Qatar vows 'no surrender' in row with Arab states

Qatar vows
# 08 June 2017 19:34 (UTC +04:00)

Qatar has vowed it will "not surrender" its foreign policy in a row with other Arab states over its alleged connections to extremism.

Foreign minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani said he favoured diplomacy to resolve the escalating crisis and that there was no military solution, Reuters reported.

Qatar rejects claims it is a leading supporter of Islamist extremism.

Meanwhile, Qatar's Al Jazeera network said it was suffering a cyber attack.

"Al Jazeera Media Network under cyber attack on all systems, websites and social media platforms," it tweeted. The network has been in the crosshairs in the current dispute, and other Gulf countries blocked it in late May.

On its website, Al Jazeera said its services were all still working but the attacks "are gaining intensity and taking various forms".

Saudi Arabia and other states cut travel and diplomatic links on Monday. The emir of Kuwait is trying to mediate the row, carrying out shuttle diplomacy between Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Addressing reporters in Doha on Thursday, Sheikh Mohammed said Qatar had been isolated "because we are successful and progressive".

"We are a platform for peace not terrorism. This dispute is threatening the stability of the entire region," he said, adding: "We are not ready to surrender, and will never be ready to surrender, the independence of our foreign policy."

He said Iran had offered the use of three of its ports to ship food and water to Qatar as supplies ran low, but he said the offer had not yet been accepted.

Qatar is heavily dependent on food imports and the crisis has led to stockpiling and shortages.

Sheikh Mohammed said Qatar had never before experienced such hostility.

In another development, Russia said Sheikh Mohammed would fly to Moscow for talks with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, on Saturday.

They will discuss "urgent international" issues, Tass news agency reported, but there were no further details.