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Monday, March 8, 2021

Defense minister: Blockade of Qatar a ‘declaration of war’

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Dr. Khalid Al Attiyah, Minister of State for Defense Affairs. Credit: Ministerie van Buitenlands

The recent Gulf dispute that has isolated Qatar is nothing short of a “bloodless declaration of war,” the country’s Minister of State for Defense Affairs has said.

Dr. Khalid bin Mohammed Al Attiyah made the remarks to Al Araby Al Jadeed yesterday ahead of a meeting with Turkish officials in Ankara.

According to the Qatar-backed publication, he said:

“The countries imposing the blockade have declared a bloodless war. What else do you call closing land, sea and air borders to harm people and damage the social fabric of the Gulf?

Not even cattle and camels have been spared from this oppression,” he added, referring to livestock stuck on Qatar’s closed border with Saudi Arabia.

Deadline approaches

The comments come as Qatar prepares to respond to a long list of demands from its neighbors.

For illustrative purposes only. Credit: Khalid Albaih

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the UAE has given the country 10 days to acquiesce to shutting down Al Jazeera, toning down its relationship with Iran and cutting ties with certain political groups, among other things.

Qatari officials have until tomorrow (July 2) to respond, but have already rejected most if not all the demands.

Qatar was also ordered to shut down a growing Turkish military base in Doha, which it has refused to do.

Photo for illustrative purposes only. Credit: Christopher Hall/Wikimedia

For his part, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called the demand a “disrespect to Turkey.”

The Gulf dispute has brought Qatar and Turkey even closer together over the past month.

Fresh Turkish imports have replaced many Saudi products on grocery shelves, and waves of Turkish troops have been arriving in Qatar for “joint military exercises.”

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