Monday, June 17, 2019
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Qatar says tougher sanctions will hurt oil-consuming nations

Qatar, the world's leading exporter of liquefied natural gas, is at odds with other Persian Gulf states that are strong supporters of the toughest US sanctions on Iran.

Qatar, which hosts the largest US air base in the Middle East, has spoken out against Washington's decision to block all Iranian oil exports, and said unilateral sanctions were not prudent because they hurt the countries They depend on supplies.

The United States has demanded that Iranian oil buyers stop buying before May 1 or face the possibility of sanctions, and end the six-month exceptions that allowed Iran's eight largest customers, mostly in Asia, to import limited volumes. .

"The sanctions should not be extended because they have an adverse impact on the countries that benefit from Iranian oil," Qatar's Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani said on Wednesday.

"In Qatar, we do not believe that unilateral sanctions bring positive effects to crises that must be resolved through dialogue and dialogue alone," he told a news conference after a meeting of the Asian Cooperation Dialogue in Qatar's capital of Doha, which was attended by its Iranian counterpart.

Qatar, the world's leading exporter of liquefied natural gas, is at odds with other Persian Gulf states that are strong supporters of the toughest US sanctions on Iran.

Saudi Arabia and its allies accuse Qatar of supporting terrorism, which Qatar denies, and of harassing its regional enemy, Iran. They cut commercial and diplomatic relations with Qatar in 2017, a boycott that, according to Qatar, aims to reduce their sovereignty.

The White House has said it is working with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to ensure that the oil markets, which have already narrowed this year due to supply cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), they were "adequately supplied".

Qatar, which despite relatively large gas exports sells relatively little oil, resigned from OPEC in December, a move seen as a blow to the organization's de facto leader, Saudi Arabia.

Officials from Saudi Arabia and Bahrain attended Wednesday's conference in Qatar, the first time they have since the boycott began. Sheik Mohammed said his participation was "limited" and said there were no signs of a thaw in relations.

"Unfortunately, we still see the same behavior of the states of blocking stubbornness and denial. We hope that one day they will return to wisdom and return to the table and address the complaints before us, "he said.

In November, the minister said Doha would continue to deal with Iran, which helped Qatar secure supplies when the boycott was imposed for the first time, and which was ready to mediate between Washington and Tehran.

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