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US, Arab states should talk to Iran: Former Qatari PM

Tehran, Former Qatari Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani in a 30-minute interview to FRANCE 24 urged the Trump administration to resolve its differences with Tehran in a peaceful way and also stressed that the PGCC needed to engage in a serious dialogue with Iran.

In an exclusive interview with FRANCE 24, former Qatari PM Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani said Doha was taken by surprise by the blockade decided by Saudi Arabia, the UAE and their allies in June 2017, claiming the real objective of this move was 'to overthrow' the emir of Qatar.

Al-Thani pointed out that the Trump administration, after initially siding with the Saudis and Emiratis, had now reversed course. He added that for the time being, he did not see any hope for a solution to the crisis.

Meanwhile, Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani said Saudi Arabia and the UAE are breaking the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (PGCC) by targeting Qatar. Moreover, he pointed fingers at the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, saying he was not well advised, that his decisions were made in a weird and irresponsible way, and that instead of using force inside and outside his country, he should focus on the well-being of his people.

He also noted that after being initially hopeful about MBS and his self-proclaimed reform agenda, he had now changed his mind. I am disappointed by Mohammed bin Salman, the former Qatari PM told FRANCE 24.

He also took a swipe at the Emirati leader Mohamed bin Zayed, saying he was acting as a negative influence on the Saudi crown prince. He added that he still hoped the crown prince would come to his senses and become a true leader of the region.

Finally, asked about the Middle East peace process, the former Qatari PM said he still believed in a Palestinian state and that the Trump administration could broker a deal between Israel and the Palestinians.

He lamented that the Trump administration was not talking to the Palestinians and warned that it had to change its approach and stop listening only to Benyamin Netanyahu and a handful of Arab countries in the region, namely Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Former Qatari prime minister stressed that the Palestinians could not be pressured by force or money to accept a deal, and regretted that Saudi Arabia and the UAE were doing so in order to please the American [Trump] administration

Source: Islamic Republic News Agency - IRNA