10 Sept, Riyadh/Doha: A phone call between Saudi and Qatari leaders on Friday attempting to solve their diplomatic crisis has sparked new disputes as Riyadh accused Doha of distorting facts and cut off communication.
Saudi Arabia’s official media Saudi Press Agency reported that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman received a phone call from Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani who requested a dialogue to end the three-month rift. During the phone call, the Qatari emir said he is willing to discuss the demands of four Arab countries led by Saudi Arabia for the best interests of related parties, the agency said.
Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) severed diplomatic ties with Qatar on June 5, and imposed a blockade on the rich tiny Gulf nation, saying Doha supported terrorism and extremism, interfered in their internal affairs and sought closer ties with Iran. Qatar has strongly denied those charges. The four countries listed 13 demands, including scaling down diplomatic ties with Iran and shutting down a Turkish military base in Qatar, to end the crisis.
However, Doha’s state-run Qatar News Agency said Sheikh Tamim welcomed the proposal of Prince Mohammed to send envoys to resolve the ongoing crisis in a way that does not affect the sovereignty of the states.
The Saudi agency then published a statement disputing Qatar’s remarks, saying the call was at Doha’s request and announced Saudi Arabia will cut off all communication until “the authority in Qatar issued a clear statement clarifying its position in public.”
Qatar has not yet commented on Saudi Arabia’s statement. Sheikh Tamim held a phone call with U.S.
President Donald Trump on Friday, insisting that the Gulf diplomatic crisis should be resolved through constructive dialogue that does not affect the sovereignty of the states, according to Qatar News Agency. During the conversation, the two leaders discussed the latest development related to the Gulf crisis through Kuwait’s mediation. Xinhua