Qatar’s foreign minister said yesterday that US President Donald Trump was stepping up efforts for a diplomatic solution to the crisis in the Gulf.
HE Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani told reporters in Paris that he had seen a “greater desire” from Trump to fix the stand-off through discussion. “He has stated very clearly that he doesn’t want to see conflict among friends. So there is a determination by the US to solve this by dialogue.”
There was no immediate comment from the White House. Last week Trump said he expected the dispute to be solved quickly.
Sheikh Mohamed said Qatar was doing well economically despite the sanctions, but said the Arab action was actually driving Qatar closer to Tehran.
“They said Qatar was now closer to Iran. By their measures they are pushing Qatar to Iran. They are giving Iran, or any regional force, Qatar like a gift,” he said.
“Is that their objective, to push one country, a GCC (Gulf Co-operation Council) member state towards Iran? This is not a wise objective,” he added.
The foreign minister said Qatar’s position over Syria had not changed. Both Qatar and Saudi Arabia have backed Syrian rebels, despite their differences.
“After eight months, after the militarisation of the (Syrian) revolution, this is when Qatar decided to take a side. We decided to stand with the people,” he said.
“Our position - will it be changed because blockading nations have a dispute with us? That would mean our principles that we are fighting for are worthless. Our position and the values which we have stuck to from the beginning have remained the same. War criminals need to be held accountable,” he added.
Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt shook the region by cutting political and trade ties with Qatar in June. The nations say Doha supports Iran and Islamists, charges Qatar’s leaders deny.
HE Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani met with the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the French National Assembly, Marielle de Sarnez, in Paris yesterday. The meeting discussed bilateral relations and means of boosting them, in addition to developments in the Gulf crisis, the Kuwaiti mediation efforts and the latest developments in the region.
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