A row between Qatar and fellow GCC members deepened yesterday after the Doha-based Al Jazeera channel posted a cartoon denigrating the Saudi king on its official Twitter feed.
The tweet set off a storm of condemnation on Twitter, and the cartoon was eventually removed by the network.
Relations between Qatar and the other GCC states were already fraught after the Qatar News Agency last week reported that the Qatari emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani had criticised the aggressive rhetoric aimed at Iran by the Gulf and US during Mr Trump’s visit to Riyadh on May 20-21.
“There is no wisdom in harbouring hostility toward Iran,” the emir said at a military graduation ceremony, according to the QNA report, which was quickly taken down. Doha has claimed that the report was false and posted by hackers who took over the QNA site and associated Twitter account for several hours on Tuesday night. However, it has offered no proof of this so far.
The emir’s reported comment was out of step with Gulf attempts to contain Iran’s actions in Yemen, Syria and Lebanon. After Mr Trump’s Riyadh summit, the kingdom and Washington are set to take a much harder line on Tehran and its regional policies.
The Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash warned on Sunday that Qatar’s actions were threatening stability in the Gulf.
“Warding off the discord will require a change in behaviour … and a regain in credibility,” Dr Gargash tweeted, in a clear reference to Qatar.
Qatar has also faced criticism over its association with Islamist groups in the region including the Muslim Brotherhood, which has been listed as a terrorist group by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt.
Full article: http://www.thenational.ae/world/middle-east/outrage-after-al-jazeera-posts-tweet-insulting-saudi-king