The Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, described on Tuesday the decision undertaken by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt to boycott his country since mid-2017 as an “unjust siege.”
In his speech before the Qatari Shura Council, Sheikh Tamim said that “the siege has strengthened our steadfastness to overcome its negative effects,” adding that “the unjust siege continues through illegal practices, although all allegations are fake. He stressed the significant progress Qatar has achieved at the economic level despite the siege,” reported Sputnik.
He added: “Since the beginning of the crisis, Qatar has expressed its readiness for dialogue to resolve its differences with the GCC countries and within the framework of Qatar’s adherence to four major principles, namely mutual respect, common interests, independent foreign policy, and non-interference in internal affairs.”
The Emir of Qatar surprised the boycotting countries saying: “Although the unjust siege imposed on the State of Qatar is still going on, for the third year in a row, and despite proving the fallacy of all the allegations established to justify it, the budget deficit in Qatar last year turned into a surplus this year’s significant budget deficit was transformed into a surplus this year. We are on track to achieve a quantitative and qualitative leap in liquefied natural gas production.
On 5 June 2017, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt decided to cut ties with Qatar for allegedly supporting terrorism, which Doha denies, accusing the boycotting countries of seeking to impose guardianship on the Qatari national sovereignty.
As a step towards resolving the crisis, the four boycotting countries submitted through the Kuwaiti mediator a list of demands, including 13 items, in return for the lifting of punitive measures against Qatar. However, the latter rejected all these demands and considered this as a form of interference in its “national sovereignty.”
In return, Qatar publicly invited, through the Kuwaiti mediator and Western officials, the boycotting countries to sit at the dialogue table to solve the crisis. However, such a meeting have not taken place yet.