Charlie Rose - Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabr Al-Thani (02/02/12) February 3, 2012
Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabr Al-Thani, Prime Minister of Qatar speaks with Charlie Rose.
CHARLIE: It is often said that ‘you can’t wage war in the Middle East without Egypt, and you can’t find peace without Syria’ – do you think that still rules?
SHEIK HAMAD: Well I think a lot of rules are being changed, but Syria and Egypt are very important countries in the region – and suddenly if they are not with you, I think there is no decision in the Middle East could be taken without these two countries – a major decision I mean. That is a fact.
CHARLIE: The reality in the region is that Qatar is playing a more prominent role, and you have relationships across the spectrum. You’re friendly with the United States, uh you’re friendly with Iran and other places. You have relationships with a range of countries - what is your role, what do you see for Qatar?
SHEIK HAMAD: Well Qatar as a small nation is looking for peace - first of all we are looking for peace in our region. And our region as you know is very ‘hot’ – I mean ‘hot’ politically in the region. The weather is hot, but it is also a hot place to stay there, and for us stability is important so we oppose any war against any one of our neighbors or any military action. We think that it’s not in our favor or the region’s favor. We would like to see peace around us. This is our view – how we are working. This is our policy that we are trying to help and make an environment where we can live in peace – all of us – with Israel, with Iran, with Iraq, with Yemen, with everyone in the region. We would like to find a way to work together.
CHARLIE: But it is a new reality that Qatar has a more important role than it has had in the past. Does Qatar accept that?
SHEIK HAMAD: Well, everyone would accept if they had a better role. That’s not the problem. The problem is how to have the right opinion in these areas – in these problems in the region. And to have the right opinion it’s difficult always. Sometimes you do mistakes – we do mistakes sometimes. But we find ourselves that we cannot stay and watch what’s happening around us. Whatever we can help, we can help – of course in a peaceful way. We are not a country that has aggression. We have only ourselves that we can provide for with anyone who would like help from us. That is what we are doing.