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  • Sheikh Mohammed said all disputes to be solved within the Gulf Cooperation Council.

    Sheikh Mohammed said all disputes to be solved within the Gulf Cooperation Council. | Photo: AFP

Published 11 June 2017

The Sheikh said that Arab nations consider Gaza-based Hamas a "legitimate resistance movement" and not a "terrorist organization as viewed by the US.”

According to AFP, Iran's national airline transported five planes of food to Qatar on Sunday.

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This follows Qatar's Gulf neighbors' decision, several days ago, to cut off air and sea transport to the Emirate.

"So far five planes carrying perishable food items such as fruit and vegetables have been sent to Qatar, each carrying around 90 tons of cargo, while another plane will be sent today," Iran Air spokesman Shahrokh Noushabadi said.

Qatar's foreign minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, told RT Arabic on Saturday that his country seeks to have constructive relations with Iran.

The state official made the remarks during a visit to Moscow, where he sat down with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov. "As far as our relations with Iran are concerned, everyone wants positive relations with Iran. Iran is a neighbor," Sheikh Mohammed said. He added that "The strategic choice of all countries is to maintain dialog with Iran," stating "we, in the state of Qatar, support these efforts."

Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates broke off relations with Qatar and suspended all land, air and sea traffic with the monarchy. Reportedly, with an agenda to forge closer ties with the U.S. and Israel, the four countries cited Qatar's links with Hamas and support of terrorism as the reason for the severing of ties.

The Qatari diplomat also stressed that Arab nations consider Gaza-based Hamas a "legitimate resistance movement" and not a "terrorist organization as viewed by the US.” Doha’s stance on Hamas is in line with those of other Persian Gulf states, Sheikh Mohammed said. "Hamas' presence in Qatar doesn't mean there's support for Hamas in Qatar… Hamas' presence is a political representation of the Hamas movement,” he stated, adding, “We do not support Hamas, we support the Palestinian people.”

Earlier this week, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir called for Qatar to end its alleged support for Hamas and Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood for ties with Persian Gulf Arab countries to be restored.

Sheikh Mohammed emphasized that all disputes should be solved “through dialog and within the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) only."

He also skepticism regarding the underlying reason for the latest fallout, stating, it "must not be too deep" since Doha’s ties with its Persian Gulf Arab rivals "were very friendly even two days prior to the escalation.”

There were meetings, consultations and summits in late May, "with no questions related to the current controversy", he pointed out.

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The Sheikh said, "an information campaign to demonize Qatar has started all of a sudden" by leveling "groundless and improvised" accusations against the country. "If there are clear claims, they would have better been discussed at the table. Before taking any measures, Qatar should have been given a chance to answer the accusations," he added.

Qatar has a history of disputes with other Persian Gulf Arab countries. In 2014, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain temporarily recalled their ambassadors from Doha alleging Qatar’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood.

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