Qatar open to di­a­logue to re­solve out­stand­ing is­sues

Emir says he is ready for talks so long as his coun­try’s sovereignty is re­spected

Muscat Daily - - REGION -

Doha, Qatar - Qatar’s ruler said late on Fri­day that the Gulf state is ready for talks to re­solve a diplo­matic cri­sis with a Saudi-led bloc so long as his coun­try’s sovereignty is re­spected.

“We are open to di­a­logue to re­solve the out­stand­ing prob­lems, [so long as Qatar’s] sovereignty is re­spected,” Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Ha­mad al Thani said in his first pub­lic com­ments since Saudi Ara­bia and its al­lies sev­ered ties with the gas-rich na­tion.

“Any set­tle­ment of the cri­sis must be based on two prin­ci­ples,” he said in a tele­vised speech.

Sheikh Tamim in­sisted that any deal ‘must not take ef­fect in the form of dik­tats but rather through mu­tual com­mit­ments un­der­taken by all the par­ties’.

“We are open to di­a­logue to find so­lu­tions to lin­ger­ing prob­lems within the frame­work of re­spect for the sovereignty and will of each state as mu­tual un­der­tak­ings and joint com­mit­ments bind­ing all,” he said.

On June 5, Sunni-ruled Saudi Ara­bia, Bahrain, the UAE and Egypt cut ties with Qatar ac­cus­ing it of back­ing ex­trem­ism and fos­ter­ing ties with their Shi­ite ri­val Iran. Doha de­nies the claim.

In his speech de­liv­ered on Fri- day night, the Emir said Qatar was ‘fight­ing ter­ror­ism re­lent­lessly and with­out com­pro­mises, and the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity recog­nises this’.

The cri­sis be­tween the re­gional al­lies is the worst to hit the Gulf in decades.

OPEC king­pin Saudi Ara­bia and its al­lies also im­posed sanc­tions on Doha, in­clud­ing clos­ing its only land bor­der, re­fus­ing Qatar ac­cess to their airspace and or­der­ing their cit­i­zens back from Qatar. And on June 22, they went on to present Doha with a list of 13 de­mands with which to com­ply to re­solve the cri­sis.

Kuwait has been try­ing to me­di­ate the cri­sis and sev­eral top Western diplo­mats have toured the re­gion to try to defuse the row, in­clud­ing US Sec­re­tary of States Rex Tiller­son.

UAE wel­comes anti-ter­ror move

In a sign of progress, an Emi­rati state min­is­ter on Fri­day wel­comed changes to Qatar’s anti-ter­ror leg­is­la­tion as a ‘pos­i­tive’ step.

Qatar an­nounced an Rmiri de­cree on Thurs­day es­tab­lish­ing two nom­i­nal lists of in­di­vid­u­als and ter­ror­ist en­ti­ties, and the re­quire­ments for be­ing in­cluded in them. It also de­fined ter­ror­ists, ter­ror­ist crimes, ter­ror­ist en­ti­ties as well as the fi­nanc­ing of ter­ror­ism.

The de­cree fol­lows the sign­ing on July 11 of a US-Qatar agree­ment to com­bat ter­ror fund­ing dur­ing a visit to Doha by Tiller­son.


This video grab from Qatar TV shows the Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Ha­mad al Thani de­liv­er­ing a speech to the na­tion in Doha on Fri­day

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