Months into a dispute that has seen Doha cut off from Saudi Arabia and the UAE, Qatar’s emir said Tuesday his country was “a thousand times better off” without them.
In a speech to the Shura Council, the upper house of parliament, Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani said his government had nonetheless put in place contingency plans as he expected the bitter political dispute with his neighbors and former allies to drag on.
“We do not fear the boycott of these countries against us, we are a thousand times better off without them,” the emir told members of the council and foreign dignitaries in Doha.
“But vigilance is required,” he added.
Sheikh Tamim nonetheless said his government was working on “introducing a number of food security projects” and had “given special attention to water security” as it looked to a future without its former Arab allies.
Sheikh Tamim said his country also planned to hold elections for the Shura Council, whose 45 members are currently appointed by the king.
The world’s largest exporter of liquified natural gas, Qatar has claimed it can cope with the demands of the dispute, despite the boycott being put in place by former regional allies and major trading partners.