Colombo: Sri Lanka will soon take a call on over 150,000 of its nationals employed in Qatar, Cabinet spokesman Dayasiri Jayasekera said today. There was no move to suspend accepting the Qatar currency as a result of the crisis in the Gulf region, said Jayasekera who is also the Sports Minister.
Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, Yemen and the Maldives have severed ties with Qatar blaming it for “financing, adopting and sheltering extremists” and supporting terrorist groups ranging from the Muslim Brotherhood and the Islamic State to the Iran-backed Houthi rebels.
Qatar has denied the allegations, in the biggest diplomatic crisis to have hit the region in years. Over 150,000 Sri Lankans are employed in Qatar and Sri Lanka will hold talks with other countries on the crisis and decide on the way forward, Jayasekera said.
He said Foreign Minister Ravi Karunayake’s brief on the situation was discussed in the cabinet yesterday. Karunanayake is currently in New Delhi and the briefed the cabinet was before his departure.
Qatar’s isolation comes two weeks after US President Donald Trump visited Saudi Arabia and vowed to improve ties with both Riyadh and Cairo to combat terrorism and contain Iran.