Qatar Emir’s Annual Speech Is Notable for What It Didn't Include
(Bloomberg) -- Qatar’s emir addressed the national assembly on Tuesday and discussed economic growth, plans for the energy industry and infrastructure projects. But it’s what he didn’t say that will likely attract more attention.
During the 17-minute annual speech, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani didn’t mention anything about efforts to end the Saudi-led boycott of his country, or respond to the Saudi crown prince’s surprising praise of the Qatar economy’s resilience last month in Riyadh.
While the emir isn’t known for grand public overtures, the speech also highlights what economists describe as Qatar’s successful efforts to weather the impact of the embargo imposed by Saudi Arabia and three of its allies in June 2017.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, on the other hand, is under U.S. pressure to resolve the standoff as his country grapples with the international outcry that followed the murder of government critic Jamal Khashoggi at the kingdom’s consulate in Turkey.
The emir also didn’t mention the reasons behind his decision to reshuffle the cabinet on Sunday, when he elevated younger royals and prominent business executives to top leadership positions in the biggest leadership shakeup since taking power in 2013.
Instead, the emir focused on plans to develop Qatar’s infrastructure ahead of the 2022 soccer World Cup finals, as well as efforts to maintain its position as the world’s biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas.
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