Bahrain foreign minister rejects allegations that he targeted Qatar

August 15, 2011

Shaikh Khalid

Bahrain’s foreign minister has rejected claims that he had targeted Qatar in his recent statements.

“What I have written is clear, and there is no abuse of my brotherly country Qatar,” Shaikh Khalid Bin Ahmad Al Khalifa wrote on his Twitter account.

The minister was reacting to a question by Jassem Salman, the head of the features section in the Qatari daily Al Sharq.

“Your Excellency the Minister: We fully support Bahrain, but were surprised by your statement on Twitter on Qatar. Could you please clarify the situation for us journalists?” he asked Shaikh Khalid.

On August 5, the foreign minister wrote that a programme aired by the Doha-based Al Jazeera English about the events that unfolded in Bahrain was strongly biased.

“It is obvious that there are people in Qatar who do not want good for Bahrain… And the opinionated film on Al Jazeera English is the best example of this puzzling animosity,” Shaikh Khalid wrote on his Twitter account, followed by around 43,500 people.

However, the minister, following allegations that Bahrain was mulling severing diplomatic ties with Qatar, insisted that relations between Manama and Doha were “deeper than a negative television programme.”

Opinion pieces in Bahraini and Qatari dailies and online comments fuelled speculation about a mini crisis between the two countries.

However, no official statement was ever made publicly by either capital on the issue.

In an interview published by the London-based Al Hayat on Sunday, Shaikh Khalid said that Manama and Doha had had “contacts” over the broadcasting of the programme.

“The truth is that the film was not fair. It was biased against Bahrain and highlighted the recent events from one angle only. I can say that it was opinionated, with carefully-adjusted scenes and the use of dramatic music.

“The view of the Bahraini people was ignored. I am not talking here about Sunnis or Shiites, but about all Bahrainis who felt that they were targeted and abused by the film contents,” he said.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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