DAMASCUS, SYRIA (4:00 PM) – The Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, said in a speech to the country’s consultative Shoura Council, that he believes the Saudi-led bloc that is currently keeping Qatar under a diplomatic embargo is not interested in finding a peaceful solution to the crisis.
“We express our readiness for a compromise within the framework of a dialogue based on mutual respect for sovereignty and common obligations,” the Emir said on Tuesday. He continued however by stating that “We recognize the indicators that come from the blockade states show they do not want to reach a solution.”
In June, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt all imposed a full-scale embargo on Qatar, accusing the Doha government of supporting terrorism and demanding it to comply to a series of demands.
These demands included the termination of Qatar’s good diplomatic and economic relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran, as well as the shutdown of the Al Jazeera news channel. Emir Al Thani however, has always vehemently denied the allegations of supporting terrorism, and has refused to bown down before the Saudi bloc’s demands.
“Foreign countries repeatedly asked the blockaders about the reason behind their claims, but they could not give them anything,” the Qatari monarch said, adding that “We are not afraid of the siege. We do not need the countries laying it.”
Accordin to Emir Al Thani, one of the reasons for the quartet’s embargo of Qatar is that they seek to prevent the emirate from holding the 2022 FIFA World Cup
“The blockading countries have sought to deprive Qatar of [the right to] host the World Cup by exercising pressure and circulating lies,”
Earlier this month, the investigative news site The Intercept found documents in e-mails sent by the UAE’s ambassador to the US, that indicated a plan to wage “economic war” on Qatar, with the eventual goal of collapsing the country’s economy and thus rendering the World Cup plans financially impossible.
At the same moment that Emir Al Thani made these announcements in Doha, nearby Kuwait received Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Erdogan promised before his departure that he would bring up the issue of Qatar during the meeting regarding regional developments that he would join in Kuwait.
Both Turkey and Kuwait have played a mediating role between the conflicting sides, with Kuwait refusing to join in the Saudi-led embargo on Qatar. Turkey has actively sided with Qatar during the crisis, sending food supplies and offering Qatar access to their airspace after the sanctioning countries blocked Qatari flights from their skies.