Qatar won't back down in face of pressure: minister

Qatar won't back down in face of pressure: minister

"We are not ready to surrender, and will never be ready to surrender, the independence of our foreign policy", Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani told reporters in Doha.

He also said Turkey, which on Wednesday sped up the planned deployment of troops to Qatar, is helping to ensure stability in the region.

On Monday, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt cut off diplomatic relations with Qatar, accusing the latter of supporting terrorist organizations and destabilizing the situation in the Middle East.

"Qatar's policy is a dead end and it will only lead to destruction, so essentially what we are asking is for the Qataris to give up on their foreign policy which calls up for an an alliance between a tremendous amount of wealth and extremely radical Islam".

"We don't see a military solution as an option" to the crisis, Sheikh Mohammed said.

"At the end, there won " t be any escalating measures in response from Qatar because it believes such disputes among fraternal countries should be solved at a dialogue table", the foreign minister said, adding that there must be a disclosure session to discuss points of view, identify the areas of difference and work to limit them while respecting each side's opinions. He said only 16 percent of Qatar's food imports came through the now-closed land border crossing with Saudi Arabia "and it has been replaced already".

Xavier Vergés  FlickrFor illustrative purposes only
Xavier Vergés FlickrFor illustrative purposes only

The foreign minister said daily life and projects in Qatar will not be affected, stressing that Qatar designed its programmes and took such steps in order to independently achieve its vision regardless of any political pressures.

Qatar rejected the allegations as baseless and unjustified. "They are hosted here. for peace talks".

"Like any crisis, you can not really control the dynamics. this is one of the dangers of any crisis".

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain have suspended all flights to and from Doha and closed off sea and air links to Qatar.

Sheikh Mohammed said Qatar could nonetheless survive "forever", adding that it respected worldwide agreements and would continue supplying liquefied natural gas to the UAE.

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