Qatar will not meet any of the demands made by countries who are boycotting it and is “prepared to face whatever consequences” come next, the country’s foreign minister has announced.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani made the remarks to reporters while in Rome yesterday.
He spoke ahead of a deadline imposed by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt to meet certain conditions to end a monthlong blockade against Qatar.
— محمد بن عبدالرحمن (@MBA_AlThani_) July 1, 2017
According to the Guardian, Al Thani said Qatar is willing to work issues out through negotiation, but does not bow to ultimatums.
“We believe that the world is governed by international laws, that don’t allow big countries to bully small countries. No one has the right to issue to a sovereign country an ultimatum,” he said.
Al Thani added that the countries involved knew that their demands would be rejected.
The conditions to lift the month-long blockade on Qatar included shutting down Al Jazeera, closing a Turkish military base in Doha and breaking off ties with certain political groups.
What comes now
What happens next remains unclear, but an escalation of the crisis is expected.
New potential actions against Qatar could include expelling it from the GCC.
Some officials have also suggested that trade partners would be forced to choose between working with the boycotting coalition and Doha.
Concerns about possible military incursions have also been raised. But Al Thani said Qatar was not concerned about this, Al Jazeera reports.
“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,” the Guardian reported Al Thani as saying.