In his first address to the United Nations General Assembly, Qatar’s new Emir has spoken out against the suffering of the Palestinian people, and urged the international community to “not jump to conclusions” about the post-revolution Arab world.
The 33-year-old Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, reportedly the youngest head of state to address the New York-based assembly this year, also used the podium to decry embattled President Bashar Al Assad’s “scorched-earth policies” in Syria. He said rebel groups must work together toward a solution:
“I take this opportunity to call upon our Syrian brothers to unify their ranks in order to enter a transitional period that leads to establishing a governing system that guarantees freedom… for all Syrians.”
“The large number of martyrs … were not made so that despotism could be exchanged for chaos.”
He also addressed the changing state of the region, asking other world leaders to put the revolutions of the past few years into context, and try to remember the upheavals their own countries went through before arriving at stability and peace.
“Meeting the demands of people – in all states of the world – was never an easy task,” he said. “It was not easy to go through it without patience or determination.”
In terms of Qatar’s role in the region, Sheikh Tamim said the country aimed to be a “hub for dialogue and discussion for different parties and conflicts” during this transitional phase – without taking anyone’s side.
Meanwhile, he lauded the development his nation is undergoing, mentioning its commitment to applying rule to law, combating corruption, affording women equal rights and shoring up its education system.
He wrapped up his speech by touching upon the need to address the problems posed by weapons of mass destruction. He also emphasized how critical it is to develop a roadmap to tackle climate change.
The address appeared to sit well with the Emir’s local constituency, with residents on Twitter praising the speech.
— ريـم الحـرمـي (@Reem_AlHarmi)
The youngest and newest leader of the Arab world, but the one with the biggest mind, heart, and soul. Qataris, hold your head high.— يوسف أبو غيدة (@Yousef_AG)
Here’s the full text of his remarks, as published by QNA.
Credit: Video still from Al Jazeera English