KSA: Prominent cleric arrested over alleged call for reconciliation with Qatar

Sep 14, 2017, 00:14
KSA: Prominent cleric arrested over alleged call for reconciliation with Qatar

The bitter dispute between Gulf states and Qatar threatened to deepen amid a slanging match between rival ministers over the status of Iran.

They presented Qatar with a list of demands, among them downgrading ties with Iran, and gave it an ultimatum to comply with them or face unspecified consequences.

The false media reports are part of an ongoing dispute between Qatar and its neighbours - Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain - as well as Egypt.

Saudi Arabia's Ambassador to Egypt and Permanent Representative to the Arab League Ahmed Qattan said on Tuesday that the actions that have been taken by the four Arab states calling to combat terrorism are sovereign measures due to the wrong policies being pursued by Doha since so many years.

Sheikh Ouda, in his last twitter post, had welcomed on Friday suggesting that three month old row between Qatar and four Arab countries led by Saudi Arabia may be resolved. It has also allowed Qatar's national carrier to use its airspace.

Chairman of the Qatar Engineers Association, Ahmad Al-Jolo, said in a statement quoted by Qatar's Al-Arab newspaper that if the blockade is lifted, it is assumed that no one will accept the products imported from the four countries that caused the crisis.

On Saturday, Riyadh had suspended all communication with Doha after Qatari media allegedly misreported the contents of the first phone call on the crisis between the two Arab states.

The Gulf crisis began in May following the hacking of Qatar News Agency's website when comments falsely attributed to Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani were broadcast by both UAE-based broadcasters Sky News Arabia and Al Arabiya.

In response, Qattan said: "Congratulations to Iran and soon, God willing, you will regret it". "If the Qatari brothers think that if the rapprochement with Iran would serve their interests, they are carrying out matters in a wrong way and they will be accountable for that", he said.

"Their direction needs to change and we will continue our policies until Qatar changes its policies of aggression against the four boycotting countries, as long as Doha supports and funds terrorism and intervenes in the Middle East countries' internal affairs", Gargash said.

A Saudi security source told Reuters that the suspects were accused of "espionage activities and having contacts with external entities including the Muslim Brotherhood", which Riyadh has classified as a "terrorist" organisation.

Besides Iran, Turkey has also been sending food aid to the Qatar, which heavily relies on imports to feed its 2.7 million population.