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Qatar Emir Says Open to Dialogue with Arab Quartet | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani is seen during a joint news conference with Indonesian President Joko Widodo at the presidential palace in Bogor, West Java province, Indonesia October 18, 2017. REUTERS/Beawiharta

Dammam– Qatar is “open to dialogue” in resolving a dispute with the Arab quartet, its emir said during a visit to Indonesia on Wednesday. Whereas, Qatari Minister of Foreign Affairs claimed that the war on ISIS has been affected because of the blockade on his country.

Qatar is a base to thousands of US troops engaged in the battle against the terrorist organization, and according to the FM, the quartet wants to destabilize Qatar and their behavior shows they are not willing to reach a solution.

Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, who arrived in Indonesia on Tuesday after his visit to Malaysia, said at a joint news conference with Indonesian President Joko Widodo at the presidential palace in Bogor, West Java, that the standoff is hurting all the countries involved.

“We conveyed that Qatar is ready to conduct a dialogue to solve the problem as we already know that no one will win,” the Emir told the press, reiterating: “we are all brothers and we have suffered losses due to this crisis.”

He then added that Qatar is ready to start a dialogue to reach an agreement that must be respected by all parties based on the sovereignty of the state.

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates cut ties with Qatar on June 5 due to its support for extremist groups in the region and its close ties with Iran. They also banned Qatar Airways from using their airspace, closed off the country’s land border with Saudi Arabia and blocked its ships from using their ports.

Speaking to CNBC in an interview, Qatari Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani stated that the battle against ISIS has suffered as a result of the conflict taking place. He explained that 90 percent of the country’s supplies of food supply, medicine supply comes through the land border and those supplies part of it is going to al-Udeid base of US troops.

He added that as air space is now blocked to Qatari aircraft that offer strategic support, those planes can only now use one path, north toward Iran.

Qatari forces, part of US Naval Forces Central Command in Bahrain, were ordered in June to leave the country.
“They are not allowed to fly over their skies so it’s only allowed to use one path which is toward the north, toward Iran. So this is an effect as well as our officers who were participating in the coalition activity and the Fifth Fleet in Bahrain they’ve been expelled because of this,” he explained.

The FM added that many factors in this crisis undermine global efforts in countering ISIS, including the blockade and measures the Quartet has taken against Qatar.