Qatar Sheikh accuses Saudi Arabia of two-faced politics over blockade, 'nobody told me anything'

Qatar Sheikh accuses Saudi Arabia of two-faced politics over blockade, 'nobody told me anything'
Wed Nov 1, 2017 11:15:57

QATAR has accused Saudi Arabia of two-faced politics over its suffocating blockade by claiming the boycott was a “shock” to the gas-rich country.

(express) -- Sheikh Tamim said he had no reason to believe Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain would launch a crippling economic and political crackdown against Qatar. 

Insisting “nobody told me anything” the Sheikh claimed he met with the nation leaders and US President Donald Trump weeks before the blockage when the men praised and laughed with each other. 

He told CBS News’s Charlie Rose: “Charlie, it was a shock. 

“It was a shock because a few weeks before that, we were meeting, all of us together, in one room, including President Trump. And we were discussing terrorism, financing terrorism. 

“And nobody brought any concern from those countries. Nobody told me anything.”

Tensions have reached boiling point after Qatar’s Arab neighbours launched a boycott by cutting off diplomatic ties and transport links, accusing Doha of supporting terrorism. 

When asked if the countries had reason to launch an attack, Sheikh Tamim said: “Nothing. It was actually the opposite. We were praising each other, laughing with each other. 

“Discussing, you know, how to solve this terrorism that is a threat for the rest of the world.”

The most serious crisis in the Persian Gulf in decades erupted after the Saudi allies closed air and shipping routes and expelled all Qatari nationals. 

Tiny Qatar is the world’s richest nation per capital and is the controversial host nation for the 2022 World Cup.

Sheikh Tamim said: “They don't like our independence, the way how we are thinking, our vision for the region.

“We want freedom of speech for the people of the region. And they're not happy with that. And so they think that this is a threat to them.” 

The countries have demanded Qatar close down the Turkish base, close the Al Jazeera TV channel and curb relations with Iran. 

But the Sheikh insisted “Iran is our neighbour”. 

He said: “By the way, us as a country, we have lots of differences and foreign policies with Iran, more than them. But let me tell you one thing Charlie. When those countries, our brothers, blocked everything. 

“Blocked medicine, blocked food, the only way for us to provide food and medicine for our people was through Iran.” 

Strongly denying his nation is involved in the act of terrorism, he added: “When they talk about terrorism, absolutely not. We do not support terrorism.” 

(Photo: CBS)

string(503) "[{"id":"3116276","sort":"9706466","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"150934327598108500.jpg","title":"Qatar emir accuses blockade countries of wanting 'regime change' "} ,{"id":"3118361","sort":"9706461","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"150943023020108100.jpg","title":"Bahrain to boycott summits attended by Qatar: king"} ,{"id":"3118686","sort":"9706471","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"150943573675022200.jpg","title":"Protracted Qatar rift could dampen Persian Gulf mid-term growth: International Monetary Fund"} ]"