Saudi foreign minister: Qatar must end support for Hamas, Muslim Brotherhood

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir. (AFP)
Updated 06 June 2017

Saudi foreign minister: Qatar must end support for Hamas, Muslim Brotherhood

PARIS: Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister said on Tuesday Qatar must take several steps, including ending its support for the Palestinian group Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, to restore ties with other Arab states.
Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said Qatar knew exactly what to do to restore relations with Riyadh and its Arab allies.
“We want to see Qatar implement the promises it made a few years back with regard its support of extremist groups, regards its hostile media and interference in affairs of other countries,” Jubeir told reporters in Paris.
“Nobody wants to hurt Qatar. It has to choose whether it must move in one direction or another direction.”
Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain said on Monday they would sever all ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorism.
“We took this step with great pain so that it understands that these policies are not sustainable and must change,” Jubeir said.
Jubeir added that Qatar was undermining the Palestinian Authority and Egypt in its support of Hamas and the Muslim brotherhood.
“We don’t think this is good. Qatar has to stop these policies so that it can contribute to stability in the Middle East,” he said.
Jubeir declined to say exactly what he wanted Qatar to do immediately, but said the measures taken by Arab states, including a sea, land and air blockade would have a considerable cost on the country.
“We believe that common sense and logic will convince Qatar to take the right steps. The decisions that were made were very strong and will have a fairly large cost on Qatar and we do not believe that Qataris want to sustain those costs,” he said.
The campaign to isolate Qatar is disrupting trade in commodities from crude oil to metals and food, and deepening fears of a possible shock to the global gas market, where the Gulf state is a major player.
Jubeir also dismissed Qatar’s recent rapprochement with Shiite Iran — Sunni Saudi Arabia’s arch foe in the region — saying that countries that deal with Tehran “deal with it at their own peril.”
When asked whether there could be military measures should Doha not change course, Jubeir said: “I hope not.”


Saudi tourism megaproject aims to turn the Red Sea green

Updated 20 October 2019

Saudi tourism megaproject aims to turn the Red Sea green

  • Development will protect endangered hawksbill turtle, while coral research could help save the Great Barrier Reef

RIYADH: Key ecological targets are driving Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea tourism megaproject, its leader has told Arab News.

The development will not only protect the habitat of the endangered hawksbill turtle, but could also save coral reefs that are dying elsewhere in the world, said Red Sea Development Company Chief Executive John Pagano.

The project is taking shape in a 28,000 square kilometer region of lagoons, archipelagos, canyons and volcanic geology between the small towns of Al-Wajh and Umluj on the Kingdom’s west coast.

One island, Al-Waqqadi, looked like the perfect tourism destination, but was discovered to be a breeding ground for the hawksbill. “In the end, we said we’re not going to develop it. It shows you can balance development and conservation,” Pagano said.

Scientists are also working to explain why the area’s coral reef system — fourth-largest in the world —  is thriving when others around the world are endangered.

“To the extent we solve that mystery, the ambition would be to export that to the rest of the world,” Pagano said. “Can we help save the Great Barrier Reef or the Caribbean coral that has been severely damaged?”

 

ALSO READ: INTERVIEW: Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea project to set ‘new global standards in sustainability’, says CEO