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World

AFP
November 7, 2018
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Qatar warns of ‘long-lasting’ impact of Gulf crisis

World

AFP
November 7, 2018

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DOHA: Qatar’s ruler said on Tuesday "crises pass" but warned of "long-lasting" scars from an acrimonious diplomatic dispute that has seen Doha isolated by Saudi Arabia and its allies for more than a year.

In an annual address to the nation, Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani pointedly called on other Gulf states to respect Qatar’s sovereignty and not "interfere" in other countries’ affairs. "History teaches us that crises pass, but their mismanagement may leave behind long-lasting effects," Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani said.

Once allies, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain have imposed a near-total embargo on Qatar since June 2017 over allegations the emirate supports radical Islamist groups and seeks closer ties with Riyadh’s arch-rival Tehran. Qatar denies the charges, accusing its neighbours of seeking regime change.

The emir said the crisis had exposed the weaknesses of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the regional political bloc of which the rival countries are members. "It’s truly regrettable that the continuation of the Gulf crisis revealed the failure of the GCC to achieve its objectives and meet the aspirations of our Gulf people." He said Qatar had suffered no economic damage from the boycott and predicted it would retain its position as the world’s largest exporter of liquefied natural gas.

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