Gulf states want Qatar forced into 'state of trusteeship'

Gulf states want Qatar forced into 'state of trusteeship'
Qatar has told the UN that a Saudi-led siege on the emirate is aimed at forcing it to surrender its independence, making it a junior partner in the Arab world.
2 min read
11 September, 2017
Thani has spoken to the EU and UN in recent week's about the blockade [AFP]

Qatar has accused several Gulf states of trying to force it into a "state of trusteeship" through their blockade of the emirate.

Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani told the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva that the Saudi-led, anti-Qatar alliance were attempting to undermine the sovereignty of Doha and make it a junior partner.

Thani also blasted the bloc's "illegal siege which clearly violates international laws", referring to the embargo launched against Qatar on 5 June, after Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt accused Doha of backing extremist groups.

"It is no secret that the real motives behind the siege and the severing of diplomatic relations with the state of Qatar were not aimed at fighting terrorism," Thani said. 

"But rather an attempt to force Qatar into a state of trusteeship to interfere in its foreign policy, to undermine its sovereignty and to interfere in its domestic policy."

He added that Qatar "cannot tolerate this situation", which has seen Doha forced to find new trading partners after Saudi closed the border crossing to the landlocked emirate.

It comes after US President Donald Trump attempts to mediate between Qatar and Saudi Arabia failed spectacularly this week.

Hopes that a phone call between Qatar's Emir Tamim al-Thani and Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman could end the rift were dampened when hours later Riyadh launched a new tirade against Doha.

Saudi Arabia said it would suspend dialogue with Doha, accusing Qatar's state news agency of publishing "false news" about the call between the two leaders.

Despite this, Emir Thani spoke on Monday of Qatar's "readiness for dialogue to end this crisis".

"We are willing to talk to them, we are ready to engage if it is based on principles which are not violating the international law and respect the sovereignty of each country," he said on the sidelines of the UN meet.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE and other countries in the bloc have issued 13 demands to Qatar, which critics say would infringe on Doha's sovereignty as an independent nation.

Agencies contributed to this story.