Qatar remains stronger than ever: envoy

(MENAFN- Gulf Times) Ambassador of Qatar to Italy Abdulaziz bin Ahmed al-Malki has said Qatar remains stronger than ever before. Despite the siege by Saudi-led bloc, the country has been able to develop its international relations on the world stage to protect its interests. In an interview with Italian newspaper 'La Nueva Sardegna', he said, "The State of Qatar, since the beginning of the crisis, has been open for dialogue with the blockading nations, on condition that its sovereignty is not to be compromised."

In response to a question about the repercussions of the siege on life in Qatar, the envoy pointed out that 20,000 families have been affected by this siege, only because one of its members is a Qatari. He noted that food security in the country has been ensured quickly, saying, "We import from other countries in the region, but, with the closure of land borders, as well as the suspension of flights and the freezing of political contacts and business, many families have been affected."
"We are working for this, too, so that the siege can be lifted and we can improve the status of the 20,000 families, comprising Qataris and nationals of other Arab states who have been affected by these measures," he added. The ambassador said that the crisis was triggered after the hacking of Qatar News Agency website. "We asked for assistance of the FBI to find out who did this hacking, and we are awaiting results of this investigation so that our police will pass it to the Attorney General," he said adding that it was a provocation to start a plot that had been set up with the aim of blockading Qatar. "Our reaction has been the same and that is to clarify the truth of things to the world," he said.
The ambassador, explained, "there is growing awareness in the world about Qatar's position, and many recognise the fact that our country is facing the crisis with wisdom and maturity, thanks to the leadership of His Highness the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani ."
"This is a crisis that has been fabricated by the siege countries without evidence against us, and also without a real political reason , other than the desire to limit the freedom of our political movement," he added.
The envoy went on to say that the Italian Republic understood the crisis, and welcomed the Kuwaiti mediation, and also encouraged direct dialogue to resolve the crisis, without prejudice to the sovereignty of anyone. On the accusations that the State of Qatar is supporting Hamas, ISIS in Libya and elements of Al Qaeda, al-Malki said, the siege countries continue to accuse Qatar with no evidence. This, he said, is done to undermine its leadership and to win over the West. However, the accusations have been ignored, since the Western countries do not accept charges of terrorism funding merely for the political difference between the parties.
He further stated that Qatar uncompromisingly combats terrorism and hosts the US base from which it fights ISIS and other terrorist organizations. His Excellency said the State of Qatar fights the roots of terrorism by strengthening education, consolidating the principles of forgiveness and dialogue and by creating job opportunities for the youth, not only in Qatar, but also around the world.
He said the State of Qatar respects Iran as a partner in the region, adding that the statements regarding a full alliance between Qatar and Iran was professionally fabricated through the campaign of fake news and accusations against the State of Qatar. His Excellency added, if the point is economic exchange, Qatar does not have the highest economic exchange with Iran in the GCC region.
Regarding the bilateral relations between Qatar and Italy, HE the Ambassador said, the relations are continuously developing, whereas on the diplomatic and political level, the State of Qatar inaugurated a general consulate in Milan, and a military attaché in Rome. After three years of negotiations, Qatar was able to reach an agreement with Meridiana company, making the company a strategic asset to the air transport system that has already been built by Qatar Airways, His Excellency said.
He added that the Meridiana company is an important contributor to Sardinia's economy, however Qatar will make it an Italian and European carrier that is able to cooperate with the infrastructure established by Qatar Airways. His Excellency said we follow Sardinia's circumstance, where we will build the Olbia Hospital and other projects.
HE the Ambassador said he would meet with the mayor and governor of Sardinia, focusing on diversifying investments, and through the 49 percent from Meridiana, the goal is to develop the company in order to become a European carrier covering 150 European destinations. His Excellency added that they will work on improving services by depending on the pilots and technicians of high caliber and those who have a strong incentive and are loyal to the company.


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