Qatari-GCC Rift Surfaces Again

Another obstacle has emerged in the attempts to brush aside the intra-GCC diplomatic rift.

A leaked tape of a 2008 or 2009 conversation purportedly between the former Qatari Amir Shaikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani (father of the current Amir, Shaikh Tamim) and Libya’s former ruler Mu’ammar al-Qadhafi is making waves in the Gulf. The recording received more than a million plays on YouTube in the first four days following its release.

Influential Saudi journalist ‘Abd Allah Nasir al-‘Utaibi, in his 4 May column in London-based and Saudi-backed daily al-Hayat, says “the secret tapes were apparently in the possession of the governments concerned before they surfaced on social media. This explains perhaps the tension between these states [Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Bahrain] and Qatar during the past three years, and the relative opening after Shaikh Tamim took over.” In the tapes Shaikh Hamad insinuated there would be anarchy in the Gulf. The former Qatari ruler predicted the end of some of the ruling families in the GCC states in 12 years’ time and was highly critical of Saudi Arabia’s allies Egypt and Jordan. (CONTINUED - 443 WORDS)