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Qatar ambassador says crisis to end soon

ISLAMABAD -The Ambassador of Qatar to Pakistan, Saqr Bin Mubarak Al-Mansouri, has expressed the hope that the present crisis facing the Gulf countries would soon end, clouds of disunity will disappear.

Ambassador, Saqr Bin Mubarak Al-Mansouri expressed these view in a media interview.

He said diplomatic relations between the State of Qatar and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan started 45 years ago.

It can be said that bilateral relations have been moving steadily between the two countries for several years and have succeeded diplomatically, politically, commercially and socially.

Last year, bilateral ties entered the economic field, with the signature of two long-term agreements to supply Qatari LNG to Pakistan. Also late last year a meeting of the Joint Ministerial Committee was held, which was able to develop new schemes for economic and trade cooperation between the two countries.

There is a sincere approach between the two countries to push forward cooperation between them to reach new horizons, especially in the fields of energy and agriculture.

He further said, “First, I would like to make it clear that we, as Gulf peoples, have strong and brotherly ties, and that our history and destiny are one and we wished that we will not find crises between brothers, because what brings us together is more than what divides us and we hope that the unity will return to the people of the Gulf and this clouds will disappear, the people should not have been involved in this fabricated political crisis”.

All this started with the exposure of the Qatar News Agency website for electronic piracy, through which the publication of false statements attributed to His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of the State of Qatar that was then circulated by the media of the blockade countries.

The site was then closed and orders were issued to investigate what happened. Then an official statement was issued stating the facts and confirming that the statements attributed to the Amir were incorrect.

However, this statement was ignored by the media of the blockade states. Hence the tension started that led to the announcement of the four countries to sever diplomatic and economic relations with the State of Qatar.

They also announced the closure of land crossings, air space and water corridors with Qatar, this is contrary to international laws and conventions, it is clear that this was taken as an excuse to impose on the State of Qatar of unreasonable and unjustified accusations, and was understood later on.

Talking about blockage and its  impact on citizens he said, the blockade states violated all international and human rights laws by expelling Qatari citizens from their countries without taking into consideration the problems faced by the mixed families whether children or parents.

 Students also faced many problems, some of them were unable to attend their final exams while others were unable to get their degrees despite completing their studies.

This is in addition to citizens of other nationalities who were employed by Qataris in the blockade countries, they were left without a source of income or food and their future became unknown, among others majority are Pakistanis.

On Wednesday, 14 June 2017, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights expressed his concern regarding the humanitarian problems many faced because of these decisions.

 Some of these countries have also imposed prison sentences and fines on their nationals or any foreigner residing in their countries (if they shows sympathy with the State of Qatar) through social media sites or otherwise. Citizens of those countries with relatives in Qatar sometimes have to use foreign telephone lines to be able to communicate with their relatives in Qatar.

But Qatar did not reciprocate and did not ask any citizen of those countries to leave, students are still studying and workers are still working without any harassment, especially the Egyptian brothers, who number more than 170 thousand, who are treated just like Qatari nationals, he added.

To a question that as to how and when do Qatar will emerge from this crisis, the ambassador said the State of Qatar is still committed to remain calm following the policy of non-escalation so as not to strain the situation and give the Kuwaiti mediation the opportunity to resolve the crisis.

Qatar has been and continues to emphasize that dialogue is the only way to end this current crisis with the need to preserve and respect Qatari sovereignty. The State of Qatar responded to the demands of those countries and the response was delivered to the Kuwaiti mediator on 3/7/2017.

When asked to comment on Pakistan role in this crisis the ambassador said,  “First I would like to express our appreciation for the role played by Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif, Prime Minister of the brotherly Islamic Republic of Pakistan at the beginning of the crisis by calling for the importance of dialogue among all parties and his initiative to present the possibility of Pakistan to play a role to bring views together and work to solve the crisis by dialogue for the unity of the Islamic Ummahand his support for the mediation initiative led by Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Amir of the brotherly State of Kuwait”.

“We must be clear, Qatar does not support terrorism, but works with many other countries, including the United States, to fight terrorism. It hosts the US military base, through which, in coordination with the State of Qatar, we fight international terrorism”.

The blockade states have also accused Qatar of supporting and financing terrorism but failed to provide evidence to support their claims. And claimed that what it did was to fight terrorism, but in fact the actions they have taken, hindering attempts made to fight terrorism and work to promote peace and stability in the region.

He said, financially, Qatar’s position is stable, as the Qatari riyal was able to maintain its value due to the strength of the country’s economy, which, as mentioned above, does not only depends on its stable production of national oil and gas that will also increase by 30% soon.

By virtue of the existence of a single roadway to the State of Qatar, which is the land border with Saudi Arabia and in order for the State of Qatar to be able to connect by land with other countries, Qatar is working to end the blockade as stipulated by international laws.

It should be noted here that the State of Qatar did not stop the gas pipeline that supplies the UAE with Qatari gas, although the agreement between the two states stipulates that in the event of any dispute Qatar can close it, but the State of Qatar deals with the principle of ethics with its neighbors, he added.

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