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'We are not ready to surrender,' Qatar's foreign minister says
June 8, 2017 / 2:24 PM / 5 months ago

'We are not ready to surrender,' Qatar's foreign minister says

DOHA (Reuters) - Qatar is not ready to change its foreign policy to resolve a dispute with fellow Gulf Arab states and will never compromise, Qatar’s foreign minister said on Thursday.

Qatar's foreign minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani gestures as he speaks to reporters in Doha, Qatar, June 8, 2017. REUTERS/Naseem Zeitoon

Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and several other countries severed diplomatic and transport ties with Doha on Monday, accusing it of supporting Islamist militants and their arch-foe Iran - charges Qatar says are baseless.

“We have 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,” Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani told reporters in Doha.

“We are not ready to surrender, and will never be ready to surrender, the independence of our foreign policy,” he said.

While the foreign minister said Qatar had not yet been presented with a list of demands by countries which cut off ties with Doha on Monday, he insisted it be solved by peaceful means.

“There cannot ever be a military solution to this problem.”

Qatar will respect the LNG gas agreements it has made with the United Arab Emirates despite its cutting off relations with Doha, Sheikh Mohammed said.

He said that Iran had told Doha it was ready to help with securing food supplies and that it would designate three of its ports to Qatar but that the offer had not yet been accepted.

Reporting by Tom Finn; Writing by Sylvia Westall; Editing by Louise Ireland

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