Qatar Lobbying with World against Saudi-Led Bans

Qatar Lobbying with World against Saudi-Led Bans
Sat Jul 1, 2017 14:58:41

Qatar has been lobbying with the non-permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) against a Saudi-led embargo of the country.

Qatar’s Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani met with the representatives of the UNSC member states at the Qatari mission to the UN in New York on Friday, urging them to press the sanctioning countries to lift the blockade and to speak out publicly in support of his country, Al Jazeera reported.

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates severed diplomatic ties and cut all land, sea, and air contacts with Qatar on June 5. The four countries accused Qatar of supporting terrorism and destabilizing the region, allegations denied by Doha.

The countries later issued a list of demands for Qatar to meet in return for a normalization of ties. Among them was that Qatar shut down Al Jazeera, a media network that has reportedly been critical especially of Saudi Arabia, close a Turkish military base, limit its ties with Iran, and “compensate” the sanctioning countries.

Doha has refused to meet the demands, calling them unreasonable, and said it would not negotiate with the countries unless the blockade has been lifted.

Separately, Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Ministry reacted to the refusal, saying this was not the first time Qatar was standing up to Riyadh’s demands, Saudi paper Okaz reported. The Ministry claimed that Doha had “endangered” Saudi national security, and that it continued to lend support to “terrorist groups.”

Al Thani told Al Jazeera that he had given the UNSC members “updates on the situation” and urged “all of them to call for a lifting of the blockade on Qatar.” Qatar was “trying to encourage all the parties to enter a serious dialog to try to put an end to this,” he said.

A day earlier, he had met with his American counterpart Rex Tillerson.

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