Emirati diplomat to AP: 'Nothing to negotiate' with Qatar

Patrice Gainsbourg
Junho 10, 2017

The Arab countries have blocked Qatari vessels from entering their air space, as well as using their seaports as Saudi Arabia has closed off its land border.

The Al-Jazeera website appeared to be operating normally in NY.

An outspoken Emirati ruling family member has raised the prospect of Qatar's leadership changing amid a growing diplomatic crisis between it and other Arab nations attempting to isolate the energy-rich travel hub from the rest of the world.

Sheikh Hamad took over as Qatar's emir in 1995 and expanded his nation's presence on the global scene through negotiating hostage releases, briefly flirting with diplomatic ties to Israel, hosting a Taliban office and creating Al-Jazeera.

Al-Jazeera's offices have been shut down by authorities in Saudi Arabia and Jordan.

U.S. President Donald Trump, who tweeted Tuesday about Qatar funding extremists, called Sheikh Tamim on Wednesday and offered to host leaders at the White House to resolve the crisis.

Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash has criticized Qatar's decision to ask Iran and Turkey for help, accusing the country of escalating a row with its Arab neighbors and destabilizing situation in the Middle East region.

Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen and several other Arab and African countries have cut diplomatic ties with Qatar and have imposed blockade restricting economic and financial transactions with Doha.

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Despite the accusations and radical steps taken by Arab countries, Qatar has been repeatedly declaring its readiness for a dialogue and promised not to take any measures against its neighbors which could aggravate the uneasy situation.

Sheikh Mohammed's hard line mirrored that of a top Emirati diplomat who told the AP on Wednesday that the United Arab Emirates believes "there's nothing to negotiate" with Qatar.

In addition to Turkey's efforts, the US and Kuwait have also stepped up efforts to mediate an ending to the Qatar crisis.

Qatar reportedly pumps about 2 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day through a 364-kilometer (226-mile) undersea pipeline to the UAE and Oman. The report was widely picked up by regional media outlets, which continued circulating it after Qatar's denial.

Regarding the deployment of Turkish troops to Qatar, the minister said this was a move to safeguard the entire region, adding that there "cannot be a military solution to this problem".

According to a local news channel, bringing about sentiments in Qatar's support on social media is a cyber-crime and could land offenders from three up to 15 years in prison or fine them at least 500,000 Dirham ($136,000) for committing the offense.

The website block began Thursday and follows the UAE blocking access to a series of Qatari media websites, including those of Doha-based satellite news network Al-Jazeera.

In this Wednesday, June 7, 2017 photo released by Kuwait News Agency, KUNA, Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah, left, holds the hand of Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani in Doha, Qatar.

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