Riyadh: Nearly six months into the Gulf crisis, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are attempting to mobilize tribal opposition as well as little known members of one branch of Qatar’s ruling Al Thani family in a bid to weaken, if not topple, Qatari emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.
The Al Arabiya television network broadcasted a video of Qatar’s Sheikh Sultan bin Suhaim Al-Thani addressing a large gathering of people at a tribal meeting on the Saudi-Qatari border. Sheikh Sultan in his speech said, “We established Qatar and must purge the country and rescue it before it plunges into chaos and manipulated by corrupt people”.
Thousands of Saudis from the Bani Hajjer and Qahtan tribes had gathered to honor Shafi bin Nasser Al-Hajjeri, chief of the Bani Hajjer tribe, after he and family members had been stripped of their Qatari nationality and driven out of Qatar following the escalation of the Saudi-Qatari crisis.
Sheikh Sultan stressed the responsibility upon Saudi King Salman bin Abdul Aziz and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to ensure Qatar shouldn’t be a country that harbors terrorism or become a shelter for corruption.
He added that they kept silence in the past “but not out of weakness or vulnerability, but rather out of hope that our brothers come back to their senses and abandon prejudice” asserting that the patience limit has to come its end now.
“I say to the authority in Doha that action speaks louder than words … Qatar is not at the hands of its true people, but we will get it back”, he added.
Sheikh Sultan bin Suhaim Bin Hamad Al Thani is the eighth child of Sheikh Suhaim bin Hamad. His father Suhaim bin Hamad Al-Thani was the brother of the former Qatari Emir Sheikh Khalifah bin Hamad Al-Thani and Qatar’s first foreign minister after it gained independence in 1972.
Sheikh Sultan, a resident in Paris is believed to have business interests in the kingdom. Sheikh Sultan’s SST Holdings was last year awarded an $8.8 billion contract for a 1.4 million-square-metre real estate development in Riyadh that would include a shopping centre as well as mosques, hotels, exhibition halls and artificial lakes.