The United Arab Emirates warned Qatar on Monday, June 19 that sanctions imposed by several of its neighbours could last for years unless Doha accepts demands which Arab powers plan to reveal in coming days, Reuters reports.
Qatar, which denies accusations by its neighbours that it funds terrorism and foments regional instability, held wargames with Turkish troops, showing off one of its few remaining strong alliances after two weeks of unprecedented isolation.
The Gulf diplomatic dispute has opened a rift between some of the main U.S. allies in the Middle East, after Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain cut off tiny-but-wealthy Qatar from trade, travel and diplomacy two weeks ago.
Tough remarks by UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash on Monday made clear that the countries seeking to isolate Qatar have no intention of backing down soon.
“Qatar will realise that this is a new state of affairs and isolation can last years,” Gargash told a small group of reporters in Paris on Monday.
“If they want to be isolated because of their perverted view of what their political role is, then let them be isolated. They are still in a phase of denial and anger,” he said, adding that a list of grievances for Qatar to address would be completed in the next days.
Qatar has relished support from Turkey during the dispute. Its state-funded pan-Arab news channel Al Jazeera showed footage of a column of armoured personnel carriers flying the Turkish flag inside the Tariq bin Ziyad military base in Doha.
It reported that additional Turkish troops had arrived in Qatar on Sunday for the exercises, although military sources in the region told Reuters the operation actually involved Turkish troops that were already present rather than new arrivals.