Qatar Ready to ‘Sit at Table’ to Resolve Persian Gulf Dispute

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, right, and Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani hold a joint press conference after talks at the Chancellery in Berlin on September 15, 2017/Photo: AFP
Qatar Ready to ‘Sit at Table’ to Resolve Persian Gulf Dispute

Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani says Doha is ready to negotiate with the emirate’s fellow Arab states to find a solution to the diplomatic row in the Persian Gulf region.

“As you know we have had a siege of more than 100 days against Qatar,” Al Thani said at a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on Friday. “We spoke about Qatar’s readiness to sit at the table to solve this issue.”

The widening rift in the region occurred on June 5, when Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Egypt severed ties with Qatar, officially accusing Doha of supporting “terrorism” and destabilizing the Middle East. Qatar says the allegation is unjustified and stems from false claims and assumptions.

To further pressure Qatar, Saudi Arabia totally closed its land border with its tiny neighbor, through which much of the peninsular country’s food supply crossed.

Merkel recommends ‘talking calmly’ to resolve dispute

The German chancellor said Berlin was concerned that there was still no solution to the crisis. She said the dispute would only be resolved through diplomacy.

“We view with concern the fact that 100 days since the start of the conflict no solutions can yet be seen,” the chancellor said. “And we spoke about the need for all the parties to sit at one table again as soon as possible.”

Sheikh Tamim also vowed to continue “supporting the Kuwait mediation until we reach a solution that satisfies all parties.” Merkel said Germany supported mediation efforts by Kuwait and the United States but she emphasized that such efforts needed to be made away from the media to reach a compromise where all sides could “save face.”

“We won’t solve this conflict in the open with everyone in the world voicing their opinion,” she said, urging talks “that are not reported in the newspaper everyday.”

She added that good results “are not reached in the market place but generally achieved by talking calmly and seeking a fair compromise.”

The Qatari emir is on his first overseas trip since the crisis erupted. Before Berlin, he paid a visit to Turkey on Thursday and is scheduled to head to France afterward.


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