Iran's Rouhani voices support for Qatar amid "siege"

Published 26.06.2017 00:57
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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Sunday that a "siege of Qatar" imposed by four Arab states is unacceptable, the state news agency IRNA reported.

"Tehran stands with the Qatari nation and government... We believe that if there is a conflict between regional countries, pressure, threats or sanctions are not the right way to resolve differences," IRNA quoted Rouhani as telling Qatar's emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, in a telephone call.

"The siege of Qatar is unacceptable to us... The airspace, land and sea of our country will always be open to Qatar as a brotherly and neighboring country," Rouhani said.

On Saturday, Qatar announced it had received a 13-point list of demands by four of the countries arrayed against it -- namely Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain -- to end the weeks-long embargo.

According to media reports, demands include the closure of Al Jazeera, the downgrading of Qatar's ties with Iran, shutting down Turkish military base in the country, and the extradition of "terrorists" from the country.

The four countries have reportedly given Qatar a 10-day deadline in which to meet their demands.

Doha, whose neighbors have closed their airspace to Qatari flights, has said it was reviewing the list of demands, but said it was not reasonable or actionable.

Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Sunday that it is inappropriate of some Arab countries to demand Qatar to shutdown Turkey's military base in the country, responding to the latest list of demands issued by the states boycotting the Gulf emirate. President Erdoğan said that Turkey appreciated and endorsed Qatar's attitude towards the 13-article list of demands from the Saudi-led anti-Qatar axis.

Starting from June 5, Bahrain, Comoros, Egypt, Maldives, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen's internationally backed government and one of Libya's three governments have cut off diplomatic ties with Qatar over accusations that the Gulf nation funds militant groups – charges Doha calls baseless.

Several other Muslim nations also downgraded their diplomatic ties with Qatar.

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