‘Qatar bet­ter off sans with­out Gulf al­lies’

Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur) - - World -

Months into a dis­pute that has seen Doha cut off from Saudi Ara­bia and the UAE, Qatar’s emir said on Tues­day his coun­try was “a thou­sand times bet­ter off” with­out them.

In a speech to the Shura Coun­cil, the up­per house of Par­lia­ment, Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Ha­mad al-Thani said his gov­ern­ment had nonethe­less put in place con­tin­gency plans as he ex­pected the bit­ter po­lit­i­cal dis­pute with his neigh­bours and for­mer al­lies to drag on.

“We do not fear the boy­cott of these coun­tries against us,” the emir told mem­bers of the coun­cil and for­eign dig­ni­taries. “But vig­i­lance is re­quired,” he added.

Sheikh Tamim nonethe­less said his gov­ern­ment was work­ing on “in­tro­duc­ing a num­ber of food se­cu­rity projects” and had “given spe­cial at­ten­tion to wa­ter se­cu­rity” as it looked to a fu­ture with­out its for­mer Arab al­lies.

Iran, Turkey and Spain have stepped in to help Qatar se­cure food im­ports amid a boy­cott by four Arab states.

Saudi Ara­bia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt in June an­nounced they had sev­ered ties with Qatar, seal­ing off the emi­rate’s only land bor­der in the widerang­ing boy­cott. They ac­cuse Qatar’s gov­ern­ment of sup­port­ing Is­lamist ex­trem­ism and fos­ter­ing close ties with Iran. AFP


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