Qatar set for long boy­cott

Arab Times - - FRONT PAGE -

DOHA, Nov 14, (Agen­cies): Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Ha­mad al-Thani said on Tues­day that Arab states that had im­posed sanc­tions on his coun­try in June over al­le­ga­tions of supporting ter­ror­ism were not in­ter­ested in a so­lu­tion to the cri­sis.

Speak­ing to mem­bers of the Gulf Arab state’s Shoura Coun­cil, Tamim said his gov­ern­ment was pre­par­ing for elec­tions to the con­sul­ta­tive body. The nec­es­sary leg­is­la­tion would be ready in 2018.

Saudi Ara­bia, the United Arab Emi­rates, Egypt and Bahrain cut diplo­matic and trade links with Qatar on June 5, ac­cus­ing Doha of fi­nanc­ing ter­ror­ism and cozy­ing up to

their arch-ri­val Iran. Qatar de­nies the charges.

“We ex­press our readi­ness for a com­pro­mise within the frame­work of a di­a­logue based on mu­tual re­spect for sovereignty and com­mon obli­ga­tions, but on the other hand we recog­nise that the in­di­ca­tors that come from the block­ade states show they do not want to reach a so­lu­tion,” Tamim said.

“We do not fear the boy­cott of these coun­tries against us, we are a thou­sand times bet­ter off with­out them,” the Amir told mem­bers of the coun­cil and for­eign dig­ni­taries in Doha.

“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.

The four coun­tries have “put pres­sure and pub­lished ru­mours and fabri­ca­tions” against Qatar host­ing the World Cup in 2022.

Tamim, who as­sumed of­fice in 2013 af­ter his fa­ther stepped down, also said his gov­ern­ment was cur­rently work­ing on the in­stru­ments needed for elec­tions, which he said would be ready in 2018. Plans for elec­tions to the 45-mem­ber body orig­i­nally en­vis­aged for 2013 were never car­ried out.

In his speech, Tamim also said his gov­ern­ment was fo­cus­ing on com­plet­ing strate­gic projects to help the coun­try cope with the sanc­tions im­posed by its neigh­bours, in­clud­ing ports, wa­ter and food se­cu­rity, and to en­cour­age in­vest­ments.

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