Some 26,000 cases of human rights violations have been documented since the start of the Gulf siege on Qatar, the country’s foreign minister revealed yesterday.
Speaking to Qatar News Agency (QNA) on Qatar’s National Day, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdul Rahman Al Thani reiterated his country’s readiness to take part in transparent talks based on mutual respect.
Al Thani said Doha has succeeded in managing the unprecedented Gulf crisis with rationality and self-respect. “But we are concerned about the blockade’s impact on families. We confirm that if we overcome the crisis, we will not ignore these violations against the Qatari people,” the minister said.
He stressed that resolving the crisis must ensure that when governments have political disputes, they should not retaliate against citizens.
Regarding the crisis’ impact on the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Al Thani said: “What saddens us is that the crisis has shaken confidence in the GCC, but we still see the need to preserve this collective security system.”
He called for “working to find a formula that ensures preserving the sovereignty of states and non-interference in each other’s internal affairs and the establishment of civilised mechanisms to resolve disputes and differences among the council’s members.”
“All these things are very important to maintain this system, which is the first shield of the GCC against all external risks, especially in light of the continuing regional tensions.”
The Foreign Minister stressed that Qatar, despite the unjust blockade, continued its active international contributions in all fields, pointing out that Doha has delivered humanitarian aid to more than 100 countries especially in the education and infrastructure sectors.
Qatar has provided $4.5 billion in aid to more than 100 countries over the last five years and is now ranked third on the list of major donors to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA).
On 5 June, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt severed ties with Qatar on claims it supported terrorism and then imposed punitive measures on it. Doha denied the accusations and said it was facing a campaign of lies and fabrications.