Al Qarni exposed Doha’s anti-Saudi posture

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Al Qarni apologized in the same interview about his ties with Qatar, accusing it of “conspiring” against Saudi Arabia.

A public apology by Saudi cleric Aidh Al Qarni over links with Qatar and militant views is “bold” and “very important”, Emirati Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said on Wednesday.

“The Shaikh’s talk reinforces what we know about the policies of [former Qatari emir] Shaikh Hamad Bin Khalifa and his role,” Gargash said in a tweet.

“As we close the door over the stage of radicalism and manipulation of religion for political goals, we also close the door over the stage of Qatar’s conspiracy against its neighbours,” the official added.

Al Qarni, 59, used to appear on religious shows at the Qatari television Al Jazeera.

In an interview with the Saudi television Rotana Khaljeea this week, the cleric criticised Al Jazeera, sarcastically saying it pushes for freedom everywhere except in Qatar.

He disclosed a meeting with Hamad when the latter was in power before he abidcated the throne to his son Tamim in 2013.

Al Qarni also said he had stopped links with Qatar after he found about its conspiracy against Saudi Arabia, accusing Doha of espousing Saudi dissidents.

In June 2017, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt broke off diplomatic and transportation ties with Qatar over its support for extremist groups.

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