QATARI Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani said at the weekend that his government does not fear military retaliation for refusing to meet today’s deadline set by its neighbours.
During a visit to Rome, Mr Thani refused once more to comply with a list of demands from four Arab states that have imposed a blockade on his country.
He dismissed the demands as an infringement on Qatar’s sovereignty.
The foreign minister stressed that any country is free to raise grievances with Qatar, provided it has proof, but such conflicts should be worked out by negotiation, not by imposing ultimatums.
“We believe that the world is governed by international laws that don’t allow big countries to bully small countries,” he said.
“No-one has the right to issue to a sovereign country an ultimatum.”
Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates cut diplomatic ties with Qatar earlier this month and shut down land, sea and air links.
They issued a 13-point list of demands, including that Doha should curb diplomatic ties to Iran, sever ties with the Muslim Brotherhood and shut down the Al-Jazeera news network. They accuse Qatar of supporting regional terror groups.
Mr Thani observed that the demands were never meant to be accepted.
“There is no fear from whatever action would be taken. Qatar is prepared to face whatever consequences, but as, I have mentioned … there is an international law that should not be violated and there is a border that should not be crossed.”