Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani has censured the ongoing Saudi-led diplomatic and trade boycott against his energy-rich Persian Gulf kingdom, describing the move as a flagrant violation of the international law.
Addressing world leaders at the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Tuesday, Sheikh Tamim said the blockade is “paralyzing” Arab nations and has only caused “our region to remain hostage to marginal differences.”
He pointed out that Doha remains open to “unconditional dialogue.”
“We hope that we will all transform the council’s current plight into an opportunity to reforming it,” Sheikh Tamim said.
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt all cut off diplomatic ties with Qatar on June 5 last year, after officially accusing it of “sponsoring terrorism.”
The administration of the Saudi-backed and former Yemeni president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, Libya, the Maldives, Djibouti, Senegal and the Comoros later joined the camp in ending diplomatic ties with Doha. Jordan downgraded its diplomatic relations as well.
Qatar’s Foreign Ministry later announced that the decision to cut diplomatic ties was unjustified and based on false claims and assumptions.
On June 9, 2017, Qatar strongly dismissed allegations of supporting terrorism after the Saudi regime and its allies blacklisted dozens of individuals and entities purportedly associated with Doha.
Later that month, Saudi Arabia and its allies released a 13-point list of demands, including the closure of Al Jazeera television network and downgrade of relations with Iran, in return for the normalization of diplomatic relations with Doha.
The document containing the demands by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain also asked Qatar to sever all ties with the Muslim Brotherhood and the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement. Qatar rejected the demands as “unreasonable.”