Posted on September 02, 2017

The Foreign Minister HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al Thani (pictured) said that Qatar shows zero tolerance towards terrorism, its sympathisers, financiers and supporters, stressing that the countries of the siege failed to provide evidence to prove the validity of their accusations against the State of Qatar.

In an interview with Indian news channel CNN-News18, the Foreign Minister expressed Qatar's appreciation for the position of the Indian government "which has been neutral and called for dialogue to solve the Gulf crisis". "Some 700,000 Indian people live in Qatar and are contributing along with the Qatari society to the development of the country, a matter which is appreciated by the Qatari government and people," he said. He added that the Qatari government has pledged from the outset that the Indian community, like other communities, will not be affected by the blockade imposed on Qatar."

That is why we have taken measures to ensure the continued flow of basic necessities while ensuring that prices do not exceed their purchasing power," he said. On the repercussions of the siege on Qatari society after Qatari nationals living in the besieging countries were forced to leave their jobs and return home, HE the Foreign Minister stated that Qatari residents in these countries were not there for work. "They were there studying or staying due to family reasons. The siege affected mixed families and Qatari students completing their education in those countries," he pointed out. 

In another interview with India's Republic TV, the Foreign Minister said he discussed during his meeting with Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj bilateral strategic relations between Qatar and India. He appreciated the position of the Indian prime Minister and the government "which has been neutral and called for dialogue and the importance of stability in the Gulf region". He stressed that the siege imposed on Qatar will have no impact on the diplomatic relations between Doha and New Delhi, stressing that India plays a very important role in the process of economic development of Qatar, and that Indian community is the largest community and its members live safely in Doha, adding that the Qatari government is committed to providing them security.

On the rapprochement between Qatar and Iran, which the four countries described as one of the main reasons for the siege on Doha, he said, "When the Saudi embassy in Tehran was targeted, we showed all forms of support for Saudi Arabia and we withdrew our ambassador from Tehran, but Iran is the only country that has opened its borders to us. And if it did not take such an action, it would be an isolation for Qatar." Regarding the West's view of Qatar as a modern state rather than conservative, he said Qatar has been the most developed country in the Gulf region for the last 20 years. It is home to many foreign universities, the religious landscape is varied and everyone practices his religion freely.

"Qatar has evolved in its own way and the siege we have been facing is an incentive for us to move forward towards development policy," he said.