Russia and the Middle East
Tue, 06 march 2018Tue
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Sultan Al Jaber briefs Russian Foreign Minister on reasons for severing ties with Qatar


Dr. Sultan bin Ahmad Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State, has stressed, during a meeting with Sergey Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister, that the decision to severe relations with Qatar is aimed at stopping its years-long funding of terrorism. Dr. Al Jaber explained that Qatar has adopted several policies that undermined regional and global security through direct or indirect finance of terrorism or by supporting media outlets that enable terrorist groups to promote their subversive, violent and extremist ideologies.

"We have an opportunity to change Qatar's behaviour and its support for extremism and terrorism. We are confident that the best solution is political and diplomatic, on the condition that Qatar would abide by the outcome of the 2013 Riyadh Agreement and its mechanism of implementation as well as the supplementary agreement of 2014," Dr. Al Jaber said. He further explained that the measures taken by the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt came after exhausting all other attempts to change the course of Qatar's double-standard policy.

"The decision to sever ties with Qatar was a clear message that it is time for Doha to change the course and the approach it has followed for many years to undermine regional security and stability through providing support for extremism and terrorism," Dr. Al Jaber stated. He noted that Qatar has failed to honour the pledge it made in 2013 to refrain from funding terrorism, interfering in the internal affairs of other countries in the region and destabilising these countries. This ,made it inevitable to make the decision on the boycott to encourage Doha to back down from such practices, which negatively affect all people in the region, and the people of Qatar in the first place," he said.

He further noted that Qatar is attempting to distort facts and the reality by trying to project these measures taken against it as a blockade that targets the Qatari people. "This is untrue, given that Qatar can still use several air and sea routes. Qatar is still engaged in double standards and misleading media reporting, which have brought nothing but instability and extremist ideology to this region," he added.

For his part, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov expressed appreciation of Al Jaber's visit and hailed the ongoing dialogue with the UAE. He also underscored the importance of the strategic and deep relationship between the two countries. Lavrov emphasised that Russia calls for solving existing disagreements through dialogue. Lavrov further expressed appreciation of the UAE's diplomatic efforts, including joined efforts to fight terrorism.

The meeting also tackled ways of developing UAE-Russian co-operation in several areas. The two sides expressed their shared determination to enhance bilateral relations. During his visit to Moscow, Dr. Al Jaber also met with Leonid Slutsky, Russian Member of the Parliament and Chairman of the Committee on International Affairs at the State Duma. He also met with Mikhail Bogdanov, Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Special Presidential Representative for the Middle East and Africa.

Dr. Al Jaber also held meetings with other Russian officials.