His Highness the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani yesterday called for a negotiated settlement to the Gulf crisis triggered by a siege enforced by some states, but insisted any solution should not come at the expense of Qatar’s sovereignty and dignity.
“Qatar’s sovereignty is above all considerations. We want to resolve the rift but not at the expense of our sovereignty and dignity,” the Emir said at a joint press conference with visiting French President Emmanuel Macron.
“If the brothers want to resolve the dispute, we are ready,” he said. “Any solution should be founded on a clear basis acceptable by all and the non-interference in the sovereignty of others.”
On June 5, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt severed all diplomatic and economic ties with Qatar, accusing it of links to extremist groups.
The four countries also cut off all air and sea links and closed the only land terminal for Qatar.
Qatar has denied the allegations and repeatedly called for a negotiated settlement.
Asked about allegations that Qatar was harbouring terror suspects and about agreements on combating financing of terrorism that the country recently signed with the US State Department, the Emir said a lot of information circulating in some newspapers about Qatar’s association with terrorism was “false and incorrect.”
He said Qatar has recently taken some measures in combating the financing of terrorism, adding Qatar with its neighbours in the region and friends in the world are united in the fight against terrorism because the Arab and Muslim countries are the first victim of this scourge.
The Emir said Qatar’s position has been clear from the beginning that the problem – if it exists at all – must be solved through dialogue, and called for a frank discussion on points of disagreement.
He regretted that the siege by the brothers, which started in the month of Ramadan, has led to families getting split.
He said the Qatari people have the right to know the reasons for the siege and the violence exercised by the neighbours because all Gulf peoples are affected.
Earlier, the Emir in his speech welcomed French president and expressed delight at the visit, which strengthens the strong and historic relations between the two countries. The Emir said he and the French president discussed the problems the region is going through and how to find solutions.
They also discussed terrorism and its financing, with the Emir stressing there will be a follow-up to this issue. He added several important agreements have been signed which will help enhance relations between the two countries.
Macron said security and stability of the Gulf was a matter of concern for France and stressed his support for the mediation efforts of Kuwait.
“With regards to situation in the Gulf, I want to see a promise of reconciliation between its members, as I have said since the beginning of the crisis,” he said.
Macron thanked the Emir and expressed his pleasure on visiting Qatar for the first time after the telephone conversations between the two leaders and after the Emir’s visit to Paris in September. To Page 2
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