Qatar rejects intervention in foreign policy: FM

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen and the Maldives said Monday that they are indefinitely severing ties with Qatar - a Persian Gulf country of 2.4 million people, mostly foreign workers.

The Philippines said Tuesday it was banning its citizens from going to work in Qatar.

"We are willing to sit and talk", al-Thani said in an interview with CNN, aired on Tuesday.

Saudi Arabia has also closed off Qatar's only land border.

And he was even tougher on media reports suggesting Qatar supports the Iran-backed Shiite Huthi rebels fighting the internationally recognised government in Yemen.

Al-Azhar hoped to redouble the efforts of the Arab nation to stop the attempts exerted by the oppressive regimes threatening the security and stability of the Arab region.

"We are an independent country with sovereignty", he said, rejecting tutelage from other states.

"It's unfortunate to see these tweets", Qatari Ambassador Meshal bin Hamad Al Thani told the Daily Beast.

"We are an independent country with sovereignty and we refuse any custody over Qatar", he said, speaking at the ministry of foreign affairs.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that President Vladimir Putin is not expected to receive Thani. "For us, the strategic choice of the State of Qatar is to solve any dispute through dialogue".

But despite his defiance, the foreign minister was adamant the crisis would not evolve into a military conflict. "We are surprised that at such a time, a GCC country is being attacked by other GCC countries".

He said no proof of any wrongdoing "has been presented to Qatar yet". It was also combating terrorism, he added.

He pointed to the campaign that was aimed at Qatar in Western capitals and the USA, expressing regret that some GCC ambassadors are carrying out a campaign of incitement and distortion of the reputation of Qatar contrary to the basic charter of GCC and the social cord between GCC states.

With the same argument that Qatar provided support and shelter to leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood, a group outlawed in Egypt and considered a terrorist organization by Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain, those governments then withdrew their respective ambassadors from Doha.

"As for central institutions in the USA, our relations with them are extremely excellent and it is a strategic partnership in the peace process and counterterrorism. The Qatari-American ties are not led by marginal institutions, but from official institutions that take their positions on the basis of strategic partnerships", he added.

  • Leroy Wright