Saudi Arabia has threatened to close its border and airspace with Qatar if Doha doesn’t stop supporting the Muslim Brotherhood, Al-Arab newspaper reported on Wednesday.
The London-based newspaper, which is considered to be very close to the decision-makers in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, said a Saudi official had delivered the urgent message from the Saudi government to the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani. The message included a “threat” that Riyadh is reviewing its relations with Doha. This could cause a significant change that may lead to the freezing of the relationship.
Saudi Arabia issued the warning saying it is running out of patience towards Qatar’s policies with regards supporting the Muslim Brotherhood movement and breaching the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)’s guidelines for the policies and positions, particularly towards Egypt.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia believes that the Emir of Qatar did not abide by the agreement he signed in a summit in Riyadh in the presence of the Emir of Kuwait two months ago, to stop the use of the Qatari soil in actions that harm the Kingdom.
Prince Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz, King of Saudi Arabia, had the emir of Qatar write the vow and sign it in the presence of the Emir of Kuwait because he had doubts about the Qatari’s commitment to the agreement, as had happened in previous agreements conducted with him and his father, Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani .
Saudi accuses its neighbour of supporting the Houthis in Yemen with money and weapons through one of the Sheikhs of the Qatari royal family, as well as supporting the Muslim Brotherhood in the Kingdom through the Qatari Sheikh himself.
This Saudi threat coincides with a similar Egyptian threat that was expressed by the Egyptian Foreign Minister Dr Nabil Fahmy, who said, “We reject the Qatari stance, in form and content, and there should not be any intervention in internal Egyptian affairs.”
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Egypt have participated in supporting a coup attempt in Qatar in 1996 which did not succeed. Qatari forces loyal to the ousted Prince crept, under the supervision of Egyptian and Saudi officers, in to Qatari land in order to oust Prince Hamad Bin Khalifa and return his father Sheikh Khalifa to power.
Saudi has threatened to shut its land border with Qatar, which means controlling Qatar entirely, because it does not have any territorial access to the world except through the Saudi port, preventing it from using Saudi airspace and withdrawing the licenses of Qatar Airways to operate flights between Saudi Arabian cities.
Al-Arab newspaper said Mosaed Al-Ayban, Saudi Arabia’s Secretary of State, has made several trips to Gulf capitals to inform their leaders about the measures his government expect to take against Qatar.
Observers noted that Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, the Emir of Qatar, joined the meeting of foreign ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council in Kuwait beside the Emir of Kuwait, in an unprecedented step, which confirms Qatar seeks the help of Kuwait.