ECONOMYNEXT – The embassy of Qatar in Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo said a decision by several Gulf nations to cut air, sea and diplomatic links Middle East was unjustified as a row over alleged funding of islamist rebels intensified to a new high.
"These measures are unjustified and are based on claims and allegations that have no basis in fact," a statement from the embassy in Colombo quoting the Qatar foreign ministry said.
"The State of Qatar has been target of a systematic incitement campaign that promoted outright lies, which indicates that there was a prior intent to harm the State”.
Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and UAE has cut air and sea links to Qatar. Etihad and Emirates airlines said they are suspending flights to Doha from tomorrow.
Sri Lanka has direct flights to and from Qatar.
The full statement is reproduced below:
Qatar regrets decision by Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain to sever relations
05 June 2017
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar expressed its deep regret at the decision of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Bahrain to close their borders and airspace and cut off diplomatic relations over baseless allegations.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs stressed, “These measures are unjustified and are based on claims and allegations that have no basis in fact. The State of Qatar has been target of a systematic incitement campaign that promoted outright lies, which indicates that there was a prior intent to harm the State”.
Qatar is an active member of the GCC and adheres to its charter, respects the sovereignty of other countries, does not interfere in its internal affairs, and carries out its duties in the fight against terrorism and extremism.
It is clear that the media campaign against Qatar has failed to convince public opinion in the region and in the Gulf countries in particular, which explains the continued escalation.
The fabrication of reasons for taking action against a sister country in the GCC is clear evidence that there is no legitimate justification for these measures, which were taken in coordination with Egypt, and the goal is clear: enforcing guardianship over the State, which is completely unacceptable. This is in itself a violation of its sovereignty as a State.
The statement pointed out that the allegations contained in the statements of severing the relations issued by the three countries represent an undisclosed attempt to confirm the advance planning of media campaigns, which included many fabrications.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs stressed that these measures taken against the State of Qatar will not affect the normal course of life of the citizens and residents of the State and that the Qatari Government will take all necessary measures to ensure this and to thwart attempts to influence and harm the Qatari society and economy.
The Qatari Foreign Ministry also said, at this critical stage, these three countries have not found a more important and crucial challenge for their people than exposing the State of Qatar and trying to harm it.
Embassy of the State of Qatar