Qatar’s emir warns against mil­i­tary ac­tion

Iran Daily - - Front Page -

Qatar’s emir warned against any mil­i­tary con­fronta­tion over the on­go­ing diplo­matic dis­pute be­tween his coun­try and four other Arab na­tions, say­ing it would only plunge the re­gion into chaos.

Speak­ing to the Amer­i­can tele­vi­sion net­work CBS’S “60 Min­utes” news pro­gram, Sheikh Tamim bin Ha­mad Al Thani ac­knowl­edged the al­leged mil­i­tary threat, AP re­ported on Sun­day.

“I’m fear­ful that if any­thing hap­pens, if any mil­i­tary act hap­pens, this re­gion will be in chaos,” he said.

Sheikh Tamim said US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump has of­fered to host a meet­ing be­tween Qatar and its op­po­nents — Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Ara­bia and the United Arab Emi­rates — to end the cri­sis be­tween the Amer­i­can al­lies. “It was sup­posed to be very soon, this meet­ing,” he said. The emir said so far, how­ever, there’s been no re­sponse from the boy­cotting na­tions.

The threat of a mil­i­tary con­fronta­tion be­tween the coun­tries loomed in the ini­tial days fol­low­ing the start of boy­cott on June 5. Ara­bic-lan­guage me­dia in the boy­cotting na­tions sug­gested the need for a “Penin­sula Shield” op­er­a­tion, which is the mil­i­tary arm of the Per­sian Gulf Co­op­er­a­tion Coun­cil, though govern­ment of­fi­cials down­played the idea at the time. Saudi Ara­bia and the UAE’S forces at­tached to Penin­sula Shield pre­vi­ously de­ployed into Bahrain to put down its 2011 protests.

Else­where in his in­ter­view, Sheikh Tamim stressed that the block­ade im­posed on Qatar had tar­geted its “in­de­pen­dence”.

Asked whether Qatar will bend to the de­mands from the Saudi-led bloc, he said, “Our sovereignty is a red line. We don’t ac­cept any­body in­ter­fer­ing [with] our sovereignty.”

Touch­ing on Doha’s re­la­tions with Tehran, the Qatari emir em­pha­sized that de­spite dif­fer­ences, “Iran is our neigh­bor … the only way for us to pro­vide food and medicine for our peo­ple was through Iran” dur­ing the Saudi-led siege.

Sheikh Tamim’s com­ments drew im­me­di­ate crit­i­cism early Sun­day from Emi­rati Min­is­ter of State for In­ter­na­tional Af­fairs An­war Gar­gash. “To go to the Western me­dia and at­tack Saudi Ara­bia and the United Arab Emi­rates at this point is des­per­ate,” Gar­gash wrote on Twit­ter. Qatar “should ac­cept its iso­la­tion with­out snivel­ing and do what it must.”


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