It has been more than eight months now since four neighbouring Arab countries started an unjust blockade of Qatar. The crisis, which has already affected thousands of people from the two sides, shows no sign of dissipating anytime soon.
Qatar’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani emphasised that while the country was willing to engage in a dialogue, it would not be at the expense of Qatar’s sovereignty, reported Gulf Times.
He also stressed on the need to have basic principles, which are shielded by a clear mechanism, to settle conflicts.
Laying out Qatar’s foreign policy before the country’s Advisory Council, he said siege nations had violated all articles of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Charter, reiterating the importance of having a clear and binding mechanism to settle GCC conflicts.
He pointed out that Qatar’s foreign policy was based on building friendly relations with world countries, protecting the state’s interests, defending Arab and Islamic issues and issues of the vulnerable, working to establish international peace and security through adherence to international laws, activating cooperation in multilateral frameworks at the UN and specialised bodies, adherence to international conventions and international development as well as delivery of Qatari humanitarian assistance to those affected anywhere in the world, reported The Peninsula.
He responded to a question about Qatar’s continued membership in the GCC.
“Qatar doesn’t intend to leave the GCC and will continue to work through this council as long as it exists. If the siege countries want to go and found another entity, let them do it,” he was quoted as saying by Qatar Tribune.
He said that Qatar was now strengthening its cooperation with Asian states, as well as considering cooperation with multilateral organisations in the region, joining and benefiting from them.
“Qatar engages with other countries in terms of interests and not threats. Qatar has achieved many goals in this context and the major countries of the world have condemned the siege and demanded an immediate lifting of the blockade,” he said.
Sheikh Mohammed said the blockading countries wanted to weaken the Qatari economy, but Qatar has thwarted all these attempts.
“The last attempt is to pressure the Qatari currency and bonds,” he said.
Sheikh Mohamed said HH The Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani’s directives were to move forward without closing the door to dialogue, stressing that Qatar will pursue its rights if the siege countries want to normalise the siege.