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Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt are 'trying to confiscate' Qatar's foreign policy decisions Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt are 'trying to confiscate' Qatar's foreign policy decisions

Saudi Arabia and its allies have been boycotting Qatar since June 5 [Getty]

Date of publication: 28 July, 2017

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Sheikh Saif bin Ahmed bin Saif al-Thani reiterated that Qatar refuses to “outsource” its foreign policy to the four states.
Lifting the blockade on Qatar is a non-negotiable condition which the four countries besieging the peninsula must adhere to before starting talks, the head of the government liaison office in Qatar said in an interview.

In an interview with AFP, Sheikh Saif bin Ahmed bin Saif al-Thani accused Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt of "trying to confiscate Qatar's foreign policy decisions” and is something that “Doha will never accept".

Al-Thani said that the new list published by the four countries recently, which includes individuals and entities accused of terrorism, and alleged links to Qatar, are among the things that "still impede the solution of the crisis".

This “list, it's still an ultimatum, it's still something that is stalling resolving the crisis," al-Thani added.

"We do not support terrorism in any way whatsoever," he said. "This accusation is false. We are doing the opposite. We actually do more than them in countering terrorism.”

He said this in regards to the four Arab governments naming 18 organisations and individuals on Tuesday that they accused of links with Islamist extremism and Qatar.

He stressed that "lifting the illegal blockade is not negotiable, while we have no problem in discussing all matters explicitly, as long as this is not related to our sovereignty and independence."

He also reiterated that Qatar refuses to “outsource” its foreign policy to the four states.

"What's behind this crisis of course is Qatari sovereignty and independence to put it very simply. It is about... outsourcing our foreign policy so that decisions are not made in Qatar, and that is something that will never be acceptable," al-Thani said.

Saudi Arabia and its allies have been boycotting Qatar since June 5, over unsubstantiated claims Doha has backed extremists, in the region's worst diplomatic crisis in years.

They sealed the emirate's only land border, ordered its citizens to leave and closed their airspace and waters to Qatari flights and shipping.

They demanded that Qatar break its longstanding ties with the Muslim Brotherhood, blacklisted as a "terror group" by the four governments although not by the international community.

They also demanded that it close broadcasting giant Al Jazeera and a Turkish military base, and fall in line with Saudi-led policy in the region, particularly towards Iran.

Qatar has dismissed the demands as a violation of its sovereignty and has received significant support from its ally Turkey.

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