As diplomatic row continues to rage on between Saudi Arabia and Qatar, some media reports on a number of secret meetings between the two sides’ officials have sparked mixed reactions, particularly in Qatari circles.
Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim Al-Thani, a member of Qatar’s ruling family, was the one who held the first secret meetings with Saudi King Salman in Morocco and also his crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman in Saudi Arabia.
In a post on his twitter account, Sheikh Abdullah publicly confirmed the reports and unveiled his reasons for holding talks with the Saudi royal family.
He said the meetings were mainly focused on facilitating the travel of Qatari pilgrims to Saudi Arabia to perform their annual Hajj rituals.
“During the meetings, I didn’t raise any personal issue with King Salman or his crown prince. Our main goal during the meetings was to explore ways to facilitate the travel of Qatari pilgrims to Saudi Arabia for annual Hajj. King Salman gave me a positive reply by issuing an immediate order to establish an emergency unit to offer special services to Qatari pilgrims,” he wrote.
Following the meetings, the Saudi King said he will mobilize all the kingdom’s potentials to enable Hajj pilgrims to perform their Hajj rituals with ease and peace of mind.
Meanwhile, he also allowed Qatari pilgrims to enter the Kingdom via Salwa border post so as to perform their Hajj ritual as well as allowed all Qatari citizens, who wish to enter the Kingdom to perform Hajj without e-permits.
In reaction to Sheikh Abdullah’s tweet, more than 240 thousand social media users turned to twitter and expressed thank for his efforts to mediate between Qatar and Saudi Arabia. But on the other side, some users created hashtags to express their opposition to Abdullah’s visit. They also threatened Abdullah that he should pay a price for his visit.
This comes as Qatar’s Foreign Minister, Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, says Sheikh Abdullah’s visit was not official.
However, the scenario of secret talks between Qatari and Saudi officials continued with new reports saying King Salman has held secret talks with a top military commander in Morocco.
The talks between King Salman and General Tayeb Oral Oğlu, who is originally from Turkey, were held at the king’s residence in Morocco.
Oral Oğlu was appointed as the plenipotentiary head of Qatar’s armed forces on July 10 by Qatar’s Emir for six months, but the term can be renewed.
Morocco’s media wrote the general arrived in Morocco at the order of Qatari emir and held talks for 40 hours with King Salman on the latest diplomatic row between Qatar and some Arab states.
During the talks, the media reports said, the commander expressed thanks to Saudi officials for allowing Qatari pilgrims to enter the country to perform annual Hajj without e-permit.
Arriving on a Saudi plane in Morocco, he also held talks with Deputy Manager of Saudi Arabia’s Intelligence Organization.