ISSN 2330-717X

Qatar: Foreign Minister Says No Solution To Gulf Crisis Unless ‘Siege Lifted’


HE Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani has reaffirmed that the dialogue based on clear and correct rules and principles is capable of resolving the current Gulf crisis, but after lifting the blockade imposed by some Gulf countries on the State of Qatar.

In a meeting with a number of journalists on Monday, Al-Thani refused to give specific expectations to end the Gulf crisis before holding a dialogue based on strong foundations.

“We can not expect an end to the crisis, solutions are not yet developed and the countries besieged Qatar have not provided any clear reasons for the steps they have taken,” the Minister added.

“We do not know these reasons. We do not know these grounds why the three Gulf countries boycotted their relations with Qatar. Therefore, there are no steps regarding the crisis and no party has taken any steps,” Al-Thani said.

Al-Thani stressed that the solution must be primarily diplomatic and through dialogue and not through the blockade as the State of Qatar’s choices always depend on diplomatic options.

Al-Thani reiterated that the State of Qatar is with the principle of dialogue to resolve the Gulf crisis, but clarified that dialogue also requires lifting the embargo, adding that, “therefore, you should ask the foreign minister of Saudi Arabia and the countries of the blockade about their requests, as the principle of boycotting is to put your comments and then ask us to answer them and not to put all this boycott without any basis, especially that the State of Qatar is a neighbor has a historical ties with the boycotting Gulf countries and close bonding with their peoples.”

According to Al-Thani, “We are not an enemy to those countries and they are asking us to meet demands that they did not put forward and did not present them directly to the Qatari side, therefore, anything should begin with dialogue and end with dialogue.”

Regarding the Kuwaiti mediation to resolve the crisis, the Foreign Minister reiterated Qatar’s thanks and gratitude for the great efforts exerted by HH the Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, and said that these efforts had started since the beginning of the crisis. He added that HH the Emir of Kuwait has not received any responses so far from the countries besieging the State of Qatar.

Al-Thani reiterated that the State of Qatar can not start a dialogue without knowing the demands of the besieged countries. He said that any dialogue must be based on correct and sound foundations. No one can ask a state to stop something. It does not know what this thing is. “This is not a way of dialogue,” the Minister noted.

Al-Thani said in response to a question that the State of Qatar has shown from the beginning its willingness to sit to the dialogue table but that it should be a sound dialogue. “We are ready to study any demands from the Gulf countries,” he added.

Al-Thani said that the State of Qatar has clear principles and has the right to obtain answers from the Gulf countries on the reasons for the step they had taken, pointing out that Qatar was shocked by the position taken by the countries of the blockade and that “Qatar has become a priority for them instead of other issues.”

In response to a question about Qatar’s continued supply of gas to the UAE, despite the Gulf crisis,  the Foreign Minister said that Qatar could legally do so, but “We have ethics in dealing and we do not want to harm the UAE people, who will be affected by the disruption of electricity as a result of the stoppage of the Qatari gas supply, stressing that the UAE people have no fault in what happens.”

On his visit to a number of European countries at the beginning of the Gulf crisis, the Foreign Minister said that the State of Qatar has excellent relations with European countries and there are common interests between the two sides, therefore it was important that the picture be clarified to them in all aspects besides economic damage and illegal matters resulting from the embargo imposed on the State of Qatar by a number of Gulf States.

In response to a question about a planned visit to Washington soon, Al-Thani referred to the excellent relations between the State of Qatar and the United States, which has a military base in Doha and said it is also necessary to talk with US officials about the siege of a number of Gulf countries to Qatar and clarify the image of Qatar as a result of this embargo, he Minister said.

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