Foreign Minister Says Measures Taken Against State of Qatar Were Surprising

HE the Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani said that the recent measures taken against the State of Qatar were surprising, stressing that what happened was collective punishment from three countries in the region that tried to put Qatar and its people under a blockade.

In an interview televised by the BBC on Tuesday, HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani wondered why the countries in question believed that Qatar was siding with Iran. His Excellency added that all parties involved want a positive relation with Iran and would not want to escalate against any side, but rather resolve disputes through dialogue in line with the principles adopted by GCC leaders.

Responding to a question on tweets posted by U.S. President Donald Trump on countries severing ties with the State of Qatar, HE the Foreign Minister said that president Trump met with HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani and discussed allegations of funding terrorism by countries in the region, including Qatar and Saudi Arabia. His Excellency noted that president Trump repeated that remark several times during the meeting. “And we told him very clearly if there is any allegation we can sit on the table and we can sort it out.”

His Excellency added that they assured the U.S. president that the allegations were based on media reports. The intelligence community, government-to-government relations all know very well about the relation between Qatar and the cooperation between Qatar and the U.S.

His Excellency added that there was not a single piece of evidence that the State of Qatar was supporting radical Islamists, adding that official government bodies in the U.S. praised the State of Qatar for its counter-terrorism efforts.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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