Former Qatar prime minister says Saudi crown prince 'dangerously misguided'
Qatar's former prime minister has said Saudi Arabia's powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has been badly advised by his close ally the UAE, leading to dangerous decision-making that has divided the region.
Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani made the remarks on Mohammed bin Salman during a lengthy interview with France 24 on Monday.
"What I don't like is that a new leader starts his leadership with all these conflicts inside and outside Saudi Arabia," Sheikh Hamad said.
"There are very talented Saudis who need to give sincere advice to him. I don't think his ally Abu Dhabi has given him the right advice."
Sheikh Hamad added that he was "disappointed" in bin Salman, he hoped the Saudi heir-apparent would come to his senses and become a true leader of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
"We want Saudi Arabia to be stable with a strong leadership so that they are successful," he said.
The heir to the throne and de-facto ruler has led a year-long blockade of Qatar, cracked down on critics and potential rivals, and has been accused of forcing the Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri to resign while in Riyadh.
Sheikh Hamad said that the Saudi-led decision to boycott Qatar had been made in an "irresponsible, overnight" fashion.
"They want to hijack Qatar completely or to invade Qatar [and install] a puppet or any puppet from the [ruling] family. They want to overthrow the emir, they are after the wealth of Qatar," he said.
Sheikh Hamad also called on bin Salman to focus on the well-being of the Saudi people and to avoid taking the kingdom into a "danger zone" that has already damaged the harmony between GCC member states.
On 5 June last year, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, and Egypt, cut diplomatic and economic relations with Qatar.
The bloc accused Qatar of supporting terrorism and destabilising the region. Doha has denied the charges.