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Qatar slams Saudi Arabia for repression at home, subversion abroad

Qatar has harshly criticized Saudi Arabia for its domestic repression and subversive foreign policy, declaring that Riyadh is most recently interfering in the domestic affairs of Lebanon.

Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani made the remarks in Washington on Monday.

“It seems these powers are willing to use unbridled means of intimidation,” Al Thani said, referring to Saudi Arabia and a group of its vassal states that have launched a diplomatic and economic war on Qatar.

He said the Saudi-led countries were “silencing dissenters, creating humanitarian crises, shutting down communications, manipulating financial markets, bullying smaller nations, blackmailing, fracturing governments, terrorizing citizens, strong arming the leaders of other nations and spreading propaganda.”

The four countries cut their diplomatic ties with Qatar on June 5, accusing it of sponsoring “terrorism.”

Qatar, however, has denied the accusation, and observers say the Saudi-led plot against Qatar has been largely because Doha has attempted to chart a more independent path in its foreign policy.

Sheikh Mohammed said the Saudi government was meddling in Lebanon’s internal affairs.

Earlier, on November 4, Saad Hariri resigned as Lebanon’s prime minister in Saudi Arabia and in footage broadcast by Saudi-owned television. The move has largely been seen as having been made under Saudi pressure.

The circumstances of Hariri’s resignation, Sheikh Mohammed said, suggested “an intervention into the internal affairs of Lebanon” and an effort to tip the balance of power in the region.

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