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At UN, Emir of Qatar calls for “unconditional dialogue” to end crisis

On Tuesday, the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, spoke at the United Nations and called for “unconditional dialogue based on mutual respect for sovereignty” to bring an end to the Gulf crisis.

The crisis has had Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates cut diplomatic ties and trade links with neighbouring Qatar over their supposed support for terrorists and Iran – a claim Qatar vehemently denies. These nations cut ties on 5 June and also suspended “air and shipping routes with the world’s biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas, which is home to the region’s biggest U.S. military base,” according to Reuters.

The Emir took his time at the podium at the UN to criticise the four Arab countries boycotting his country and said that they were causing damage to the war on terror, “The countries who imposed the blockade on the State of Qatar interfere in the internal affairs of many countries, and accuse all those who oppose them domestically and abroad with terrorism. By doing that they are inflicting damage on the war on terror.

“We have refused to yield to dictations by pressure and siege.”

An unnamed official told Reuters that it was disappointing “that he [Sheikh Tamim] talks about interference in the internal affairs of others while refusing to admit that is a core part of the four nations’ complaints against Qatar.”

The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, has spoken on the telephone to Sheikh Tamim about the crisis in what was the first contact since it began. Following the call, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia suspended communication with Qatar saying that it had issued “false reports.”

President Trump and Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani at the United Nations General Assembly (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

Sheikh Tamim met President Trump later that day where they discussed the ongoing crisis. Reuters reported that the Sheikh was careful in emphasising “the strong Qatar-US relationship.” This came after Trump had, at the beginning of the crisis, appeared to be more sympathetic to the opposing side.

Neighbouring Kuwait has been attempting to mediate the crisis, and the United States has also lent assistance in ending the Gulf situation.

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