Tabnak – The diplomatic rift between Qatar and four other Arab countries which has created one of the most serious crises in the history of GCC is still continuing with no clear end in sight. In a latest development regarding the issue, the Saudi-led bloc has rejected Doha’s call for dialog.
Iranian news outlet Press TV reports that the United Arab Emirates has rejected a Qatari call for dialog, saying Doha has to change its policies before talks could take place to lift a Saudi-led blockade of the Persian Gulf Arab state.
UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash on Saturday welcomed Qatari emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani's call for dialog, but said Doha had to make changes which he did not specify.
"Dialog is necessary and needed but its backbone has to be revision," Gargash said as he expressed disappointment with the Qatari emir's first speech since the crisis began last month. "I had hoped that the speech of Sheikh Tamim would be an initiative for revision," Gargash said of the remarks made on Friday.
On Saturday, in his first speech since four Arab countries severed ties with Doha, Qatar’s Emir described the recent blockade against Doha as "a pre-planned smearing campaign." He also slammed the move as an act of aggression against Doha’s foreign policy.
"Its planners planted statements to mislead public opinion and the countries of the world," Reuters quoted him as saying in a live TV address on Friday.
The quartet comprising Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain severed diplomatic ties and cut all land, sea, and air routes with Qatar on June 5, accusing it of supporting terrorism -- an allegation denied by Doha.
They later issued a list of 13 sweeping demands for Doha to meet in order for the relations to be normalized. Based on the list, Doha was asked to end its support for Egypt’s biggest banned opposition party Muslim Brotherhood, shut down Al Jazeera, close down a Turkish military base on its soil, limit its ties with Iran and "compensate” the sanctioning countries for unspecified harm.
They later backed down, saying they wanted Qatar to accept six broad principles including commitments to combat terrorism and extremism, and to end what they called acts of provocation and incitement.
Meanwhile, in another development regarding the issue, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said it is not in anyone's interest to prolong a crisis between Qatar and its neighbours, as he embarked on a two-day visit to the region. Erdogan will visit Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and then Qatar as he tries to resolve the dispute.
"No-one has any interest in prolonging this crisis anymore," Erdogan told reporters before leaving Istanbul airport. He accused unspecified "enemies" of trying to "fire up tensions between brothers", AFP news agency reported. However, it’s not yet clear whether this new mediating effort will be successful or will just join the previous failed attempts.