Qatar's Ruler Says Time to Resolve Differences in Talks
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Qatar's emir called on Friday for dialogue to resolve a political crisis pitting his country against four Arab states, saying any talks must respect national sovereignty, but the call was unlikely to end the rift.
In his first speech since four Arab countries severed ties with Doha, a defiant Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani said life was continuing as normal despite what he described as an unjust "siege".
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut ties and imposed sanctions on Qatar last month, accusing it of financing extremist groups and supporting terrorism, which the emir denied, Reuters reported.
"Qatar is fighting terrorism relentlessly and without compromise, and the international community recognizes this," Sheikh Tamim said in the televised speech.
He spoke hours after US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the United States was satisfied with Qatar's efforts to implement an agreement aimed at combating terror financing, and urged the four states to lift their "land blockade".
It also comes days before Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, who had supported Qatar in the crisis, was due to visit Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait to try to resolve the rift.