Gulf crisis: Qatar accuses Arab states of ‘stubbornness’, wants UN to help

Doha: Qatar’s foreign minister on Thursday accused Gulf neighbors and Egypt of “stubbornness” in their ongoing diplomatic dispute and said the United Nations should step in to help resolve the crisis.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani met with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in New York to discuss tensions after Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt cut ties with Qatar on June 5.

The four countries accuse Qatar of backing extremism and have imposed sanctions against Doha in what the foreign minister said was a “serious violation of international law.”

“There is a role for the Security Council and for the General Assembly and all the United Nations mechanisms, because of course the violations have continued,” the foreign minister told reporters after his meeting with Guterres.

“We are seeing from the other side of the conflict this stubbornness without even taking any forthcoming step to solve this problem,” he said.

Last month Al-Thani met with several Security Council members to lobby for support, but the council and Guterres have repeatedly stressed that a solution should be found among regional partners.

Kuwait has been trying to mediate the crisis and several top Western diplomats have toured the region to try to defuse the row, including US Secretary of States Rex Tillerson.

“This is the right place where we have to start to seek all our options in order to find a legal solution,” said the foreign minister.

“Qatar has already stated more than ten times that we want to solve this issue by dialogue, and we are not willing to escalate, and they need to retreat from all their illegal actions,” he said.

The crisis between the regional allies is the worst to hit the Gulf in decades.

On Tuesday, Saudi Arabia and its allies unveiled a “terrorist” blacklist of 18 organizations and individuals suspected of links to Islamist extremism tied to Qatar.

The countries have demanded that Qatar break its longstanding ties with the Muslim Brotherhood — blacklisted as a terror group by the four governments, although not by the international community.

They also demanded that it close broadcasting giant Al-Jazeera and a Turkish military base, and fall in line with Saudi-led policy in the region, particularly towards Iran.

Qatar has dismissed the demands as a violation of its sovereignty and has received significant support from its ally Turkey.