- Middle East/North Africa
“The state of Qatar has no political, economic or social agendas in any other country,” Emir of Qatar Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani said Tuesday, in a speech published by the Qatar News Agency.
“We do not have any preconceived notion about what the system of government in any other country should be,” the Emir said during the inauguration of the 41st ordinary session of the Advisory Council.
The Emir attributed the accusations against Qatar to its support for aggrieved peoples and the neutrality and independence of its media.
The small Gulf kingdom has been aspiring to invest its huge natural gas wealth to gain more regional diplomatic clout.
Despite clinging to his absolute domestic powers, Emir Hamad continues to back some popular uprisings in the Arab region through the Qatar-owned Al-Jazeera satellite channel.
Qatar’s double-standard policies have, however, confused regional and international powers, as the kingdom provides much support for Islamist groups, including Palestinian faction Hamas, while simultaneously maintaining tight relations with the United States.
Qatar hosts one of the largest US military bases in the Middle East.
It had been the main Arab state that provided a political cover for the NATO’s military intervention in Libya, which resulted in the ouster and death of former leader Muammar Qadhafi last year. Qatar also opposes the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.