Saudi FM: Arab States will not use force with Doha



Mon, 20 Nov 2017 - 02:01 GMT


Mon, 20 Nov 2017 - 02:01 GMT

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir speaks during a news conference after a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov - REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir speaks during a news conference after a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov - REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

CAIRO – 20 November 2017: Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said during an interview with TV host Lamees El Hadidy Sunday that the Arab Quartet will not resort to using military force with Qatar, as the crisis between Qatar and some Arab states is a “very small problem.”

His interview with El Hadidy came on the sidelines of the Arab League’s emergency meeting for foreign ministers which was held on Monday in Cairo, Egypt, where Arab countries denounced the ballistic missile fired by the Iranian-backed rebels earlier this month that was intercepted near the Saudi capital, Riyadh.

This also came in response to what Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani said on Friday; remarking that Qatar is expecting Arab states to move militarily against it. The Qatari foreign minister added that his country is ready for it and will rely on Qatar’s partners – France, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States of America – to defend his country.

At the same time, speaking to editors of Egyptian newspapers on Sunday on the sidelines of the Arab foreign ministers’ meeting at the Arab League in Cairo, Al-Jubeir confirmed that the Qatari crisis is very small and "we need not concern ourselves with the Qatari subject."

He noted that Arab countries have more important problems than the Qatari crisis such as the risk imposed by Iran on Arab national security, terrorism, the Syrian and Libyan crises, Yemen’s stability, and the implementation of Saudi Arabia's vision 2030.

Al-Jubeir further remarked that boycotting countries have sent a message to Qatar demanding it halts support and finances to terrorism, but Qatar has chosen to ignore the six demands of the Gulf states, denying the problem.

“We ask them to leave the denial stage behind and begin the stage of reconsideration and problem-solving,” Al-Jubeir emphasized.

Al-Jubeir also pointed out that Qataris refer to the crisis as a “siege” and a “blockade” which would mean that there are warplanes over Qatari airspace and warships, but that claim is contrary to reality.

“They must not interfere in the internal affairs of countries or find platforms for people who justify suicide bombings. [They must not] host individuals involved in financing terrorists and… continue to collect money and send it terrorists and [there shouldn’t be] terrorist elements operating in Qatar, including the Muslim Brotherhood,” Al-Jubeir declared.

He noted that if Qatar continues on its current path, Arab countries will not be dealing with it, yet will not resort to using a military solution either.

Al-Jubeir revealed that Qatar has taken steps after the Arab boycott such as signing an understanding memorandum with the U.S., which Qatar had previously refused to sign, that allows U.S. officials to enter Qatari banks. In addition, the memorandum also entailed that Qatar’s support to Hamas and extremist organizations in Syria and Libya diminishes in order to allow for a peaceful solution.

“In spite of these positive steps, Qatar has not taken actions against those who call for terrorism in Qatar, [or incite] violence… [through] its media.”

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.



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