Arabs need years to normalize ties, says former Qatari PM
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Arabs need years to normalize ties, says former Qatari PM

Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor Al Thani said Saturday that Saudi Arabia’s unilateral decisions in foreign policy had weakened a once powerful regional alliance of Arab states in the Persian Gulf, known as the GCC. “Gulf dreams have collapsed,” said Sheikh Hamad in an interview with Russiya al-Yaum, adding that the GCC “has been destroyed and restoring confidence needs many years”. The former Qatari premier said more than 18 months of economic siege and diplomatic blockade on Qatar by Saudi Arabia and allies had failed to impact Doha both economically and politically, adding it was Riyadh and its position in the Middle East that were “floundering” as a result of unilateral moves in foreign policy. “Qatar is doing well despite the siege and is overcoming the fabricated crisis,” he said, noting that the countries imposing the blockade on Qatar have yet to come up with any evidence to support their claims that Qatar has been sponsoring terrorism. Sheikh Hamad further referred to Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, viewed by many as the de facto ruler of the kingdom who has been behind many troublesome decisions over the past years, saying the young prince “deserves to have better advisors.” He referred to Riyadh’s ongoing war on Yemen, which has caused the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, saying it was a “grave mistake” from the very beginning in March 2015. “Whoever decided to launch the war on Yemen, I don’t know how he goes to sleep,” said Sheikh Hamad.

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