HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani has stressed that Qatar is open for dialogue to resolve the Gulf crisis, adding that it has been calling on the blockade countries to sit at the negotiating table to discuss the causes of the crisis and work to resolve it.
HE Sheikh Mohamed said during a discussion panel at the Munich Security Conference the Saudi and Emirati leaders should pay attention to the Gulf issue because it is integral to the regional security, adding that the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) was established for co-operation and consultation within the region, and that it is the most successful model for supporting the stability of the region.
He stressed that the Gulf crisis threatens regional security, saying, “We have been through various conflicts and disagreements in the last 20 years, but we have never reached this level and reflect a shift in the position of the leadership of these countries.”
He said that Qatar was ready for dialogue during the Gulf Summit in Kuwait, but the blockade countries were not, as evidenced by the fact that they have lowered the level of their representation at that summit.
He added that the invitation to Qatar to attend the recent Gulf Summit in Riyadh was from the GCC Secretary-General and not from the host country “that is why we participated with a lower representation.”
On Washington’s efforts for resolving the Gulf crisis, HE Sheikh Mohamed said that the United States has spared no effort to resolve the crisis, adding that US President Donald Trump had tried to hold a Gulf summit and sent letters to the leaders of the blockade countries, but their response was that they were unwilling to resolve the issue at that time.
He also stressed that Qatar’s relations with the United States have never been affected by this crisis, saying: “Our strong alliance with them continues. We have the largest US airbase and there are 11 to 12 thousand US troops on our territory. The centre of the international coalition is in Qatar, and everything is going well.”
With regard to the relations with Iran, he said: “We have not built alternative alliances to replace of the GCC. Iran is our neighbour. We have always shared a large part of a gas field. It is not like the new thing after the crisis. We share borders with them, and this is geography.”
He added that the differences between the Gulf states and Iran should be resolved through dialogue, and this was a position not only of Qatar but of the whole GCC.
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