WASHINGTON, Qatar’s foreign minister criticized “reckless leadership” in the Gulf for a number of crises including the Gulf rift and Lebanon, taking apparent aim at Saudi Arabia.
The diplomatic crisis, in which Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt have boycotted Qatar, has been brewing since the summer after the four countries cut diplomatic, transport and trade ties with Qatar, accusing it of financing terrorism. Doha denies the charges.
Saudi Arabia and its allies are fighting for sway across the region against a bloc led by Iran, which includes the heavily armed Lebanese Shi‘ite Hezbollah group.
Attention on the dispute has shifted recently especially in the wake of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri’s shock resignation announcement this month while in Saudi Arabia.
Hariri’s abrupt resignation and his continued stay in Riyadh have caused fears over Lebanon’s stability and thrust it into the bitter rivalry between Riyadh and Iran. Saudi Arabia and Hariri – whom Riyadh backs – say his movements are not restricted. Riyadh also denies accusations it forced Hariri to resign.
Hariri is in Saudi Arabia “by his own will,” and is free to leave whenever he wants, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said.
Al-Hariri’s return to Lebanon “is up to him and his assessment of the security situation” at home, Al-Jubeir told a news conference with French Foreign Minister Jean Yves Le Drian, in Riyadh.
Hariri is currently in Paris with his wife and son.
“We see a pattern of irresponsibility and a reckless leadership in the region which is just trying to bully countries into submission,” Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said in Washington.
Source: NAM News Network