Measures taken against Qatar surprising, says its Foreign Minister

 |Jun 7, 2017
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Qatar Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani said that the recent measures taken against Qatar were surprising, stressing that what happened was collective punishment from three countries in the region that tried to put Qatar and its people under a blockade, Qatar News Agency (QNA) reported.

In an interview televised by the BBC on Tuesday, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani wondered why the countries in question believed that Qatar was siding with Iran.

He added that all parties involved want a positive relation with Iran and would not want to escalate against any side, but rather resolve disputes through dialogue in line with the principles adopted by Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) leaders.

Responding to a question on tweets posted by US President Donald Trump on countries severing ties with Qatar, the Foreign Minister said that president Trump met with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani and discussed allegations of funding terrorism by countries in the region.

Sheikh Mohammed noted that president Trump repeated that remark several times during the meeting.

“And we told him very clearly if there is any allegation we can sit on the table and we can sort it out,” he said.

He added that they assured the US president that the allegations were based on media reports. The intelligence community, government-to-government relations all know very well about the relation between Qatar and the cooperation between Qatar and the US.

He added that there was not a single piece of evidence that Qatar was supporting radical Islamists, adding that official government bodies in the US praised Qatar for its counter-terrorism efforts. – Bernama