The Qatari emir says the Saudi-led bloc of countries that have brought his country under a full-scale embargo is not interested in finding a solution to the Persian Gulf diplomatic crisis, stressing that Doha is open to “dialog based on mutual respect.”
“We express our readiness for a compromise within the framework of a dialogue based on mutual respect for sovereignty and common obligations,” Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani told members of Qatar’s consultative Shoura Council.
Sheikh Tamim, added, however, that “we recognize the indicators that come from the blockade states show they do not want to reach a solution.”
Back in June, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) imposed a trade and diplomatic embargo on Qatar, accusing Doha of supporting terrorism, an allegation strongly denied by the emirate.
The Saudi-led bloc presented Qatar with a list of demands, among them downgrading ties with Iran, and gave it an ultimatum to comply with them or face consequences. Doha, however, refused to meet the demands and said that they were meant to force the country to surrender its sovereignty.
The Qatari monarch said, “Foreign countries repeatedly asked the blockaders about the reason behind their claims, but they could not give them anything.”
Qatar ‘not afraid’
The Qatar monarch further emphasized the country’s determination to stand against pressure, adding, “We are not afraid of the siege. We do not need the countries laying it.”
He thanked the Qatari people for resisting the “ruthless” blockade, saying the people were capable and aware enough to stand on their own feet.
Boycotters ‘targeting World Cup’
Tamim also accused the foursome of trying to prevent his country from hosting World Cup in 2022, as the emirate has been chosen to do.
“The blockading countries have sought to deprive Qatar of [the right to] host the World Cup by exercising pressure and circulating lies,” he said.
Earlier this month, the Intercept, a US-based investigative website, reported that documents found in an e-mail account belonging to Yousef al-Otaiba, the UAE’s envoy to the US, has exposed a plot by Abu Dhabi to wage an economic war on Qatar.
After Qatar was brought to its knees, the UAE would start a propaganda campaign to portray Doha as incapable of hosting the World Cup, the report said.
Erdogan in Kuwait
Also on Tuesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived in Kuwait to discuss regional and international developments as well as bilateral relations between Turkey and the Persian Gulf countries.
Before heading for Kuwait, he said he would address the issue of the diplomatic crisis with officials in Kuwait.
Both Turkey and Kuwait have played a mediation role between the conflict sides since the outbreak of the dispute.
Turkey has sided with Qatar during the crisis, offering it their airspaces after the sanctioning countries blocked Qatari flights from their skies and sending it food supplies.