There are indications that Qatar will respond to any military provocation from the four Arab states that have imposed sanctions on it following allegation that it supports terrorism around the world, a charge it has denied.
This followed a tough stand taking by the Gulf nation that it doesn’t fear any military retaliation for refusing to meet a Monday’s deadline to comply with a list of demands from Arab states that imposed a de-facto blockade on it.
Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates had cut diplomatic ties with Qatar earlier this month and shut down land, sea and air links.
They issued a 13-point list of demands, including curbing diplomatic ties to Iran, severing ties with the Muslim Brotherhood and shuttering the Al-Jazeera news network.
Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani who rejected the demands on behalf of Qatar said it was an infringement on the country’s sovereignty.
He rejected the demands saying they would never be accepted.
Al Thani noted that countries had every right to be angry with Qatar over the allegation of support to terrorism if they have proof.
He however, said misunderstanding over such allegation should be worked out through negotiation and not by imposing ultimatums or intimidations.
“We believe that the world is governed by international laws, that don’t allow big countries to bully small countries,” he told a press conference.
“No one has the right to issue to a sovereign country an ultimatum.”
“There is no fear from whatever action would be taken; Qatar is prepared to face whatever consequences.
“But as I have mentioned, there is an international law that should not be violated and there is a border that should not be crossed.”
Al Thani who is currently on a visit in Rome, met with Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano, who is in support of a Kuwait-led mediation effort.
He urged the countries involved in the standoff to desist from actions capable of truncating the peace process.