Qatar's leader denounces 'unjust siege'

Qatar ready for dialogue over Gulf blockade because 'we are all brothers' and 'no one will win', emir says.

    Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani inspects an honour guard with Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Wednesday [Bay Ismoyo/Reuters]
    Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani inspects an honour guard with Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Wednesday [Bay Ismoyo/Reuters]

    Qatar's leader says he is "open to dialogue" in resolving the four-month blockade imposed by Gulf neighbours, calling the move an "unjust siege".

    Speaking in Indonesia - which has the world's largest population of Muslims and close ties to the Arab world - Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani said he discussed the crisis with President Joko Widodo.

    "We conveyed … that Qatar is ready to conduct a dialogue to solve the problem as we already know that no one will win," Sheikh Tamim told reporters after meeting with Widodo at the state palace in Bogor, outside the capital Jakarta.

    "We are all brothers and suffering because of this crisis," he added.

    Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Bahrain cut diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar on June 5, accusing it of financing "terrorism" and maintaining too close of ties to their arch-rival, Iran. Doha denies the allegations.

    President Widodo did not publicly address the Gulf dispute. 

    "This is a very important visit and the first visit for Emir Al Thani to Indonesia, which also coincides with the commemoration of 41 years of diplomatic relations between Indonesia and Qatar," Widodo told reporters. 

    The Saudi-led bloc has made a list of 13 wide-ranging demands of Qatar, including closing down Al Jazeera Media Network and curbing ties with Iran.

    Kuwait and top United States officials have attempted to mediate between the parties, but there is little sign the crisis will be resolved soon.

    Qatar's emir addresses Gulf crisis at UN General Assembly

    SOURCE: News agencies


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