Qatar Slams Saudi Refusal to Negotiate
The restrictions and blockade have caused turmoil in Qatar that depends on imports to meet the basic needs of its population of 2.7 million.
US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson was requested to try and resolve the crisis, acknowledged that some elements would “be very difficult for Qatar to meet”, but that there were “significant areas which provide a basis for ongoing dialogue”.
However, after talks with him in Washington, Saudi Foreign Minister, Adel al-Jubeir said that the demands were non-negotiable. He added: “It’s very simple. We made our point. We took our steps and it’s up to the Qataris to amend their behavior. Once they do, things will be worked out. But if they don’t, they will remain isolated.If Qatar wants to come back into the [Gulf Co-operation Council] pool, they know what they have to do.”
Mr Jubeir stressed that the decision to sever ties with Qatar was made after taking into account the history of its behavior, which he alleged included harboring known terrorists and funding extremist groups throughout the region.
Meanwhile, UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression, David Kay said the closure of Al Jazeera would “strike a major blow against media pluralism in a region already suffering from severe restrictions on reporting and media of all kinds”.
Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin talked with the leaders of Qatar and Bahrain to discuss the Qatari crisis and in his conversation with Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani he “stressed the importance of political-diplomatic efforts aimed at overcoming differences of opinion and the normalization of the difficult situation that exists.”
“The exchange of opinions on relevant issues of the Russian-Qatari cooperation focusing on the implementation of a range of perspective projects, including those in the areas of investment and energy, has continued. The contacts at various levels have been agreed on,” their statement said.
In a separate phone call, Putin and Bahrain’s King, Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa agreed that the Gulf row was having a negative effect on an already difficult situation in the Middle East, while underlining the need for mutually respectful dialogue between all parties involved in the dispute.
The calls were initiated by the authorities of Qatar and Bahrain.
In the conversation with the Qatari emir, Putin stressed the importance of political and diplomatic effort to normalize the situation.
“The crisis in the relations between Qatar and a range of other countries has been thoroughly discussed. Vladimir Putin stressed the importance of political diplomatic efforts aimed at overcoming the existing differences and normalization of current difficult situation.”
Afterwards, Qatar said that the demands put forward by four Arab states were “made to be rejected” and once again denounced them as an infringement on its sovereignty. It also said it does not fear any retaliatory measure that could follow its refusal to comply with the demands.
“This list of demands is made to be rejected. It’s not meant to be accepted or … to be negotiated,” the Qatari Foreign Minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani said.
He stressed that Qatar would not close down a Turkish military base or shut the Doha-based satellite channel Al Jazeera as demanded by the Arab countries.
However, he added that his country is ready for dialog under “the proper conditions” to discuss the grievances raised by the other Arab nations. Any country is free to express its dissatisfaction with Qatar’s policies but it should do that during the talks and not in a form of ultimatum.
“We believe that the world is governed by international laws, that don’t allow big countries to bully small countries. No one has the right to issue to a sovereign country an ultimatum,” he said.
He went on to say that his country would not be intimidated by any threat and is ready to face any consequences of its refusal to comply with the demands included in the ultimatum.
“There is no fear from whatever action would be taken and Qatar is prepared to face whatever consequences,” he said. “But as I have mentioned… there is an international law that should not be violated and there is a border that should not be crossed.”
He met with the Italian Foreign Minister, Angelino Alfano who expressed his support to the Kuwait-led mediation effort and urged all parties to the dispute to “abstain from further actions that could aggravate the situation.”
Qatar received assurances of “unconditional support” from the Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan who denounced the Gulf States’ demands as running “contrary to international law.”
Iran also called the Saudi-led economic siege of Qatar unacceptable and has called for dialogue to solve the diplomatic crisis. Tehran also promised to provide air, sea and land support to its “brother” country.
Rumors have it that several UK and US banks, under pressure from Saudi Arabia, have stopped relations with Qatar but it seems it only relate to currency trading.
The acting managing director of Al Jazeera English, Giles Trendle said that the Doha-based media network would not be closing despite demands by Saudi Arabia and its allies.
“We stand strong and we will continue to do what we do, which is reporting the world frankly and fairly,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Qatari National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) and a Swiss law firm, Lalive, signed a contract to investigate thousands of cases of human rights violations from a Saudi-led blockade on Qatar and seek compensation.
Lalive, which specializes in mass claims, said it will pursue the cases in local and international tribunals.
The lead lawyer on the case, Veijo Heiskanen said: “The sanctions imposed on Qatar go too far and are not in accordance with international law. Ordinary Qatari nationals and companies are not part of the State and cannot be targeted.”
“A political dispute between States does not justify sanctions against private citizens, companies and other private entities. The Qatar National Committee for Human Rights is therefore justified to pursue these claims,” he said.
This Story was first published on Islam Times.https://www.sacreddaleel.org/qatar-slams-saudi-refusal-to-negotiate/Featured (Current Affairs)QatarThe restrictions and blockade have caused turmoil in Qatar that depends on imports to meet the basic needs of its population of 2.7 million.US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson was requested to try and resolve the crisis, acknowledged that some elements would 'be very difficult for Qatar to meet',...Daleel News firstname.lastname@example.orgBbp_participantSacred Daleel