Acknowledging that mistakes had been made in handling the case, Foreign Minister and First Deputy Prime Minister Shaikh Hamad bin Jassem bin Jabor al-Thani also accused outside parties, whom he refused to name on Thursday, of trying to exploit the issue for political reasons.
“Injustice was done to part of this group … Our human rights committee had issued a statement a few days ago and it is being discussed by the cabinet, which had sent to the amir to look into it,” Shaikh Hamad told Aljazeera.
“We don’t want to enter into a political game. The case is now in front of the cabinet and any mistakes that were made will be rectified,” added Shaikh Hamad.
Tribal feud allegation
Shaikh Hamad denied that revoking the citizenship was aimed at punishing members of the al-Murra tribe.
Al-Murra are suspected of involvement in a failed 1996 coup to reinstate deposed emir Shaikh Khalifa bin Hamad al-Thani, who was overthrown in a bloodless coup by his son in 1995.
He said the issue was blown out of proportion by other parties. Asked if he was blaming Saudi Arabia, he said: “I don’t want talk about any party by name.”
Ties between Qatar and Saudi Arabia have been tense due to Aljazeera’s coverage of dissident opinion inside the kingdom and its low-level ties with Israel.
Saudi Prince Talal bin Abd al-Aziz, president of the Arab Gulf Programme for UN Development Organisation, had said that thousands had left Qatar.
Shaikh Hamad said most of those who had been stripped of their citizenship remained in their homes in Qatar and continued to receive government services. Many had already resolved the problem by dropping other nationalities, he added.
Al-Murra is a formerly nomadic, bedouin tribe whose roots trace back to eastern parts of Saudi Arabia around the Qatari border.