Middle East

Two years into Gulf crisis, Qatar unshaken

Doha emerged from Gulf crisis 'stronger', enjoys enhanced ties with Turkey, says Qatari diplomat

Zuhal Demirci, Muhammed Temim Hocaoglu   | 20.06.2019
Two years into Gulf crisis, Qatar unshaken

ANKARA 

As the ongoing crisis among the Gulf Arab states enters its third year, Qatar remains defiant and “stronger” then before. 

“The state of Qatar has emerged from this blockade stronger, but the social difficulties still exist,” Salem bin Mubarak Al Shafi, Qatar’s ambassador to Turkey, told Anadolu Agency in an exclusive interview.

However, the diplomat pointed out that Qatari citizens still face difficulties due to their "deep-rooted" ties with people of blockading countries and the investments they have there.

Qatar has remained at odds with the four states since June 5, 2017, when they accused Doha of supporting terrorism -- allegations Doha denies -- and collectively severed ties with the country.

The four-nation Arab bloc didn’t stop there: They also imposed a land, sea and air blockade on Qatar in hopes of making it comply with a long list of demands.

Qatar, for its part, has vociferously denied the allegation, describing the Saudi-led embargo against it as a violation of international law.

The ambassador stressed that the wise approach to resolving the crisis requires the four countries to review their position and withdraw their "false accusations".

“Qatar has kept the door open for dialogue and reconciliation,” Al Shafi said.

He asserted that Qatar sees unity of Gulf state essential to face the current regional challenges.

Al Shafi praised Qatar's relations with Turkey that have been enhanced especially after the Gulf crisis.

“Qatari-Turkish relations are moving towards greater brilliance and harmony, especially at the foreign policy level,” said the ambassador.

He attributed the improved relations to both countries being “mindful to finding solutions to problems rather than creating them.” 

*Writing by Mahmoud Barakat

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