Gulf media is reporting that Qatar had denied the myriad of recent reports that is supporting the Muslim Brotherhood. According to Gulf News report:
March 18, 2013 Manama: Qatar has rejected charges that it is siding with the Muslim Brotherhood, saying that it was dealing with the government elected to run the country and as prescribed by diplomatic protocols. Doha has been accused in Arab media of lending special support to the Muslim Brotherhood movement, especially in Egypt. However, Khalid Bin Mohammad Al Attiyah, state minister for foreign affairs, said that Qatar dealt officially with governments and that, in the early stages of the Egyptian revolution, Doha cooperated with the Military Council in charge of the country, local Arabic daily Al Raya reported on Monday. The official, a panelist on ‘Rising Powers in the Region: Challenges and International Engagement’ at Al Jazeera Forum in Doha on Sunday, said that Qatar was on good terms with all political forces in Egypt. Qatar’s engagement with the group was based on the fact that it had come to power through the ballot box, he said. He added that the support extended by Qatar to Egypt was based on an agreement signed with the Military Council before the elections. Qatar was among the first countries to support the Egyptian people and signed cooperation agreements with Cairo based on the belief that a strong Egypt provided strategic depth to Doha regardless of who was in power, he said. Al Attiyah explained that, during the Libyan revolution, his country dealt with popular social groups in that country ‘because it was a headless revolution’, while in Egypt, it was dealing with the government running the country. According to the official, Qatar was open to all emerging forces in the Arab world and did not side with any party against the other. He said that Doha had a zero-problem policy with its neighbours, including Tehran. ‘We have good relations with our environment, including Iran despite the divergent views that the two countries have over the crisis in Syria,’ he said. Qatar did not seek to make enemies with anyone but believed in making friends and in the significance of close relations with all countries, he said. Al Attiyah rejected claims that Qatar was not synchronising its positions with fellow Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member countries. ‘Can you name one position in which Qatar took a different position,’ he retorted when asked about his country’s perceived non-alignment with GCC positions. He said all GCC countries supported the Syrian revolution and the member states coordinated their position on the issue. However, he said GCC countries respected the sovereignty of each member and its right to adopt a position based on its own views.
A post from last October reported on the visit to Gaza by the Emir of Qatar described as the “biggest diplomatic victory” for Hamas since taking power five years ago. A post from earlier that week reported on the announcement of the biggest contribution of reconstruction aid for Hamas-ruled Gaza since the destruction accompanying the Israeli-Gaza conflict four years ago. A post from August reported on the plans for an Egypt-Qatar summit where the Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi was to receive the Emir of Qatar. AP had reported earlier that Qatar was granting Egypt a $2 billion loan to help the country’s troubled economy. A post from March reported that the Deputy Chairman of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood was visiting Qatar for meetings with Qatari official. An earlier post discussed the relocation of Hamas political leader Khaled Mashaal from Syria to Qatar in yet another sign of the country growing importance as a center of the Global Muslim Brotherhood. A series of recent and important Global Muslim Brotherhood events have been held in Qatar illustrating the increasing importance of the country to the Global Brotherhood.
Other items of interest include:
- Bloomburg News recently posted an article titled “Rising Islamist Movement Has Small But Wealthy Patron” that looks at tensions resulting in the Gulf as a result of Qatari funding of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.
- A Gulf newspaper recently posted an article by academic Dr. Ahmad Jamil Azem titled “Qatar’s Ties with the Muslim Brotherhood Affect Entire Region.”
- The Atlantic Council Web site recently posted an article titled “Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood: Between a Present with Qatar and a Future with Libya” that discusses the future of Qatari-Egyptian relations in light of the failure of the Libyan Muslim Brotherhood to prevail in recent elections.
- The Voice of America recently posted an article that discusses the role of the Muslim Brotherhood in driving Qatari foreign policy.
- Reuters recently posted an article titled “Rising power Qatar stirs unease among some Mideast neighbors” that looks at the discomfort engendered in the region partly as a result of Qatar’s support of the Muslim Brotherhood.