The UN Security Council has told Qatar to sort out its differences with its Gulf neighbors, China’s ambassador said today, indicating the top UN body would not get involved in the dispute. Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani met with Security Council members on Friday to discuss the rupture in ties with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt. Chinese Ambassador Liu Jieyi, who holds the council presidency this month, said “the best way would be (that) the countries concerned work out a solution through dialogue and through consultations among themselves, because we don’t see any other alternative to that.”
“Whatever the countries can do to mend the fences and to get back to good neighborly relations, that would certainly be welcomed by China,” said Liu. Al-Jazeera reported that the foreign minister had asked Security Council members to urge Saudi-led nations to lift restrictions on the use of airspace and other transportation links with Qatar. Saudi Arabia and its allies announced on June 5 they were severing ties with Qatar and later put forward a list of 13 demands.
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They accuse Qatar of supporting extremism and of being too close to Saudi Arabia’s regional arch-rival Iran, which Doha has strongly denied. The demands included Doha ending support for the Muslim Brotherhood, closing Al-Jazeera, downgrading diplomatic ties with Iran and shutting down a Turkish military base in the emirate. Sheikh Mohammed had earlier said the list of demands was “made to be rejected” and today British lawyers for Qatar denounced the demands as “an affront to international law.”