Dialogue won't be at expense of our sovereignty: FM Feb 20, 2018 0 4509 12345 QNADohaDeputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al Thani has reiterated that any dialogue with the siege countries will not be at the expense of the sovereignty of Qatar.Laying out the foreign policy of Qatar before the Advisory Council on Monday, Sheikh Mohammed said the siege countries have violated all articles of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Charter, reiterating the importance of having a clear and binding mechanism to settle GCC conflicts. He said the foreign policy of Qatar is based on building friendly relations with the countries of the world, protecting the interests of the state, defending Arab and Islamic causes and working to establish international peace and security through adherence to international laws and activating cooperation in multilateral frameworks. Sheikh Mohammed said the fabricated crisis is a treachery and it has no valid reasons. "Qatar, under the wise leadership of the Emir HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani, is dealing with this blockade in a civilised and legal way," he added.Sheikh Mohammed hailed the great role played by the Emir of Kuwait HH Sheikh Sabah al Ahmad al Jaber al Sabah in efforts to resolve the ongoing crisis.In response to a question on Qatar's continued membership in the GCC, Sheikh Mohammed said,"Qatar does not intend to leave the GCC and will continue to work through this council as long as it exists. If the siege countries want to go and found another entity, let them do."Qatar was now strengthening its cooperation with Asian states, as well as considering cooperation in the framework of multilateral organisations in the region, joining and benefiting from them."Qatar engages with other countries in terms of interests, not threats, as being done by the blockading countries. Qatar has achieved many goals in this context and the major countries of the world have condemned the siege and demanded an immediate lifting of the blockade," he added.Sheikh Mohammed said the blockading countries wanted to weaken the Qatari economy, but Qatar has thwarted all these attempts."The last attempt is to pressure the Qatari currency and bonds," he said.The directives of the Emir are to move forward without closing the doors for dialogue, he added.The FM stressed that it is the social and humanitarian elements of the blockade that drives Qatar to consider solutions to this crisis."The rest of the situation is stable. Thank God."The FM said,"Qatar has moved past the issue of the blockade. At the same time, the door remains open to dialogue in accordance with clear and transparent principles that respect international law and state sovereignty. The blockading countries have closed the door for dialogue, but we welcome any constructive efforts in this context.""There are no new efforts now except by the US, especially those related to the Camp David summit," he said, adding that"if invited, Qatar will attend, and the US will communicate with us regarding the proposals."Sheikh Mohammed said there are no positive indications from the blockading countries to resolve the crisis, instead there are preparing for new waves of escalation in coming days.On Qatar's participation in the upcoming Arab summit, Sheikh Mohammed said,"Qatar will attend the summit regardless of its venue."He said Qatar is continuing to convey the correct picture regarding the crisis and its repercussions. "Thanks to the wise policy of HH the Emir, we have overcome many of the negative aspects of this crisis. All countries working with Qatar are convinced that what is happening is a slander. On the unjust measures against Qatar, we appreciate that these countries cannot come out strongly in supportive positions because of the balance of interests with the blockading countries and the pressures on them."On the US-Qatari strategic dialogue, Sheikh Mohammed said,"This dialogue was based on the directives of the Emir to have a strategic platform that sets the Qatari-American relations according to a clear and coordinated mechanism. Subsequently, fruitful meetings were held in political, economic, defence and energy sectors with our American counterparts that have produced positive results."When asked whether the US will abide by the declaration of joint defence between the two countries to provide all support to the State of Qatar in the event of any external attack, he said,"This represents a message from the US to the siege countries that it does not stand by them, and that it will seek to resolve the crisis and will not allow escalation of the dispute."