www.arabnews.com | June 12, 2017
DOHA, Qatar: Eritrea has expressed support for Saudi Arabia and its allies after they cut ties with Qatar.
The Eritrean Information Ministry’s statement of support on Monday came despite its previously close ties with energy-rich Qatar.
The statement said the initiative by Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates “is not confined to Qatar alone as the potential of Qatar is very limited,” but is “one initiative among many in the right direction that envisages full realization of regional security and stability.”
The three countries along with Bahrain cut ties to Qatar last week over alleged Qatari support for Islamic extremists. Along with Bahrain, they have moved to block air, land and sea routes to the energy-rich Gulf nation.
Both Saudi and Qatari officials appear to be seeking support from Ethiopia.
Qatari officials met Monday with Ethiopia’s prime minister and Saudi officials visited the Ethiopian capital over the weekend.
Qatar has remained defiant as the dispute worsened, Its foreign minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, is welcoming diplomatic efforts to calm the standoff, but insists that no one can dictate its foreign policy.
Al Thani said Monday that Qatar is in contact with international aviation authorities and legal organizations as it tries to fight back against moves by Saudi Arabia and its allies to cut off its land, air and sea access.
Speaking after diplomatic meetings in Paris, Al Thani said Qatar is ready to negotiate anything “related to the collective security of the Gulf countries” but insisted that Qatari foreign policy is not open to debate.
He also said “no one has the right” to pressure Qatar to silence TV network Al Jazeera, which is based in Doha.
Al Thani has visited multiple European countries in recent days seeking diplomatic support.