Qatar envoy slams UAE demand for severing Turkey defence ties
21 Aug 2017 - 2:27
Qatar’s Ambassador to Ankara, Salem bin Mubarak Al Shafi (pictured), has said that the demand of cutting Qatar’s defence ties with Turkey is an ‘obvious intervention of internal affairs’.
“This is against all international law and norms” Salem bin Mubarak Al Shafi told Anatolia.
“It is strange to see the UAE, which hosts several foreign bases, to call for closing the Turkish base in Doha and for cutting defence ties between Qatar and Turkey, unless the UAE and allied states have hostile intentions or plans for a military intervention,” he said.
The Ambassador added: “The closure of this base and demanding that our defence relations with Turkey be interrupted would be an obvious intervention of our internal affairs, infringement of our sovereignty rights, and the assumption of tutelage over us.” Qatar’s ambassador to Turkey accused the United Arab Emirates (UAE) of supporting “counter-revolutions in the Arab world for restoring dictatorships”. In a statement issued on Saturday evening, Ambassador Salem Al Shafi said: “The UAE and a number of allies have paid around $40bn to consolidate the military coup in Egypt alone,” in reference to the ouster of Mohamed Mursi, the country’s first freely elected president, in 2013.
“We say that these countries have not learnt the lesson well,” he added. “Blaming Qatar, using bright terms such as counter-terrorism and attacking the moderates with a view to winning the West will not help protect them from the people.”
Al Shafi denied accusations against Qatar of backing Islamists and extremists in the Middle East. “There are some Arab countries which are afraid of revolutions,” he said. “Instead of reforming their regimes and fulfilling the people’s aspirations, they heap the blame on Qatar and the so-called political Islam.”
The ambassador stressed that Qatar was “doing all it can to serve security and stability in the region in a way that does not clash with aspirations of the people”.
Al-Shafi said the UAE’s role “in triggering the crisis with Qatar has become visible for all”. “Our technical and legal investigations, in cooperation with the FBI and NCA [Britain’s National Crime Agency] have categorically proved this,” he said, in an implicit reference to the hacking of Qatar’s official news agency.
The Qatari envoy said the UAE and other blockade states “have rejected any foreign mediation to solve the crisis”.
UAE State Minister for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash had earlier in August called on Turkey to “remain neutral” in the crisis with Qatar.
Since the Gulf crisis began, Turkey, a longtime ally of Qatar, has rushed to Doha’s aid, dispatching vast amounts of humanitarian assistance -- in addition to troops -- to the beleaguered Gulf state.
“The international community and most world countries have rejected UAE allegations and illegal measures against Qatar,” Al-Shafi said.
He said Doha had restrained from taking “vengeful” measures in response to the blockade.
“We hope that they [the blockade states] will return to reason,” he said. “We believe that they will ultimately return to dialogue.” The Qatari ambassador reiterated his country’s commitment to fighting terrorism. “Qatar is an active member in all counterterrorism forums and in the international anti-Daesh coalition,” he said. “Qatar also hosts the largest U.S. military base in the Middle East for fighting terrorism,” he said, in reference to al-Udeid base.
Al Shafi said, “The Qatar State is an active member in all platforms for combating terrorism politically, financially, and in military. The same goes for the international coalition led by the US in the fight against Daesh”.
About the blockade, he said, “We can not enter into dialogue on our sovereignty, our independence, and anything that touches our free decision.
“The majority of the international community and world countries, including the major countries (USA, Germany, France, England, Russia etc.), have rejected the unlawful so-called practice of the UAE against Qatari state”