QATAR: DIALOGUE IS QATAR’S STRATEGIC CHOICE FOR SETTLING DISPUTES

Qatar’s Foreign Minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, regrets the move by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, to sever ties with Qatar, saying that, it is an “unprecedented escalation.”

He stressed that Qatar’s strategic choice was to solve any crisis through dialogue.

“Regarding the reasons for this escalation, honestly, we don’t know if there were real reasons for this crisis or whether it was based on things we’re unaware of,” Sheikh Mohammed was quoted as saying.

“If there were real reasons, it would have been put on the table for discussion during the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) meeting, but none of that was mentioned. It wasn’t mentioned either during the American-Islamic-Arab summit in Riyadh. There were no indications whatsoever,” the minister added.

Sheikh Mohammed said, the escalation started when fake stories began to be circulated in the wake of the hacking of the Qatar News Agency (QNA) website.

“Such fabrications were used as a basis for an unprecedented media escalation that reached advanced stages we never had in GCC countries, especially when there is an abuse of GCC countries by the media based in these countries and falling to a low level of abuse, but we will not fall to that level and will not meet the escalation with escalation.”

He also said that, the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, was supposed to address the Qatari people regarding the recent developments but it was postponed after a phone call from the Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, in order to allow the Emir of Kuwait “the space to move and make contacts with the conflict parties and try to contain the issue as he always did.”

Sheikh Mohammed said, the Emir of Kuwait played a big role in the 2014 crisis. “We in Qatar and the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim, look up to him as a father and respect his desire to postpone any speech or step until the crisis has a clearer picture.”

Sheikh Mohammed added that the countries in question took “unilateral” and “unprecedented” measures that affected the citizens and family ties that connect GCC peoples.

“At the end, there won’t be any escalating measures in response from Qatar because it believes such disputes among fraternal countries should be solved at a dialogue table,” the foreign minister said, adding that there must be a disclosure session to discuss points of view, identify the areas of difference and work to limit them while respecting each side’s opinions.

He said that contacts were made with the foreign ministers of fraternal and friendly countries, during which everyone expressed their solidarity with Qatar and voiced their hope that the conflict be contained as soon as possible and that efforts are made towards that end, noting that many of them offered their help.

“For us, the strategic choice of Qatar is to solve any dispute through dialogue,” Sheikh Mohammed added.

He said, “We are going through extremely difficult circumstances and challenges and there are wars in the Arab world and people killed whether due to terrorism and extremism or terror crimes committed by regimes against their peoples, and there is a crisis in Yemen, Syria and Libya, and these challenges must unite us. We are surprised that at such a time, a GCC country is being attacked by other GCC countries.”

He added that the Emir of Qatar “directed us to have a strategic programme” for Qatar, so that it is not affected by any measures that might be taken by regional countries and to “work to be self-reliant in providing basic resources so that life would go by normally for citizens and residents.”

Sheikh Mohammed said, there are “inaccurate statements” regarding the closure of airspace and land and marine siege, adding that the only measure that might affect movement is the closure of borders but maritime and air paths are international paths to provide daily life needs and life will go on normally.

The foreign minister pointed to the campaign that was aimed at Qatar in Western capitals and the United States, expressing regret that some GCC ambassadors are carrying out a campaign of incitement and distortion of Qatar’s reputation, contrary to the basic charter of GCC and the social cord between GCC states.

“No matter what the differences between our countries are, we must discuss them within GCC rather than export them to Western capitals, but we noticed a campaign of incitement in the past few days led by some GCC ambassadors to demonise Qatar, aiming at accusations and fabrications, especially in cases of financing terrorism.”

“As for central institutions in the United States, our relations with them are extremely excellent and it is a strategic partnership in the peace process and counter terrorism,” he said.

“The Qatari-American ties are not led by marginal institutions, but from official institutions that take their positions on the basis of strategic partnerships,” Sheikh Mohammed concluded.–

Source: NAM News Network