Qatar’s Minister of Foreign Affairs HE Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani said that the siege countries have not yet submitted, after 73 days of the blockade, any evidence supporting their accusations against Qatar’s supporting terrorism.
During a press conference held on Friday with Norwegian Foreign Minister Borge Brende, HE Sheikh Mohamed said that he had discussed with Brende a number of issues, including the siege imposed on Qatar by three Gulf countries in co-ordination with Egypt, where these countries accused Qatar of several charges that they have not been able to prove any of them and did not provide any evidence.
The foreign minister expressed his thanks for Norway’s position in support of the Kuwaiti mediation, stressing that Qatar did not want to reciprocate the behaviour of the blockading countries, but chose the calm approach and avoided escalation of the situation in the region.
He expressed the hope that the siege countries would follow Qatar’s example and be more responsive to the Kuwaiti mediation.
HE Sheikh Mohamed said that the situation in Gaza, the Middle East and the peace process, as well as situation in Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia and Afghanistan were also discussed.
On Saudi Arabia’s decision to allow Qatari pilgrims to enter its territories to perform Haj, HE the Foreign Minister said that “more than 100 people have entered Saudi Arabia so far, but the Saudi authorities have not yet responded to the demand of the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs in Qatar on the safety of the Qatari pilgrims.”
He further said: “Our relations with Saudi Arabia have never reached this level of crisis, so much so that the kingdom enacted a law that prevents even sympathy with the State of Qatar with fines and imprisonment.
“This is why we are concerned about our people, especially in light of what the Saudi media is doing by spreading hatred against the people of Qatar, so we call on the Saudi authorities to respond to the demand of the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs and refrain from politicising the issue of the Haj pilgrimage, as it was prevented for political reasons, and now also permitted for political reasons.”
As for whether Saudi Arabia’s move came as a result of Kuwaiti mediation, the foreign minister said: “We have expressed two days ago in a message to the Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah, our readiness to deal with the Kuwaiti mediation and our respect for it, but the four siege countries have not responded up to now.
“Rather, we have seen continuing escalation and attempt to market the accusation that Qatar supports terrorism without providing any evidence, until they reached a stage of despair to buy a few seconds in the Western channels to publish their advertisements. Unfortunately this is their constant behaviour since the beginning of the crisis,” the minister added.