Saudi - Qatari tensions increasing
Saudi Arabia-Qatar, Politics, 7/31/2002
Tension in the Saudi- Qatari has intensified on Tuesday after the Saudi official dailies launched a new attack on the Qatari foreign minister Sheikh Hamad Bin Jasem al-Thani, while Gulf officials said that Riyadh might boycott the next Gulf summit.
Relations between the two states were stressed because of programs broadcast by the Qatari al-Jazeera satellite TV recently, considered by al-Riyadh as insulting for the Royal family in Saudi Arabia.
Gulf officials said that it is expected that Saudi Arabia will summon its ambassador from Doha, and to boycott the Gulf summit to be held this year in Doha, in case differences continue with Qatar without a nearby solution.
One of the Gulf officials said "the campaigning war ( in the Saudi media ) seems to be a first step to be followed by tougher measures." Officials and diplomats said that Riyadh ignored several proposals from Sheikh Hamad to visit Saudi Arabia in order to solve what he called "misunderstanding among brothers." In its editorials, the Saudi dailies on Tuesday criticized Sheikh Hamad because of the meeting he had held in Paris recently with the Israeli foreign minister Shimon Peres.
The Saudi daily al-Watan ( the homeland) considered that the meeting "was a blow that causes deep wounds in the chest of the Gulf people," noting that " ( the meeting ) was not only a treason for the history of the countries of the region, rather permits Israel to make a larger breakthrough in such a vital region." For its part, the daily Okaz said that by keeping his relations with Israel despite promises to cut them, Sheikh Hamad would ensure a footstep for the Israel in the Arab Gulf region.
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