*Qatar remains ready to discuss a long-term solution to the Gulf crisis: FM

HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani has affirmed that Qatar is still ready to reach a long-term solution to the Gulf crisis, in a manner that does not infringe on the sovereignty of Qatar and does not violate international law.
The minister stressed that the blockade of Qatar had damaged the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which is still “paralysed”, pointing that political disputes are prevailing over the needs of GCC peoples, as the blockade mentality is stronger.
In an interview with ‘Le Monde’, HE Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani pointed to the three-year long efforts to solve the crisis saying: “Unfortunately, the efforts of the past year have not worked, although there has been progress. It seems that the other side did not want to engage in real negotiations. However, mediation efforts by the Amir of Kuwait and the United States continue.
“We remain ready to discuss a long-term solution, as long as it does not infringe on our sovereignty and does not violate international law. But it must be understood that this crisis was manufactured from a scratch, with a smear and propaganda campaign against Qatar, which had no justification and continues to this day.”
On the US efforts to resolve the air aspect of the crisis, by pushing Saudi Arabia and the UAE to reopen their skies for Qatar Airways aircraft, HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs said: “No progress has been made yet. But we remain in close contact with the Americans. This story has been illegal from the start. Our case is before the International Criminal Court and the International Civil Aviation Organization and we hope to recover our airspace.”
Responding to a question on whether the GCC could overcome the divisions of its members to help them cope with the post-Covid-19 economic crisis, he said: “ The blockade of Qatar damaged the GCC. We hoped that in this period of global crisis, wisdom would prevail and that the challenges we faced would revive regional cooperation. Unfortunately, the GCC remains paralyzed. During the pandemic, a meeting of the health ministers of its member countries was organized in Riyadh. Unfortunately, our minister was not allowed to fly to Riyadh until the meeting ended. This shows a lack of seriousness to deal with the crisis. Political disputes prevail over the needs of our peoples. The blockade mentality is stronger.”

Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani

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