Qatar’s foreign minister told reporters in London that a Saudi and Emirati plan to impose “stability” on the region by supporting authoritarian governments and military councils in Africa and throughout the Arab world was a recipe for chaos. In a wide-ranging discussion on Sunday, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said their narrative was creating more terrorism, conflict and chaos, and that “anyone who utters a contrary opinion is [in their view] a terrorist”.
He then questioned whether designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group, which both countries have done and the United States promises to do, was either a “wise or pragmatic” decision. “In Egypt, maybe there are five million Muslim Brotherhood members. Can you imagine, if 10 percent of them decided to be real terrorists, using violence? That would make 500,000.” He said Qatar has been the subject of efforts to demonise it by a quartet of Arab states, led by Saudi Arabia and the UAE, and that some countries had been blackmailed into pursuing the same policy.
This “creates a lot of instability in the Horn of Africa and the Sub-Saharan area,” Sheikh Mohammed said. Moreover, he added, Saudi and UAE policies aimed at isolating Iran are not working. “Right now they are continuing with the same policy that has not worked for the last three years. I think we need to revisit this,” Sheikh Mohammed said. He criticised the recent summit in Mecca, in which his prime minister participated, saying the final summit statement was not prepared either at an expert or ministerial level before being issued.