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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 September 2018

Qatari sheikh emerges as third main opposition figure to Emir's policies

Sheikh Sultan bin Suhaim says country must be "purged" of terrorist links

The Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim, speaks at a press conference with Angela Merkel. EPA/Felipe Trueba
The Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim, speaks at a press conference with Angela Merkel. EPA/Felipe Trueba

A high-profile Qatari sheikh yesterday called on the country's ruling family to do all it can to resolve the crisis with its neighbours and "purge our land" from any links to terrorist organisations.

Paris-based Sheikh Sultan bin Suhaim Al Thani is the third major figure to oppose the policies of the Emir, Sheikh Tamim, since the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt severed diplomatic ties and air, road and sea transport links with Doha in June over its support of extremist and terrorist groups.

"Our brothers in the Gulf and the Arab world have ostracised us because of fatal errors that were committed against them alongside ugly practices done against their existence; these actions were committed in our name, from our land and with our tools," Sheikh Sultan said in a statement provided to the media.

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He also endorsed a call by another member of the royal family, Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali, for a national-level meeting to discuss the crisis. Sheikh Abdullah’s grandfather, father, and brother were all rulers of Qatar. He has become an integral figure in the three-month old crisis and has been a frequent guest of the Saudi royal court.

In London last week, Qatari opposition activists showcased their calls for the country to change direction to former British and American cabinet ministers, leading security officials and top BBC names at a conference. A leading member of the Al Marrah tribe, which straddles the border between Saudi Arabia and Qatar, emerged as the keynote panellist at the Qatar, Global Security and Stability Conference which was organised by Khaled Al Hail, a leading activist.

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