25 Jun 2017 - 1:42
Retail shops, restaurants, beauty salons and hypermarkets claim that Eid related businesses was thriving similar to previous years, regardless of the blockade.
25 Jun 2017 - 20:38
Qatar's Ambassador to Germany Sheikh Saud bin Abdulrahman Al Thani stressed Qatar's rejection to allegations of its ties to terrorism. He added that Qatar never backed extremist groups and will not support such groups in the future.
The ambassador said in an interview with German daily Der Tagesspiegel that Qatar has rejected those allegations from the outset, adding that there was no proof of that. He also said that the allegations were directed at Qatar in a sudden manner. He pointed out that there were many meetings held under the GCC umbrella over the last few months, none of which saw these allegations surface.
The ambassador said that Qatar only deals with the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas when they are part of a government in a given country. He gave an example of that during the presidency of Mohammed Mursi in Egypt, adding that they stopped dealing with the Muslim Brotherhood once they stopped being part of the Egyptian government. He added that such was the case with Hamas, stressing that they do not deal with any of those groups as political parties.
The Ambassador described the GCC as a joint house for Qatar. He said that it was normal that family members have differences, but stressed that it was important for them to discuss those differences in order to reach a friendly and an acceptable solution. He added that the important matter is that no side intervenes in the internal affairs of the other.
On the impact of the siege imposed by those countries on Qatar, the Ambassador said that work is progressing normally. He noted that they found alternatives to all the important basic needs for their citizens and also developed an emergency plan to deal with such a crisis, adding that Turkey and other countries around the world including Europe are sending food products to Qatar. He also highlighted that Qatari companies are working more actively to overcome these obstacles.
The envoy said that the crisis with GCC countries did not impact preparations for World Cup 2022 and that work is progressing on schedule. The Ambassador said that they already finished building the first stadium and that the World Cup will be unique and one that belongs to the entire Arab World that gives hope to people in the region, and particularly youth.
On demands to close Al Jazeera, he said that Qatar will not sacrifice freedom of opinion and freedom of press, as they represent an important value. He added that such a step does not fit with the 21st century, is unacceptable, and is considered and interference in internal affairs.