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Riyadh-Doha row not military but political: Saudi envoy

RIYADH-DOHA ROW NOT MILITARY BUT POLITICAL: SAUDI ENVOY

The recent disagreement between Saudi Arabia and Qatar is not of military concern but political, a Saudi envoy said on Sunday.

In an exclusive interview to Anadolu Agency in Istanbul, Walid bin Abdulkarim Al-Khuraiji, Saudi ambassador to Turkey, said, "Our disagreement with Qatar has never been a military one but political and its [Qatar's] sovereignty never been targeted at all."

He went on to say, "The principle of sovereign states protects Qatar and allow it to do politics. But the Qatari acts threaten the security of its neighbors and [other] countries in the region."

"Doha's acts should be interpreted as a stance which has been settled through years," said Al-Khuraiji.

That's why, he added, the steps against Qatar are taken to protect itself from such acts with unnoticed results.

Al-Khuraiji asserted that the severing of relations by Arab states did not mean a blockade on the tiny Gulf nation.

"Normally a blockade is subject to United Nations resolutions, yet severing relations is a sovereign right of each country to protect its national security. Look, there have been over hundreds flights from Turkey to Doha in order to transport Turkish products to Qatar.

"We care about Qatar and its people, we belong to each other. Sooner or later, this crisis will be sorted out and our relations will get back on track," he added.

Gulf crisis erupted on June 5 when Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.), Bahrain and Yemen abruptly cut diplomatic relations with Qatar, accusing it of interfering into domestic affairs of other countries in the region and supporting terrorist groups.

They also imposed a land, sea, and air blockade on Qatar.

The Qatari government has strongly rejected these accusations and stressed that the blockade was in violation of international law.

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