Qatar’s ruler said Friday that the Gulf emirate is ready for talks to resolve a diplomatic crisis with a Saudi-led bloc so long as his country’s sovereignty is respected.
“We are open to dialogue to resolve the outstanding problems,” so long as Qatar’s “sovereignty is respected,” Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani said in his first public comments since Saudi Arabia and its allies severed ties with the gas-rich emirate.
“Any settlement of the crisis must be based on two principles,” he said in a televised speech.
Here are the key points from the speech:
- The spirit of solidarity, harmony and defiance that had prevailed in the people of Qatar frustrated the hopes of those who banked on the opposite side.
- All those who live in this country have become spokespersons for Qatar.
- The people have seen through the heavy curtain of concoctions and incitement, to impose capitulation on this country. People do not believe the lies of those who do not respect their minds.
- Arab and non-Arab countries that have respected public opinion stood with us, or at least did not stand with the seige.
- Qatar does not try to impose its opinion on anyone.
- Since childhood, our youth have learned that lying and slander are two of the worst vices.
- Qatar is fighting terrorism relentlessly and without compromise, and the international community recognises this.
- Differences are resolved through dialogue and negotiation, and we should not burden civilians with political differences.
- The crisis has driven Qatari society to not only explore its human values but to also draw on its sources of strength which lie in its unity, will and determination.
- The government with its various ministeries and state institutions effectively dealt with the crises to cater for all the needs of the population.
- We are opening our economy to initiatives, investment, production of food and medicine, and ultimately to diversify our sources of income.
- We are not afraid of identifying and correcting our error. This crisis has helped us identify and overcome the shortcomings and obstacles indetermining Qatar’s national, political and economic and independent identity.
- We are all passing through this test with honour and dignity. We need diligence, creativity, independent thinking and self-reliance for the future.
- We are open to dialogue to find solutions to lingering problems within the framework of respect for sovereignty and will of each State as mutual undertakings and joint commitments binding all.
- Qatar stands in solidarity with the Palestinian people, especially people in Al Quds (Jerusalem) and condemns the closure of the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Emir said that life in the country was continuing as normal since four Arab states severed diplomatic and travel ties with it last month.
Emir said that it was time for negotiations to resolve differences between Doha and four Arab states which have severed diplomatic ties with it.
“The time has come for us to spare the people from the political differences between the governments,” the Emir said.
Published on 22 July 2017