Qatari dissidents call for national meeting to discuss crisis

Saudi Press Agency

Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali Al Thani with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman in Morocco

Two members of Qatar’s ruling family are urging their countrymen to meet with them to discuss an end to the Gulf dispute.

The idea was first proposed by Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali Al Thani this week in a tweet.

He said: “To my family, the children, the businessmen, and all the people of Qatar: I invite you to meet to be messengers of wisdom and peace, and advocates for the uniting of the hearts.”

Sheikh Abdullah has kept a low profile for decades. He lives and owns property in Saudi Arabia, and is married to a Saudi woman.

But he has become a more prominent figure since the boycott began.

Since then, he has met with Saudi Arabia’s king on multiple occasions and some Saudis have even suggested he replace Sheikh Tamim as Emir.

Peter Draper / Instagram

The Emir’s image decorating a cup of coffee

Qataris appear to overwhelmingly support their nation’s current leadership.

Many have expressed their solidarity with Sheikh Tamim by displaying his likeness in car windows, in murals and through social media.

Second voice

But the Gulf crisis has also empowered some dissenters to speak up.

Yesterday, another member of the ruling family threw his support behind the idea of a national meeting.

According to Arab News, Sheikh Sultan bin Suhaim Al Thani made a televised statement urging Qataris to unite against terrorist groups.

The son of a former Qatari foreign minister said he is now living in Paris because he “could no longer tolerate seeing strangers roaming our country and interfering in our affairs under the pretext of protecting us from our brothers in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states.”

The newspaper quoted Sheikh Sultan as adding, “It is our national duty now to unite and stand together to purge the country of them.”

Qatar’s government has not yet officially commented on the call to action.

The country’s Emir is in New York today to speak at the UN General Assembly.

Sheikh Tamim will also meet with US President Donald Trump to discuss the Gulf dispute.

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