In a briefing in London. Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani urged all stakeholders to find a compromise in the ongoing tensions between Iran and the US. Referring to calls made by other countries such as Japan, Oman and Iraq for a de-escalating he feud, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani said:
“There were attempts by Qatar and by other countries in the region to de-escalate the situation: we have been speaking to the US and we have been talking to the Iranians as well.”
The Foreign Minister added that Iran was unlikely to negotiate with the US unless economic sanctions reimposed by the US on Iran were lift.
Gas-rich Qatar hosts the huge Al Udeid US military base which counts 11,000 U.S. and U.S.-led anti-ISIL coalition forces and over 100 operational aircraft. While Qatar disagrees with Trump’s policy on Iran, it is trying to avoid any confrontation between the two nations.
According to the Guardian, commenting on the two-year-old blockade, Al-Thani mentioned that it caused damages beyond the Gulf, especially in African countries where blackmail and economic pressure were used to force countries to adopt the same policy as Saudi Arabia against Qatar.
“Qatar has been subject to a lot of efforts mainly led by Saudi and the UAE to demonise us (…). Some of the countries, especially in the need for support of the Saudis and the UAE, have even been blackmailed to follow the same policy against Qatar. It creates a lot of instability in the Horn of Africa and the sub-Saharan area.” he said. “Africa has been the focus because many of the countries are in need of help and support.”