that we’ve a society around us that doesn’t understand how to practice freedom of speech. They didn’t calculate the damage against them and their reputation and their future. What was done over the first few months of the blockade was very damaging to GCC’s reputation,” he said.
“Social media could’ve been put to a much better use for positive change and not negative,” he was quoted as saying by Qatar Tribune.