Foreign Minister: Qatar Eager for Dialogue to Settle Gulf Crisis

HE Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani lamented the “very long two months” since the start of the current Gulf crisis when four Arab countries have severed diplomatic and trade ties and imposed a siege on the State of Qatar on June 5.

In an interview with Washington Post, HE the foreign minister expressed Qatar’s eagerness for dialogue as an approach to settle the crisis, adding that it is a “victim of geopolitical bullying” by larger neighbors who are seeking “nothing short of the surrender of Qatari sovereignty,” the newspaper reported.

“They have no right to impose such measures against a country,” said HE the foreign minister, adding that if the siege nations are not held accountable for their “illegal” actions toward Qatar, it would set an unhealthy precedent for smaller countries elsewhere.

“This is a high risk for world order, not just for Qatar,” HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani said, noting that Qatar was caught in “a baseless conflict” fueled by “disinformation.” That includes what he said was the initial spur for the crisis: A hack of Qatari state media by the UAE as U.S. investigators found.

HE the foreign minister said that anybody scanning the list of demands submitted to Qatar “would find it very offensive for a sovereign country to receive.”

HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani said there is nothing “intrinsically wrong” with Qatar’s contact with political parties such as the Muslim Brotherhood, noting that the other Gulf states have their own links with Hamas and other Islamist groups. the Washington Post reported.

He insisted that Qatar has been working on curbing financing to terrorist and extremist groups in the region and was coordinating its efforts with the United States.

“They want to address those differences by blockading a country By violating international law and norms It doesn’t make sense,” HE the foreign minister said.

He also emphasized that there is “no special relationship” between Qatar and Iran, highlighting how bilateral trade between the UAE and Iran was exponentially greater than Qatar’s. It was, he said, a marker of the “opportunism” of Qatar’s neighbors.

“It shows this issue isn’t about terrorism,” the minister said, but rather a reflection of how the four countries have labeled “whoever is their political opponent” as terrorists.

HE the foreign minister said he was in close communication with U.S. Secretary of State Tillerson. He played down any potential rift between Tillerson and U.S. President Donald Trump regarding the Gulf crisis.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs