Qatari FM says dialogue the only way to solve the crisis

Sheikh Mohammad bin Abdulrahman al Thani says Qatar is ready to entertain demands but the estranged MEA bloc is yet to make formal requests.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Trucks are seen at the Abu Samra border crossing with Saudi Arabia, in Qatar, June 12, 2017.

Qatar's foreign minister told state-funded broadcaster Al Jazeera on Monday that his country and the United States were in touch with the emir of Kuwait who is leading mediation efforts on the Gulf's diplomatic crisis.

The rift between Qatar and Middle Eastern and African states escalated on June 5 from a media war to a diplomatic breakdown. Led by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and others they yanked envoys, cut off trade and transit ties and threatened to expel Qataris from their counties.

"We're ready to discuss any requests that are made, but we have not received any reply," Al Jazeera quoted Sheikh Mohammed as saying.

"Diplomatic dialogue is the solution but it requires a foundation that is not yet available. We're focused on solving humanitarian problems resulting from the illegal blockade."

A "policy of domination and control"

A senior counterterrorism adviser to Sheikh Mohammed has hit out at the bloc’s collective move against Qatar, calling it a "policy of domination and control."

Mutlaq al Qahtani said the decision to sever ties by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt as well as others, over Qatar's alleged funding of extremist groups would not prove successful.

"I think this is not about counterterrorism, it's not about terror financing,” Qahtani said. “I think it is about an orchestrated campaign against my country to pressure my country to change its active, independent foreign policy,” he said.

"This policy of domination and control is not going to work."

He added, "When it comes to terrorism, Qatar has never supported terrorism, Qatar does not support terrorism, Qatar will not support terrorism."

Economy and currency can be defended

Qatar can easily defend its economy and currency against sanctions by other Arab states, Qatari finance minister Ali Sherif al Emadi told CNBC television on Monday.

He added the countries that imposed sanctions would also lose money because of the damage to business in the region. "A lot of people think we're the only ones to lose in this ... If we're going to lose a dollar, they will lose a dollar also."

The sanctions have disrupted the flow of imports and other materials into Qatar and caused many foreign banks to scale back their business with the country.

However, Emadi said the energy sector and economy of the world's top liquefied natural gas exporter were essentially operating as normal and that there had not been a serious impact on supplies of food or other goods.

The Qatari riyal has come under pressure in the spot and forward foreign exchange markets. Emadi said neither this nor a near 10 percent plunge in the local stock market was cause for concern.

Asked whether Qatar might need to raise money by selling off stakes in large Western companies held by its sovereign wealth fund, Emadi indicated this was not on the cards at present.

Even though the prices of Qatar's international bonds have dropped sharply, Emadi said he saw no need for the government to step into the market and buy those bonds to support prices.

Efforts to resolve the dispute continue

Qahtani also said the diplomatic efforts to resolve the dispute would continue.

"We have more friends, more than other people might think," he said after Sheikh Mohammed visited Germany and Russia over the weekend.

"So we are engaged and want to engage with more countries."

Source: 
TRTWorld and agencies