Sunday, 25 June, 2017

Qatar foreign minister rejects intervention in foreign policy

Qatar leader to address nation as diplomatic freeze begins to bite UAE ruling family member: Qatar now questioning its leaders
Darrell Mcdonald | 09 June, 2017, 09:28

"This is not about regime change - this is about change of policy, change of approach", state minister for foreign affairs Anwar Gargash said. Saudi Arabia earlier issued a list of demands to Qatar, including severing ties with Iran and expelling leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas.

They accuse Qatar of supporting armed groups and their regional rival, Iran.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani made the remarks in Doha on Thursday, just days after Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and several other countries cut relations with Qatar.

He added Qatar had never experienced such a level of hostility, even from enemy countries.

A top United Arab Emirates official on Wednesday said that the unprecedented measures against Qatar aim to pressure Doha into making drastic policy changes.

Sheikh Mohammed said Qatar could nonetheless survive "forever", adding that it respected global agreements and would continue supplying liquefied natural gas to the UAE.

Saudi Arabia has also closed off Qatar's only land border, a crucial lifeline for food imports.

Doha later claimed that the report was posted by hackers who compromised the agency's website.

Sheikh Mohammed on Tuesday reiterated the denial of the accusations.

The foreign minister pointed to the campaign that was aimed at Qatar in Western capitals and the United States, expressing regret that some GCC ambassadors are carrying out a campaign of incitement and distortion of Qatar's reputation contrary to the basic charter of GCC and the social cord between GCC states.

"We have been isolated because we are successful and progressive..."

He said "we are going through extremely hard circumstances and challenges and there are wars in the Arab world and people killed whether due to terrorism and extremism or terror crimes committed by regimes against their peoples, and there is a crisis in Yemen, Syria and Libya, and these challenges must unite us. We are a platform for peace, a platform for alternative policy in this region", he added.

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