Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani said Thursday his country is “not ready to surrender, and will never be ready to surrender, the independence of our foreign policy.”
The remarks come three days after six Arab countries—Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Libya, Bahrain, Yemen, and Egypt—severed all diplomatic and transportation links with Qatar over its alleged support of terrorism. Energy-rich Qatar, which relies heavily on supplies that are brought in across the border from Saudi Arabia, has since then been under intense pressure from its neighbors to change its policies on the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, which it supports, and elements of al-Qaeda and ISIS, which it’s being accused of supporting. Although Qatar like its Arab neighbors in Sunni, its foreign policy has been pragmatic. It has close relations with Iran and is known to be friendly with Israel, as well. Doha denies links to terrorist groups, however.
“We are not ready to surrender, and will never be ready to surrender, the independence of our foreign policy,” the foreign minister told reporters in Doha. He added his country was being targeted “because we are successful and progressive.”
Also Thursday, Al Jazeera, the Arabic-language broadcaster that is funded by the Qatar government and disliked by regional governments, said on Twitter: