Qatar’s emir ac­cuses Saudi Ara­bia, al­lies of want­ing regime change

The Nation - - OPINION & ANALYSIS -

QATAR’S EMIR ac­cused Saudi Ara­bia and its Arab al­lies of seek­ing to top­ple his gov­ern­ment with its nearly five-month-old po­lit­i­cal and eco­nomic em­bargo of the tiny Gulf state.

“They want a regime change. It’s... so ob­vi­ous,” Sheikh Tamim bin Ha­mad Al-Thani told CBS’s 60 Min­utes in an in­ter­vew aired on Sun­day (yes­ter­day Thai­land time).

“His­tory as well tells us, teaches us they tried to do that be­fore, in 1996 af­ter my fa­ther be­came the emir. So, and they made it also so ob­vi­ous in the last cou­ple of weeks.”

The Gulf cri­sis erupted on June 5 when Saudi Ara­bia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emi­rates and Egypt cut diplo­matic ties with Qatar, im­pos­ing eco­nomic sanc­tions as it ac­cused the emi­rate of sup­port­ing ter­ror­ism and of be­com­ing too close with Shi’ite ri­val Iran.

Riyadh and its al­lies closed land and mar­itime borders, sus­pended air links and ex­pelled Qatari cit­i­zens. Doha de­nies the charges.

“They don’t like our in­de­pen­dence, the way how we are think­ing, our vi­sion for the re­gion,” Sheikh Tamin said on Sun­day.

“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,” he added.

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