Siege nations’ stubbornness foiling Kuwaiti bid: AlKhater
June 05 2019 10:13 PM
AlKhater: 'Qatar does not want to sever ties with any country'
AlKhater: 'Qatar does not want to sever ties with any country'


Qatar on Wednesday warned that the crisis stemming from an illegal blockade on the country undermines the Gulf Co-operation Council and makes human rights violations the status quo.

HE Lolwah AlKhater, spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said the goal of prolonging the blockade on Qatar was to damage the country's economy and its developmental projects.

In an interview with The New Arab newspaper on the second anniversary of the blockade, AlKhater said the blockading countries failed in achieving their goal despite their relentless efforts.

She stressed that Qatar does not want to sever ties with any country as the region is bound by strong family ties.

AlKhater said Qatar still has many options, adding the country is evaluating its strategy so as not to rely on the blockading countries even if ties are restored.

She noted that the country has always welcomed any constructive dialogue that is based on the principle of respecting sovereignty.

Al Khater stressed that the stubbornness of the blockading countries and their inability to roll back the measures played a part in obstructing the Kuwaiti mediation efforts.

She noted that the blockading countries have been looking to normalise the situation by taking unfair measures against Qatari citizens, in violation of international laws.

The Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said despite that, the region's people proved how strong societal ties are.

She stressed that when it came to military and security-related meetings that take place regionally and internationally, Qatar remained committed to co-operation.

AlKhater expressed appreciation of the mediation efforts of Kuwaiti Amir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Jaber al-Sabah.

She said the Kuwaiti mediation efforts never stopped, and that Kuwait is doing all it can to resolve the crisis.

Referring to the US efforts, she noted both the US and Qatar believe that prolonging the crisis would undermine joint interests and the security of the region.

She noted that the US has called on all parties to resolve the issue, something that Qatar responded to.

AlKhater also noted that the US called for keeping families together and allowing citizens their right of performing Umrah and Haj, something that was met with further stubbornness by the blockading countries.

On the Arab Nato, she said it is rarely mentioned now even though Washington led those efforts.

She noted that some parties were not as enthusiastic to the idea, which was made clear when Egypt withdrew from the Riyadh meeting on the Arab Nato.

AlKhater affirmed that Qatar is committed to the principle of non-infringement of state sovereignty, and of imposing any kind of dictates, noting Qatar, since the beginning of the crisis, was ready for a dialogue without preconditions.

She said Qatar is in contact with all parties to stop any possible escalation, because the region cannot afford any tension; so defusing tensions and bringing together views and working towards logical and diplomatic solutions was the best way.

On her vision of Qatar after two years of the Gulf crisis and the position of the blockade countries today, AlKhater said Qatar continues to move forward and work in full swing in the implementation of its projects, including the World Cup and other projects, and the Gulf crisis has been, and continues to be, a test of Qatar's strength in dealing with crises.

AlKhater said Qatar is witnessing high self-sufficiency in food production, and is able to supplyall the necessary materials that were imported from the blockading countries.

She said despite attempts by the blockading countries to distort Qatar's hosting of the FIFA World Cup in 2022, the projects and plans for the World Cup are on time, and often ahead of schedule, and she referred to the Khalifa International Stadium which was inaugurated in May 2017, five years ahead of schedule.

Qatar also inaugurated Al Janoub Stadium, a World Cup stadium, on May 16 this with a capacity of 40,000 people.

AlKhater underlined that after two years of the crisis Qatar remains one of the largest exporters of LNG, and the world's second-largest source of helium gas, and according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), real GDP growth in 2019 is expected to grow by 3.1% with strong growth in the non-hydrocarbon sector.

She noted that the World Bank reports demonstrate that Qatar is the first Gulf country in GDP growth in 2018, and the non-oil economic sector grew by 5% in the first half of 2018, in addition to the low level of unemployment, by 0.1% for the total workforce and only 1.8% for women.

AlKhater added that Qatar launched the first metro line in Doha last month, and has made many changes in legislation and laws, for example, the reforms in the labour law, the law on property and investment, and the law of permanent residence.

Qatar also introduced the political asylum law this year, the first of its kind in the region.

She expressed regret that the blockading countries continued their escalation at various levels even during Ramadan, pointing out that they did not hesitate to politicise this month through media to spread division.

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