Axar.az
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13 December 2017


Qatar prepares for war - Minister

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Qatar's neighbours are plotting to topple its emir, the country's defence minister has told Sky News.

Axar.az reports citing Sky News.

In an exclusive interview, Khalid al Attiyah said Qatar is prepared to defend itself if necessary, as the deadline imposed by neighbouring countries to meet their demands was extended for a further 48 hours.

"I hope we don't come to a stage where a military intervention is made but we always stand ready," he told Sky News.

"We are here to defend our country."

He warned neighbours that, historically, Qatar had proven it was not an easy country to be "swallowed up".

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and others have imposed a diplomatic and economic blockade on Qatar and made demands widely regarded as an infringement on the country's sovereignty.

In the early hours of Monday, Saudi state news agency SPA confirmed that Saudi Arabia and its three allies had agreed to a request from Kuwait to extend by 48 hours Sunday's deadline for Doha to comply with the demands.Mr al Attiyah said the country felt it had been "stabbed in the back" by friends.

Asked if he believes neighbouring countries are seeking regime change in Qatar, he replied: "This is exactly what has happened. I am not saying hypothetical things.

"In 1996 there was a hard coup attempt. In 2014 there was a soft coup attempt. In 2017 there's been a soft coup attempt".

The interview was the most robust rejection yet by a Qatari minister of the demands being made of the small but rich gulf kingdom.

It dismisses as hypocritical allegations it supports and harbours terrorists.

And it angrily accuses its neighbours of breaching UN conventions and international law with their blockade of the country.

Diplomatic efforts to resolve the crisis, brokered by Kuwait, continue.

US President Donald Trump has spoken to the leaders of Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi to discuss his "concerns about the ongoing dispute", a spokesman said.

Date
2017.07.03 / 11:12
Author
Axar.az
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