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Posted On: 19 March 2020 07:01 pm

Qatar flourishes 1,000 days into the blockade -- GCC Crisis Updates Week 146

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Have you missed the most important political stories of this week on the GCC crisis? Every Thursday*, we take a moment to bring you all the updates on the latest developments in the ongoing Gulf crisis. Scroll all the way down to know this week's updates!

*For the last two weeks, we haven't been able to bring you any news about the GCC crisis, because the whole news has been dominated by the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Qatar, the rest of the GCC and all over the rest of the world, too.

14 March 2020

Qatar flourishes 1,000 days into the blockade

Doha continues to flourish and overcome economic difficulties despite a blockade that has been underway for more than 1,000 days.
Qatar's Ambassador to Turkey, Salem bin Mubarak Al Shafi told Anadolu Agency, as reported on its website:

"At the end of February 2020, the unfair besiege completed 1,000 days, it was an era of failure, confusion, and moral downfall for the countries of the blockade.
"But for Qatar, it was 1,000 days of pride and steadfastness.”

Al Shafi emphasised his country has undertaken projects to ensure its self-sufficiency in sectors such as food and medicine by diversifying investments with regional and international collaborations. He pointed out that Qatar's mediation efforts for a peace agreement between the U.S. and Afghanistan's Taliban after 20 years of war, is the most obvious example of success despite efforts employed by blockade countries to obstruct it.

The ambassador stressed that Qatar continued to flourish politically, economically, scientifically and in sports, and have become a hub for art, culture, sports and science, and hosted dozens of intellectual activities, sports championships, conferences and political events. He said:

"Qatar continued to implement huge projects related to organising Doha 2022 FIFA World Cup."

Despite the blockade, Al Shafi said Qatar did not hesitate to support those in need citing its aid campaign for displaced people in northern Syria who suffer in difficult humanitarian conditions.

"We respect the sovereignty of states within their territories, and we wish to achieve stability and security in the region," the ambassador said. "But this can only be done through the collaboration of all efforts, sincere cooperation, and respect for the sovereignty of the state of Qatar."

In mid-2017, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt all abruptly severed ties with Doha, accusing it of supporting terrorist groups. Qatar, for its part, has vociferously denied the allegation, describing the Saudi-led embargo against it as a 'violation of international law. There are no signs of resolving the crisis until today despite mediation attempts and reciprocal statements from Saudi and Qatari officials.

Stressing that Qatar would not compromise its sovereignty, the ambassador reiterated that Doha would always:

"adopt dialogue and peaceful solutions.
"The countries of the blockade aimed to isolate Qatar internationally, by flooding the international community with a stream of allegations and lies," he said. "But the facts are always victorious and cannot be withheld, so all these efforts failed."

Turkey's position on the blockade

Following the announcement of the blockade, the Qatari economy managed to successfully navigate the move, Al Shafi said adding:

"And we don't forget the historic stand of Turkey to our side when it immediately established and air bridge break the economic besiege in the first hours."

He noted Turkey also established a Turkish-Qatari maritime line from western Izmir port to Hamad port to maintain the constant flow of goods. He said:

"Turkey's standing at our side was the greatest evidence of the distinguished brotherly relationship that binds us to it, especially since it is biased towards the right, and it is the one that has never failed to do everything that contributes to the security, unity and stability of the region."

Citing brotherly relations, Al Shafi also said Turkey has

"never refrained to do everything that contributes to security, unity and stability of the region.
"We understand the Turkey's moves it has taken to protect its national security and ensure decent living conditions for the immigrants who took shelter in its lands."

He pointed out that Qatar is aware of the humanitarian positions of Turkey and its moral approach

"made it almost alone in front of other blocs.
"But history does not forget and records everything either those who wanted to rebuild homelands or those who wreak havoc on earth."

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