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Qatar Seeks UN Help in Dispute With Saudi-Led Alliance

Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al ThaniSheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani

Qatar wants the United Nations to have a greater role in resolving its standoff with a Saudi-led alliance after US and UK efforts to find a solution among the parties reached an impasse, Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said.

After meeting UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, Sheikh Mohammed blamed “the stubbornness” of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt for the continuation of tensions. The dispute broke out in June after the four countries accused Qatar of backing extremism and imposed sanctions against Doha, Bloomberg reported.

“It’s all about violation of international law and infringing the sovereignty of the state of Qatar,” Sheikh Mohammed told reporters at the UN on Thursday. “This is the right place where we have to start to seek our options” to find a legal solution, he added.

The remarks highlight that the gap between the two sides isn’t narrowing despite diplomatic efforts by the US and the UK. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visited the region earlier this month but failed to secure a breakthrough, while UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has also pressed for a diplomatic solution. “The dispute is at a standstill,” US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters in Washington Thursday.

Both Qatari and Saudi diplomats have been privately lobbying UN Security Council members for support.

Under pressure from the US to spell out specific grievances, Saudi Arabia presented a list of 13 demands for the Qatari government to meet to resolve the crisis, a move that was rejected. Later, the bloc offered six broad principles that it said Doha had to accept, including combating terrorism, and denying financing and shelter to terrorist groups.

Qatar denies supporting terrorism, and says the moves against it were an attempt by Saudi Arabia to impose its will on smaller nations in the Persian Gulf.

 

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