DUBAI 25 June 2017: The UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dr. Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash, has said that diplomacy is the priority for the solution of the crisis with Qatar despite the leaking by Qatar of the demands of the four countries – Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt.
The leaking of the demands has undermined the Kuwaiti mediation and has taken the crisis back to ‘Square One’, he said, according to Wam.
He was speaking during a press conference at the Dubai office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in Dubai, held to discuss the latest developments regarding the crisis with Qatar.
Responding to a question from the Emirates News Agency (Wam), on the impact of the leakage by Qatar of the demands made by the four countries, Dr. Gargash said, “Diplomacy is a priority to resolve the crisis with Qatar, but it should change its behaviour and position regarding the support of extremism and terrorism.”
The UAE minister thanked Kuwait for its mediation efforts.
“The alternative, if Qatar does not handle seriously the demands presented to it by the Kuwaiti mediator, will not be an escalation, but separation.”
He emphasised, “We are not talking about regime change in Qatar, but behavioural change. There are a number of rules to deal with the crisis with Qatar. These rules are the diplomatic solution that requires Qatar to change its approach regarding support of extremism and terrorism.”
“There is another rule concerning the failure to achieve the list of demands, in this case the option would be separation,” he said.
The disagreement between Egypt and the three GCC countries and Qatar is not a matter of sovereignty but of its support for extremism and terrorism, Dr. Gargash said.
“We hope that Qatar will realise the consequences of its policy against neighbouring countries and that wisdom will prevail in Doha,” he said. “What is happening is an attempt to stop Qatar from supporting extremism and terrorism.”
“If the Qatari government hears wisdom and the voice of reason and begins to implement agreements between the two sides, we want safeguards and a monitoring system for these agreements,” he said.
“We have noticed the European and American interest in this, especially as these countries are also affected by extremism and terrorism,” the UAE minister said. The Europeans are aware about Qatar’s substantial funding of extremist groups, he added.
He explained that Qatar has not respected existing agreements, therefore there is a need for safeguards and monitoring system. “For several years there had been an agreement with Qatar, which includes a number of items. Qatar has implemented only one – the closure of Al Jazeera Live Egypt.”
Dr. Anwar Gargash said, “Al Jazeera is a platform for promoting the agendas of extremist groups in the region.”
By Eudore R. Chand