'Baseless lies': Qatar's Sheikha Moza slams Saudi-led boycott
A Saudi-led bloc boycotting Qatar has promoted 'baseless lies' during an ongoing spat in the Gulf between Doha and its neighbours, the mother of Qatar's emir, has said.
Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser made the comments to French magazine Paris Match in an interview published on Thursday.
"[The accusations] are baseless. They are just recycling lies. This is enough," Sheikha Moza said, according to state-run Qatar News Agency.
"We have a long, shared history together… you cannot get rid of these relations overnight. Even if they impose a blockade on us, they cannot erase our genes," the mother of Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani added.
"This crisis has made us stronger. It has made us look inwards and question who we are. Qatar is more united than ever under the leadership of Emir Sheikh Tamim, whose popularity doubled," she added.
For the past nine months, Qatar has been isolated by its former neighbouring allies in a rancorous diplomatic dispute.
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt allege Doha supports terrorism - a charge it categorically denies - and imposed sanctions including closing their land, sea and air borders to Qatar.
The Saudi-led bloc has issued Qatar with a list of demands, including shutting down media outlets Al Jazeera and London-based The New Arab, curbing relations with Iran, and closing a Turkish military base in the emirate.
The former first lady, who is the head of the Qatar Foundation, also touched on the state-funded organisation's programme to provide education for impoverished children around the world.
Sheikha Moza said the programme was one month away from reaching the goal set six years ago to provide ten million children around the world with a basic education.