Arab states urged to lift blockade after Qatar tweaks terror laws

22 July, 2017, 00:56 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • Tillerson urges Saudi-led states to lift Qatar ‘land blockade

Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani also said in a televised speech that he valued Kuwait's mediation and the support of other countries for the efforts, including the United States, Turkey and Germany.

This is the same reason why in 2013 and 2014 the [Riyadh] agreements we signed with Qatar were also kept confidential and secret on the request of the Qataris government.

"We are open to dialogue to resolve the outstanding problems", so long as Qatar's "sovereignty is respected", Sheikh Tamim said in his first public comments since Saudi Arabia and its allies severed ties with gas-rich Qatar.

"We should not burden civilians with political differences", he said, adding that world has chosen to stand with Qatar by not backing the boycotting nations.

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"They have been very aggressive in implementing that agreement, so I think we're satisfied with the effort they're putting forth", Tillerson told reporters just before meeting with Omani Foreign Minister Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah at the State Department.

Initially, the Saudi-led bloc issued a tough 13-point list of demands needed to resolve the crisis, including shutting down news outlets including Al Jazeera, cutting ties with Islamist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood, limiting ties with Iran and expelling Turkish troops stationed in the country.

Sheikh Tamim reiterated his country's willingness to fight terrorism on Friday.

Arab states have been urged to lift a blockade on Qatar after the country changed its anti-terror laws amid a regional crisis.

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Saudi Arabia and the UAE in particular have been critical of Tillerson's efforts, accusing him of being too sympathetic toward Qatar.

The UAE this week said it expected a prolonged stalemate in the dispute and gave no hint it would be willing to left the blockade to allow talks to start.

There are almost six lakh Indians working and staying in Qatar and there is no need to evacuate them as the situation there is normal, the government today said.

The attack involved what Qatar says were fabricated comments attributed to the emir posted on the official state news agency and affiliated social media accounts in which he supposedly called Iran an "Islamic power" and said Qatar's relations with Israel are "good".

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