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Tuesday January 23rd 2018



Qatar: UN should play a role in resolving Gulf crisis

Qatar’s foreign minister also accused the four Arab countries that have blockaded Doha of violating international law.

Qatar’s foreign minister called on Thursday for the United Nations to help resolve the Gulf crisis and accused the four Arab countries that have imposed a blockade on Doha of violating international law.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani told reporters that Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt are showing “stubbornness” and have not taken any steps to solve the crisis.

He vowed that Qatar would spare no effort to overcome what he called “violations” of international law and said, “the United Nations is the right platform to start from”.

Mohammed bin Abdulrahman spoke to reporters after discussing the crisis with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who has supported regional efforts led by Kuwait to resolve the dispute.

OPINION: Qatar – Finding opportunities for reform in crisis

“There is a role for the Security Council and for the General Assembly and all the United Nations mechanisms” in resolving the crisis, said Mohammed bin Abdulrahman, adding that he briefed council members on the dispute a month ago.

“The state of Qatar has already stated more than 10 times that we want to solve this issue by dialogue and we are not willing to escalate – and they need to retreat from all their illegal actions,” Mohammed bin Abdulrahman said.

China’s UN ambassador, Liu Jieyi, told reporters that the Security Council would take up the crisis if there is a formal request.

“I think it’s something that should be sorted out among the brothers in the GCC and in the region,” he said, referring to the Gulf Cooperation Council, which Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Qatar belong to. “And I just hope there is a negotiation process for the various sides to sort out their difficulties.”
‘At a standstill’

In Washington, where Mohammed bin Abdulrahman met a day earlier with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the crisis appeared to be “at a standstill.”

“That naturally concerns us,” Nauert said. “We are urging direct talks between all of the parties because we believe that in order for the situation to be resolved – and it does need to be resolved – they have to sit down together and have some direct dialogue.”
Where’s the Gulf crisis headed?

However, UAE Ambassador to the UN Lana Nusseibeh said the measures taken were “entirely legal, justified and proportionate” and accused Qatar of grave violations.

“We hope to see a diplomatic solution at the regional level through genuine engagement from their side,” she told Reuters.

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE, and Bahrain broke diplomatic relations with Qatar in early June largely over their allegations that it supports “terrorist” groups – a charge Qatar rejects.

They initially made 13 demands, which Qatar also dismissed.

Last week, the quartet urged Qatar to commit to six principles on combatting “extremism” and “terrorism” and negotiate a plan with specific measures to implement them.

Qatar’s ruler has reiterated his country’s willingness to fight “terrorism” and issued a decree revising the country’s counterterrorism laws.
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