'We are not ready to surrender,' Qatar's foreign minister says

Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani

Far from backing down in the face of unprecedented pressure from Gulf rivals, Qatar's foreign minister said Thursday that no other country could determine its policies.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani added that diplomacy is still Doha's preferred option and there would never be a military solution to the problem. "This dispute is threatening the stability of the entire region", he said, adding that he saw no military solution to the crisis.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.

"Qatar's policy is a dead end and it will only lead to destruction, so essentially what we are asking is for the Qataris to give up on their foreign policy which calls up for an an alliance between a tremendous amount of wealth and extremely radical Islam".

And he was even tougher on media reports suggesting Qatar supports the Iran-backed Shiite Huthi rebels fighting the internationally recognised government in Yemen.

Qatar long has denied funding extremists, and its foreign minister has struck a defiant tone in interviews, even after anxious residents emptied grocery stores in its capital of Doha.


"We have been isolated because we are successful and progressive..." "So when the Qatari foreign minister says "listen, we need to engage in dialogue", we have done that for many years - that's just a statement for western consumption". "We are a platform for peace, a platform for alternative policy in this region", he added.

While the foreign minister said Qatar had not yet been presented with a list of demands by countries which cut off ties with Doha on Monday, he insisted it be solved by peaceful means.

Accusing the Qatari government of being in "denial", Anwar Gargash, UAE state minister for foreign affairs, said: "This is not about regime change - this is about change of policy, change of approach".

"There can not ever be a military solution to this problem".

Sheikh Mohammed said Qatar could nonetheless survive "forever", adding that it respected global agreements and would continue supplying liquefied natural gas to the UAE.

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