Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister dismissed the Sunni kingdom’s dispute with Qatar as insignificant this week, saying it has bigger problems to address as the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) continues to implement dramatic reforms across the country.
Referring to threats Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir considers to be bigger challenges for the kingdom, he noted Iran’s growing strength and influence in the Middle East; war against terrorist organizations; the ongoing crisis neighboring Syria; Libya; Iran’s support for anti-Saudi Shiite Houthis in Yemen; and the ongoing implementation of historic reforms by MBS, reports Al Arabiya.
“We need not to concern ourselves with the Qatari subject,” emphasized Jubeir while speaking to Egyptian reporters on Sunday on the sidelines of the Arab foreign ministers meeting in Cairo, adding:
We only want the best for them, they must not interfere in the internal of countries or find platforms for people who justify suicide bombings. [They must not] host individuals involved in financing terrorists – and they continue to collect money and send it terrorists and [there shouldn’t be] terrorist elements operating in Qatar, including the Muslim Brotherhood.
Considered the region’s most serious diplomatic crisis in years, the Gulf states of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Egypt have severed their ties with Qatar over the country’s alleged support for terrorism, particularly Saudi Arabia’s regional rival Iran and jihadist groups linked to the Shiite Islamic Republic.
Qatar denies the allegations.
The Saudi foreign minister acknowledged that unless Qatar stops supporting Iran and its allies, the “boycotting” countries will continue to ignore Qatar.
Despite providing sanctuary to members of known terrorist groups like the Taliban, Hamas, al-Qaeda, and the Muslim Brotherhood, among others, Qatar denies the allegations that it supports jihadists groups.
Qatar has refused to abide by a list of demands to rekindle its relationship with the countries that accused Doha of supporting terrorists.
In recent months, the king-to-be MBS has been busy employing a wide-reaching transformation to the hard-line Islamic country, namely the corruption probes that have led to the arrests of dozens of Saudi businessmen, officials, and even royalty.
United States President Donald Trump’s administration has sought to maintain a closer relationship with Riyadh, supporting the boycott against Qatar and the ongoing reforms.
Ignoring the demands in late August, Qatar claimed it had restored full diplomatic ties with Iran, vowing to send its ambassador back to Tehran.