Qatar vows not to surrender its Foreign Policy to Pressures from neighboring Gulf States

Qatar has sworn that it will not sacrifice its foreign policy to pressures from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Yemen, the UAE, Maldives, and Bahrain.

The tiny emirate state received a 24-hour ultimatum to accept 10 conditions listed by Saudi Arabia and its allies on Monday.

A clear threat of invasion for an alleged links with the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas was also included.

Qatar has refuted those claims while foreign minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani called on all parties to consider a peaceful resolution as the only way forward.

Speaking to a gathering of reporters in Doha on Thursday, Sheikh Mohammed said Qatar is facing envy and isolation because they’re successful and progressive.

“We are a platform for peace not terrorism,” he said. “This dispute is threatening the stability of the entire region.

“We are not ready to surrender, and will never be ready to surrender, the independence of our foreign policy.”

Saudi Arabia and other neighboring states severed economic and diplomatic ties with Qatar earlier this week, and Egypt joined in the blockade shortly afterwards.

Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber al-Sabah is making great efforts as a mediator to end the ongoing diplomatic row.

Sheikh Mohammed added that Iran, a close ally to Qatar, “had offered the use of three of its ports to ship food and water as the country runs short of supplies.”

However, he stressed that Qatar is yet to accept the kind gesture.

Meanwhile, residents were seen in Doha stockpiling goods in preparation for the looming scarcity and inflation, after Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE and allies announced trade sanctions against the oil-rich state on Monday.

Sheikh Mohammed marveled at the previously unexperienced hostility from their neighbors but has hopes the difficult situation will be resolved soon.

Russia has scheduled a visit for Sheikh Mohammed, who is expected to arrived Moscow for a closed-door meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on Saturday.

Donald Trump and his government officials have called for peace in the Arab world, despite his earlier tweet which was misunderstood as a show of support for military invasion.

This handout photo taken and released by Turkey's Presidential Press Service on February 15, 2017 shows the Emir of Qatar Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani (R) and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) attending a welcome ceremony in Doha

Picture taken 15 February, 2017, shows Emir of Qatar Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani (R) and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) attending a welcome ceremony in Doha. 

Turkish president Tayyip Erdogan says he will stand by Qatar’s leaders, offering to play a part as one of the mediators if necessary. An urgent bill to increase troops in Qatar has received approval, reports confirm.

“This is a most unwanted crisis for Turkey given its close relationship with both Qatar and Saudi Arabia,” said Sinan Ulgen, chairman of the Centre for Economics and Foreign Policy and visiting scholar at Carnegie Europe.

Turkey, just like the United States of America, has so much at stake in Qatar considering its high volume investments worth over $1.5 million.

Ahead of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, Turkish companies also won contracts worth more than $13 billion (11.5 billion euros) for construction projects.

Bahrain warns its citizens to desist from showing support to Qatar or face jail terms.

“Any expression of sympathy with the government of Qatar or opposition to the measures taken by the government of Bahrain, whether through social media, Twitter or any other form of communication, is a criminal offence punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine,” a statement from the interior ministry said.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said, “Qatar needs to cut ties with Palestinian Islamist group Hamas in the occupied territories, and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, if it wanted to end its isolation.

In 2014, Salman Al-Dossary wrote a piece about the Gulf losing Qatar. He wrote: ‘Vigilance in dangerous times is a necessity, especially now that there is a consensus between Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain that their sister state Qatar is not, in reality, ready to change its policies, ones which have greatly harmed these three countries.

After countless meetings and talks, ministers traveling to and fro between this capital and that, and committees observing, recording and submitting their reports, the final decision on the crisis remains with these three countries who have been extremely patient with Doha, to such an extent that it would not be prudent to bet on their remaining so any longer.

It is clear that the Gulf states can no longer tolerate Doha’s often rebellious policies toward its neighbors.’