Qatar rejects siege countries’ allegations; British Foreign Secretary backs Kuwait’s mediation

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08 Jul 2017 – 1:40

Qatar rejects siege countries' allegations; British Foreign Secretary backs Kuwait's mediation

A ship from Turkey carrying approximately 4,000 tonnes of food arrives at Hamad Port in Doha, yesterday.

QNA & Agencies

State of Qatar yesterday  expressed “regret” over the recent statements of the Saudi-led Arab states boycotting it, saying the accusations against Doha of supporting terrorism and interfering in other countries’ internal affairs were “false” and “baseless”.

In a joint statement released Wednesday in Cairo, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain voiced their collective “regret” over Qatar’s apparent refusal to meet their 13-point list of demands, including calls to close Al Jazeera.

“The false accusations contained in both statements represent an attempt to smear the State of Qatar, and run contrary to the established bases of relations between countries, an official source at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed Al Jubeir declared that the “political and economic embargo” on Qatar — first imposed one month ago — was set to remain in place. He also warned that a raft of “fresh measures” would be taken against Qatar at the “appropriate time”. The four states issued a similar statement on Thursday in Jeddah.

“A senior Foreign Ministry source described the statements’ claims about the State of Qatar’s interference in internal affairs of countries and financing terrorism as baseless allegations, noting that the Qatar’s position on terrorism is consistent and known for its rejection and condemnation of all forms of terrorism whatever the causes and motives are,” the statement said.

It added that Qatar was “an active member committed to international conventions in combating terrorism and its financing at the regional and international levels”.

The source also slammed the anti-Qatar bloc for accusing Doha of leaking the list of demands of the four countries saying “the allegations are baseless and can be refuted with evidence”.

The statement has referred to the letter from the Emir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani to the Kuwait Emir as the mediator in this crisis, in which he had confirmed Qatar’s appreciation, as Emir, government and people, of his sincere and generous efforts to end this crisis. The letter further expressed Qatar’s readiness to cooperate on and investigate all the allegations that do not do not infringe on its sovereignty under the patronage of the esteemed mediator himself or whomsoever he designates.

Qatar remains ready “to cooperate and review all claims that do not contradict with its sovereignty under the sponsorwship of the impartial mediator or whoever the mediator sees appropriate to participate in solving the crisis as part of joint dialogue,” the statement added.

Meanwhile, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is in Saudi Arabia for the first in a series of meetings with Gulf leaders over the region’s political crisis.

The Foreign Office says Johnson will meet in senior representatives of Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait.

Johnson is urging Gulf states go get behind Kuwait-led efforts to end tensions between Qatar and four Arab countries.

US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis reaffirmed America’s strategic security partnership with Qatar on Thursday, the Pentagon said, amid a diplomatic crisis in the Gulf.

It was also announced that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will travel to Kuwait — the key mediator in the crisis — on July 10 to discuss the row.

Mattis, who spoke with his Qatari counterpart Khaled bin Mohammed Al Attiyah by phone, discussed the status of operations against the Islamic State group.

Qatar hosts a vital US-led command centre at the Al Udeid air base, where the anti-IS coalition launches raids against the jihadists. “Secretary Mattis and Minister Al Attiyah affirmed their commitment to continued US-Qatar cooperation and deepening their strategic partnership,” a Pentagon readout of the conversation stated.

Saudi Arabia is leading a four-country blockade of Qatar in the region’s biggest crisis in years. Mattis stressed the importance of de-escalating tensions “so all partners in the Gulf region can focus on next steps in meeting common goals,” the readout stated.

German intelligence will work with Qatar to resolve accusations by Gulf states, that country’s foreign minister said, reported Al Jazeera.

Sigmar Gabriel said Qatar agreed to share information about “certain people and institutions” with German intelligence. There were no further details provided.

Gabriel visited Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar and Kuwait as part of a three-day Gulf tour that began Monday.

Gabriel said on Tuesday that Berlin was in favor of solution-oriented approaches to the Gulf crisis and praised the US and Kuwait for their efforts as mediators, in a joint news conference with his Qatari counterpart, H E Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani.

“Germany has not taken the side of any party during the Gulf crisis. However, we support a solution-based approach and we are trying to figure out what the core of this problem is,” he said.


Source  :  The Peninsula

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