On taking the reins of power Qatari Emir Shaikh Tamim’s first address to the Nation

June 26, 2013 | By More

June 27, AP – In his first address to the nation since assuming power, Shaikh Tamim said his country “rejects divisions in Arab societies on sectarian lines”.

human rights observers - On taking the reins of power Qatari Emir Shaikh Tamim's first address to the nation intl1

“We seek to preserve relations with all governments and countries and we respect all sincere, active and effective political directions in the region but we do not support one side over the other,” said the Amir.

Shaikh Tamim formed a government in which he replaced former prime minister Shaikh Hamad bin Jassem Al Thani with the former minister of state for internal affairs, a statement said.

Shaikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani was named both the Prime Minister and Interior Minister, while former minister of state for foreign affairs Khaled Al Attiyah was promoted to Foreign Minister.

Mohammed Al Sada, meanwhile, retained the post of Energy Minister, a key position in the country, the official QNA news agency re-ported.

His 15-minute address focused on domestic issues and was broad in nature. Shaikh Tamim said the Gulf state would not “take direction” in foreign affairs, supported the sovereignty and integrity of all Arab lands and would seek to diversify the gas-based economy at home.

“We don’t take direction and this independent behaviour is one of the established facts,” Shaikh Tamim said in the speech broad-cast on Qatari state television.

The Amir said Qatar was com-mitted to the Palestinians in their struggle with Israel and to other Arab causes, and would respect “the sovereignty and integrity of all Arab lands”. But he made no mention of the conflict in Syria.

But the Amir added that his country should not be identified with any particular political trend and respected all religious sects.

“We are a coherent state, not a political party, and therefore we seek to keep relationships with all governments and states,” he said. “We respect all the influential and active political trends in the region, but we are not affiliated with one trend against the other. We are Muslims and Arabs who respect diversity of sects and respect all religions in our countries and outside of them.”

“As Arabs we reject splitting the countries on sectarian lines because this affects their social and economic integrity and prevents their development on the basis of citizenship regardless of religion and sect,” the Amir said.

“This split allows for foreign powers to interfere in the internal affairs of Arabs and influence them.”

Shaikh Tamim added: “We established cooperative relations, based on shared interests and respect, with many of the world’s states, in the East, the West, America, Europe, Asia, Africa and the region.

There’s no other alter-native to shared interests and mutual respect in relationships between states, and that is, in the end, our principle.”

Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz, Adviser and Special Envoy to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia, arrived in Doha earlier in the day to offer his congratulations to the Shaikh Tamim on the occasion of his assuming the reins of power.

Shaikh Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister of Bahrain, and King Abdullah of Jordan and Prince Ali ibn Al Hussein also arrived in Doha to offer congratulations to Shaikh Tamim.

Associated press journalist for human rights observers-contributed to this report.

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Category: International

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