Islamic World News

London based Qatari Sheikh welcomed by Saudi Crown Prince

London based Qatari Sheikh welcomed by Saudi Crown Prince
AFP

Amidst the ongoing political clashes between the Gulf countries and Qatar’s denial of the allegations made against the country, a very little-known Qatari personality has emerged out in open, promising to find a solution to the political clashes.

A descendant of Qatar’s founder, Sheikh Abdullah Bin Ali Al-Thani, arrived in Saudi Arabia to a warm welcome by the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The two personalities then left for Morocco where the Crown Prince hosted Sheikh Abdullah in Tangier.

According to some sources, Sheikh Abdullah’s Saudi visit was a move to find a temporary solution amidst the 10 week Gulf standoff, but the Qatari government claims the visit was personal.

However, the surprise visit yielded a temporary solution to the Gulf standoff, with King Salman and his son agreeing upon opening Qatar’s only land border allowing Muslim Pilgrims to travel to the Holy city of Mecca.

The Saudi King has also offered to dispatch planes in order to bring in the pilgrims stuck due to the political crisis.

Earlier Saudi Arabia and its allies have denied seeking regime change in Doha and claimed the measures taken against Qatar are only aimed at pressurizing Doha to change its policies.

This warm welcome is speculated as a plan to add an extra pressure on Qatar Ruler Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani who earlier refused to agree upon the 13 demands by the Gulf Countries which severed political ties between Qatar and other Gulf Countries said Abdul Khaleq Abdulla, UAE political Analyst.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt are among the seven countries that have accused Qatar of supporting extremism and terrorism, a charge that Doha firmly denied.

According to Qatar, Saudi Arabia is using this disagreement to impose its policies on the entire region.

“Saudi Arabia has many pressure tools that it hasn’t used until now and this is one of them,” said Abdulla.

A Dubai owned daily Al Bayan, defined Sheikh Abdulla as “the voice of reason to whom the hearts of Qataris have opened, ” adding that he is known for being “widely accepted within the Al Thani family in particular, and Qataris in general.”

Sheikh Abdullah is a descendant of Qatar Ruler, but his branch ruling family was disposed of from power in 1972 by Sheikh Tamim’s grandfather said Saudi owned Al Arabiya news network.

The move to have a temporary solution for the ongoing crisis has made the Qatari Sheikh a social media celebrity with 250,000 followers on twitter since his recent join on social media platform. The sheik on his account has given contact details of the operation center, adding he also had talks with the Saudi central bank governor, who denied that banks in the Saudi had stopped “giving out Qatari Riyals to Qatari citizens.”

“The king has honored me by accepting my mediation on behalf of my people in Qatar,” Sheikh wrote.

With Kuwait’s emir attempt and secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s visit to the region, none of the political moves made by these nations proved to solve the diplomatic tensions in Gulf.

Speaking of Sheikh Abdullah, Andreas Krieg, Department of defense studies lecturer at King’s College in London said he is a London-based businessman with interests in business with Gulf but lacks the public support that would help thrust him to power.

“The past couple of weeks we were thinking we will see a de-escalation of the crisis as the Americans were focusing on the Saudis to make some concessions to come to an agreement,” Krieg said.