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Qatar defiant over Arab bloc's demands

Emir tells UN General Assembly his country will only accept 'unconditional dialogue'

Image Credit: AP
Shaikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of Qatar, addresses the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly, at UN headquarters, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017.

Dubai: A defiant Qatar on Tuesday insisted that Doha is not ready to meet the Arab bloc’s demands to open a dialogue to resolve the crisis.

Instead, in his speech at the UN General Assembly, the  Emir of Qatar, Shaikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, again sought an "unconditional dialogue" with the four countries that have cut diplomatic and transport ties with Qatar over its funding of terrorism and support to extremist groups.

Shaikh Tamim also called for a ‘constructive dialogue’ between the GCC countries and Iran on the grounds of ‘common interest’.

The four countries boycotting Doha – Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt – have  made it clear on several occasions that there can be a dialogue with Qatar only if it meets the 13 demands.

The demands include Doha ending its support for Islamist extremist groups, closing a Turkish military base in the country and downgrading diplomatic ties with Tehran.