Qatar emir calls for 'unconditional dialogue' with blockading countries at United Nations meeting

by Garry Watts September 21, 2017, 0:14
Qatar emir calls for 'unconditional dialogue' with blockading countries at United Nations meeting

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain cut diplomatic and trade links with Qatar on June 5, suspending air and shipping routes with the world's biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas, which is home to the region's biggest US military base.

US President Donald Trump and Sheikh Tamim later held a meeting during which the emir requested his intervention, while Trump expected a solution to the crisis soon.

"We are right now in a situation where we're trying to solve a problem in the Middle East".

"I have a very strong feeling that it will be solved pretty quickly". Qatar is home to the largest United States military base in the Middle East.

French President Emmanuel Macron has urged the lifting of a Saudi-led embargo on Qatar in effect since June 5, media reports said. "By doing they are inflicting damage on the war on terror", the Qatari emir said.

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Over the past few weeks, Trump has also worked to broker a way out of the dispute, and in his meeting with Sheikh Tamim made no mention of his past claim that Qatar was funding "terrorism".

Speaking from the podium of the 193-member General Assembly, Sheikh Tamim renewed the call "for an unconditional dialogue based on mutual respect for sovereignty".

For more than 100 days Qatar has been subject to a Saudi-led boycott that shuttered Qatar's only land border, denied air space to its national airline and suspended maritime links.

"Qatar has fought terrorism and the whole global community bears witness to that, and Qatar is still fighting it and will continue doing that", Al Thani said in his speech.


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