Qatar says Turkish military to ensure its safety

Posted June 09, 2017

"We can live forever like this", Foreign Minister H E Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani told reporters in Doha.

On Wednesday, US president Donald Trump - who the previous day had taken the side of the anti-Qatar front - said he was willing to host the two sides at the White House to discuss an agreement.

He was speaking after Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and several other countries severed diplomatic ties with Doha on Monday and closed transport links.

The Foreign Minister stressed that the Turkish forces coming to Qatar are for the benefit of the security of the whole region, adding that Qatar does not expect any change in the mandate of the USA base in the country.

The Turkish military will ensure the safety of Qatar, said Qatar's Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani. He said only 16 percent of Qatar's food imports came through the now-closed land border crossing with Saudi Arabia "and it has been replaced already".

He stressed that Qatar is not ready to surrender and will not compromise on the independence of its foreign policy, adding that Qatar has never seen such hostility, not even from a hostile state.

The Qatari foreign minister said he still did not understand what the accusations against Doha were all about.

"As for central institutions in the United States, our relations with them are extremely excellent and it is a strategic partnership in the peace process and counter terrorism", he said.

Analysts say the crisis is in part an extension of a pre-existing dispute which saw Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain temporarily recall their ambassadors from Doha in 2014 over Qatari support for the Muslim Brotherhood.

"Like any crisis, you can not really control the dynamic. this is one of the dangers of any crisis".

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

Qatar is the world's largest exporter of liquefied natural gas.