Qatar FM rejects intervention in foreign policy

Posted June 09, 2017

"This is not about regime change - this is about change of policy, change of approach", State Minister for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said, accusing the government in Doha of being in "denial".

"This dispute is threatening the stability of the entire region", Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani told reporters in Doha.

Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi says Qatar's citizens are "questioning if this is going to end up in seeing a change in leadership itself".

And he was even tougher on media reports suggesting Qatar supports the Iran-backed Shiite Huthi rebels fighting the internationally recognised government in Yemen.

Qatar will respect the LNG gas agreements it has made with the United Arab Emirates despite its cutting off relations with Doha, Sheikh Mohammed said. Qatar relies heavily on food imports, especially those coming over its only land border with Saudi Arabia.

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The rift in the Arab world escalated days after US President Donald Trump's visit to Saudi Arabia, which was meant to demonstrate the unity of America and its Arab allies.

He was speaking after Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and several other countries severed diplomatic ties with Doha on Monday and closed transport links.

"For us, the strategic choice of Qatar is to solve any dispute through dialogue", Sheikh Mohammed added. We are a platform for peace not terrorism.

He said "we are going through extremely hard circumstances and challenges and there are wars in the Arab world and people killed whether due to terrorism and extremism or terror crimes committed by regimes against their peoples, and there is a crisis in Yemen, Syria and Libya, and these challenges must unite us". On Thursday, the office of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres announced that he is prepared to mediate and is calling on the Gulf nations to work on overcoming their differences.

"We have not asked for mediation, we believe this issue can be dealt with among the states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)", he told a news conference in Berlin. "So when the Qatari foreign minister says "listen, we need to engage in dialogue", we have done that for many years - that's just a statement for western consumption".