Abdulrahman: Qatar boycott objective not wise

Tuesday, 26 September 2017, 04:02:27 AM. Foreign minister criticises boycotting neighbours and points to greater desire of President Trump to resolve crisis.

Qatar's foreign minister has criticised Arab neighbours for their continued economic blockade of the country, while stating that US President Donald Trump is stepping up efforts for a diplomatic solution to the crisis.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani made the remarks on Monday in Paris, where he attended a discussion organised by the French Institute of International Relations.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, and Egypt cut political and trade ties with Qatar on June 5, accusing it of "supporting terrorism" and their regional rival, Iran. Qatar vigorously denies the allegations.

Kuwait has been leading the mediation efforts between Qatar and the blockading countries, without success so far.

READ MORE: All the latest updates on the Qatar-Gulf crisis

But with the dispute, now into its fifth month, Qatar has sought alternative trade routes and sources.

Countries, like Iran and Turkey, have been sending cargo planes with tonnes of food supplies since the start of the blockade.

The International Monetary Fund said last month that Qatar has acted effectively in protecting its economy against the Gulf sanctions, in part because of rerouting trade and establishing new sources of food supply.

Political differences

The blockade is having the effect of pushing Qatar into closer economic ties with Iran despite their political differences, Mohammed bin Abdulrahman said.

"They said Qatar was now closer to Iran. By their measures they are pushing Qatar to Iran. They are giving Iran, or any regional force, Qatar like a gift.

"Is that their objective, to push one country, a GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) member state towards Iran? This is not a wise objective."

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