Bahrain slams Qatar’s contradictory statements
Qatar describes measures against it as a “blockade” while countries insist moves motivated by national security concerns
Manama: Bahrain’s Foreign Minister has called on Qatar to “make up its mind” regarding the narrative it has been propagating about its rift with Gulf countries. “In one sentence I heard the word ‘blockade’ along with ‘air routes are open over Iran & through Kuwait, Muscat and Turkey’! Make up your mind, Qatar,” Shaikh Khalid Bin Ahmad Al Khalifa posted on his Twitter account, pointing out that the statement contradicts itself.
Qatar has described the measures taken by Egypt, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates earlier this month as a “blockade” against it.
On June 5, the four countries severed diplomatic ties with Qatar and closed their airspace, airports and seaports to Qatar-registered planes and ships, saying that their moves were motivated by national security concerns.
They accused Doha of supporting and funding terror groups and using its media to sow discord.
Qatar said the measures amounted to a blockade, a legal term that the three countries refuted, saying that Qatar’s airports and seaports were open to traffic with the outside world.
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Manama, Riyadh and Abu Dhabi insisted in a joint statement on June 16 that the measures were taken after they “exhausted all possible means following Qatar’s failure to comply with the Riyadh Agreement for the Return of Ambassadors and its Supplementary Agreement of 2014.”
“Qatar has failed to honour its pledges and continues to support, fund and host terrorist, extremist and sectarian organisations,” the three countries said.
Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the UAE refuted the allegations by the High Commissioner for Human Rights that their actions had an adverse impact on human rights.
“These decisions were taken in full conformity with the fundamental principles of Public International Law. Further to these decisions, and for the sake of our brotherly Qatari people, who are a natural extension of their brothers in the three states, it was decided to take several measures aimed at addressing humanitarian and health cases and establish hotlines in each country so that cases can be reported and appropriate action be taken in a manner consistent with international obligations under international human rights law and our long humanitarian traditions.”
Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have expressed willingness to “work with the concerned parties in order to maintain security, combat terrorism and safeguard the stability and well-being of the people of the region, including the brotherly Qatari people, in full respect of their commitment to human rights and international humanitarian laws.”