The Gulf crisis is hurting fight against Islamic State, says Qatari Foreign Minister

The Gulf crisis is hurting fight against Islamic State, says Qatari Foreign Minister

QLNews
By QLNews

After more than four months of the illegal blockade of Qatar, the country is yet to yield to the unjust demands made by the four neighbouring countries.

While Qatar refused to give in to the unjust demands and has moved on with life, there is one area that has indeed suffered — the world’s fight against Islamic State terrorists.

In an interview, Qatar’s foreign minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani acknowledged this was indeed the case, according to Reuters.

Qatar is home to the biggest US air base in the region, at Al Udeid. Asked if the fight against Islamic State had suffered because of the crisis, Sheikh Mohammed replied ‘Definitely yes.’

He said most of Qatar’s food and medicine supplies, some of which would go to the Al Udeid air base, normally came via its land border that is now blocked by its bigger neighbour.

The airspace blockade meant that Qatari aircraft providing logistical support for the base could only fly north from Qatar toward Iran, the minister said, and Qatari officers participating in US-led activities against Islamic State or working with Bahrain-based US Fifth Fleet were expelled.

“So there’re a lot of things which undermine... the global efforts in countering Daesh,” said Sheikh Mohammed.

 

Agenda to destabilise Qatar

Sheikh Mohammed also accused the neighbouring countries of trying to destabilise Qatar’s readership and change regimes, according to the interview he gave CNBC.

“We see (Saudi) government officials talking about regime change. We see officials inciting the people to go and protest their government, so it’s about regime change,” he said.

“We see a country that’s bringing back the dark ages of tribes and putting them together in order to create a pressure on connected tribes in Qatar,” the minister added.

Al Thani said the intention of the alliance of blockading countries was in fact not to curtail terrorism, but more to ‘disrespect and bully.’

“It’s nothing to do with stopping financing terrorism or hate speech while they’re doing the same by promoting incitement against my country, promoting a regime change in my country,” he said.

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