Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al Thani - Twitter
CAIRO – 19 November 2017: Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman Al-Thani said on Saturday in an interview with U.S. TV network MSNBC that Qatar has a unique relationship with Iran.
"Qatar is located between and shares borders with two big countries – Saudi Arabia and Iran. There are concerns of Iran's increasing influence in the region. However, those fears must be addressed peacefully, and that is what Qatar is encouraging other Gulf states to do," Sheikh Mohammed stated.
Asked about the reason behind the continuing of the siege, he claimed that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have taken illegal measures against his country by shutting their borders and leading an anti-Qatar propaganda campaign, although Qatar declared its commitment to reaching a resolution. He added that the propaganda war that accuses Qatar of financing terrorism is baseless.
On June 5, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Libya and Yemen decided to cut all diplomatic ties with Qatar, hurling allegations that the state supports terrorism. Ports and airspaces were cut off to Qatari vessels. Since then, Kuwait has played the role of mediator to put an end to this rift. Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson held several meetings with the disputed parties, but the discussions have not yet led to a settlement.
Qatar has so far ignored the demands set by the Arab countries, which include downgrading diplomatic ties with Iran and closing a Turkish airbase in Qatar.
With the passing of over five months of the Arab crisis with Doha, Qatar's emir said on November 14 in a speech at the Shura Council that his country was "a thousand times better off" without them.
"We do not fear the boycott of these countries against us; we are a thousand times better off without them," the emir told members of the council and foreign dignitaries in Doha. "But vigilance is required," he noted.
As for the allegations of Qatar’s funding terrorism, Tamim noted that “the international community cannot be deceived by these allegations, and Qatar’s record of combating terrorism throughout history is well known.”
He confirmed on this regard that his country will continue to support the international mediation efforts in Libya and the government of national concordance in their attempts to reach reconciliation between all Libyan parties.
In October, media outlets reported that Qatar has been assisting the transportation of Islamic State (IS) militants from Iraq and Syria to southern Libya.
In early October, Libya National Army spokesperson Ahmed al-Mesmari announced that Qatar has been supporting IS terrorists financially. He also added that Doha committed numerous crimes against the Libyan people, especially through transporting IS militants from Syria and Iraq to Sudan and then to Libya.
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