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Measures against Qatar are illegal, says FM
Foreign Minister HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al Thani said that there can't be talk about complaints or accusations by the countries that imposed the siege on Qatar until these countries explain the problem.
In an interview with France 24 on Thursday, the FM said the measures were taken against Qatar by the three countries in coordination with Egypt to close ports and the sole land border without any communications after Qatar News Agency (QNA) was hacked and false news circulated.
He said before discussing the demands, there must be a discussion first of the real reasons behind the measures taken against Qatar and the evidence on which these measures were based. He said there are accusations being circulated in the media but added that none of these accusations are real.
"Until now we haven't received anything from them. We hope to receive something in the next couple of days," he said, referring to US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's statement that he hopes the demands will be"reasonable and actionable".
He said accusing Qatar of sponsoring terrorism is baseless and unacceptable, noting that Qatar is"an active participant in the global coalition" against the ISIS group, adding that its role in this regard is well recognised across the region.
Asked whether the measures are a siege or boycott, he said it's a siege because the only land border crossing was shut and the airspace was closed from three sides to Qatar. Airspace was open only from Iran which, he added, Qatar was accused of having special relations.
The measures taken against Qatar are illegal because the airspace was closed for Qatar and Qatari vessels are being harassed in international waters, he added.
As for Qatar's ability to face the siege, Sheikh Mohammed said the country has the resources to take care of its people and guarantee them the best standard of living, adding that everything is normal in terms of the availability of daily foodstuffs. However, he said questions are raised when it comes to the siege's effect on Qatari families such as Qataris married to Gulf citizens, noting that this harms Qatari citizens and their properties in those countries.
The FM stressed that questions must also be raised when those expressing sympathy with Qatar are subjected to punishment, noting that separating husbands and wives and parents from children aren't measures of boycotting but rather unjust siege. He said the talk about Qatar's non-compliance with the 2014 agreement is completely wrong, adding that if there was a non-compliance indeed as some Gulf officials claim, there must be mechanisms to discuss it.
The FM said the non-compliance of Riyadh agreement was evident in the hacking of QNA, which resulted in strong attack on Qatar based on fabricated news stories as well as fabricating further news in order to incite hatred against Qatar.
He said Qatar has never supported Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, the Syrian group formerly known as the Nusra Front, or any other"terrorist group".
"Qatar does not support the Nusra Front in Syria ... and it does not support any terrorist organisation," he said.
He said,"Qatar does not support Hamas or the Muslim Brotherhood. Qatar is a state and not a political party. Hamas has a political office in Doha and Qatar actively contributes to supporting Palestinian reconciliation and an end to the split between the Fateh and Hamas-Fatah movements."
He pointed out that there is no organisation in Qatar for the Muslim Brotherhood and no politicians from that organisation in the country.
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