Saturday, 22 July 2017

Qatar emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani calls for negotiations to ease Gulf boycott

The emir of Qatar has called for negotiations to ease a boycott by four powerful Arab neighbours.

In his first public address since the crisis erupted, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani said any solution must respect Qatar's sovereignty.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut ties with Qatar in June over its alleged support for terrorism and ties with Iran, and issued a series of demands.

Qatar denies aiding terrorists.

In his television address, the emir condemned a "malicious smearing campaign" against Qatar and praised the resilience of its people.
"As you know, life in Qatar life goes on normally," he said.

But he said "the time has come for us to spare the people from the political differences between the governments".

"We are open to dialogue to resolve the outstanding problems," so long as Qatar's "sovereignty is respected", the emir said.

The restrictions put in place by the four Arab nations have forced the gas-rich emirate to import food by sea and air to meet the basic needs of its population of 2.7 million.

Saudi Arabia and its allies have now backed down from a list of 13 specific demands they made last month. They included shutting down the Al Jazeera news network, closing a Turkish military base, cutting ties with the Muslim Brotherhood and downgrading relations with Iran.

BBC     News.