Iraqi premier on anti-terror outreach to Saudi Arabia, Iran


The signing of the deal was the latest twist in the highly contradictory USA diplomacy over tensions between Qatar and the Persian Gulf Arab countries.

"Until now we didn't see any progress about lifting the blockade, which is the pre-condition for anything to move forward". "We have to make it very clear for everyone, negotiations must be done in a civilized way and should have a solid basis and not under pressure or under blockade", the foreign minister told reporters in Doha.

He said the directives issued by Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain to address the humanitarian needs of families with joint nationalities appeared to be inadequate, and his office had received reports of specific individuals being ordered to return home or to leave the country they are residing in.

Qatar also provocatively challenges other USA partners like Saudi Arabia and Egypt by promoting the Muslim Brotherhood movement that those governments see as an extremist threat.

Saudi Arabia, Egypt and a number of gulf nations on June 5 abruptly cut diplomatic and commercial ties with Qatar, home to a major USA military base in the region, citing a range of complaints from its ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran to its funding of the Arab-language news agency Al-Jazeera. Saudi Arabia says around 250,000 Saudis visited Turkey previous year.

"They have built a sophisticated podium for jihadism and Islamic extremism", he said.

On the other hand, Qatar has an unwelcome history of supporting extreme Islamist movements, like the al-Nusra Front and its successors among Syrian opposition groups, or the Palestinian terrorist organization, Hamas, whose leaders have been based in Doha since 2011. "This state is weaponising jihadists and Islamists, it is using this as a weapon of influence", he added. "We are starting to see unsafe spillovers already both in the broader region but also in Africa and in Asia, there are worrying signals", she said in Luxembourg.

Gargash also said that the UAE and its allies did not trust Qatar at all.

"This is about behavioural change", Gargash said.

Nobody has been able to provide any evidence of Qatar's alleged interference in affairs of other countries, the Qatari foreign minister added. Kuwait has been attempting to mediate the diplomatic stand-off and had earlier said that the unity among the Gulf nations was "paramount".

On the sidelines of the Oslo Forum in Norway last week, Zarif told former United Nations secretary General Kofi Annan that Iran continues to send food to the besieged Qatar. Then Qatari Crown Prince Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani seized power in a 1995 coup and began to reshape his country's influence through strategic alliances with Iran, trade relations with Israel and construction of the US air base. "Why they didn't submit their demands yet?"

"We do not trust them".

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The Pentagon claimed the sale would increase security cooperation between the United States and Qatar.

The official also said Saudi armed forces were participating overseas, including from Turkey's Incirlik base, "in the fight against terrorism and protecting security and stability in the region".

Qatar says the sanctions have also brought personal hardship for its citizens who live in neighboring countries or have relatives there.

Qatar shares its only land border with Saudi Arabia, and relies heavily on food imports, much of it from Gulf countries.

Media across much of the Gulf has been critical of Qatar over the past month, carrying articles alleging it has conspired with dissidents to destabilize neighboring governments.

The Qatar Financial Centre which provides special rules for foreign-owned companies operating in Qatar, said on Monday it has no plans to take any action against Saudi Arabian, Emirati or Bahraini firms in response to their governments' sanctions against Doha.

It reported that additional Turkish troops had arrived in Qatar on Sunday for the exercises, although military sources in the region said the operation actually involved Turkish troops that were already present rather than new arrivals.

The exercises, which had been long planned, are part of a mutual agreement aimed at strengthening the defence capabilities of both countries, as well as boosting efforts to combat armed groups and maintaining stability in the region.

"The blockade has been ongoing for two weeks and the blockading nations have offered no formula for resolving the crisis", Sheikh Saif bin Ahmed al-Thani, a Qatari government spokesmant.

"Qatar has shown the most decisive stance against the terrorist organisation Islamic State alongside Turkey".

Two days after the crisis broke out, the Turkish parliament swiftly ratified a deal to deploy Turkish troops to Qatar that was signed in late 2014, in a sign of showing solid support to Doha.

"Ankara's excessively one-sided intrusion in the crisis may lead to a loss of sympathy, respect and funds from Saudi Arabia and others in the anti-Qatar camp", Faruk Logoglu, a former Turkish diplomat who once held senior posts in the Turkish Foreign Ministry, told Xinhua.