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Qatar asks for accountability in the Khashoggi assassination, no end to Gulf line

ROME (Reuters) – Qatar's Foreign Minister said on Thursday that "the person responsible" for the murder of the prominent Saudi…

ROME (Reuters) – Qatar’s Foreign Minister said on Thursday that “the person responsible” for the murder of the prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi should be held responsible.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani also told an international conference in Rome that his country did not see tina in its bitter dispute with Saudi Arabia and would maintain its ties with Iran after the United States imposed sanctions against Tehran.

“Whoever is responsible for Khashoggi must be held accountable, whichever he is,” said the Qatar minister. “We have to wait for the investigation to end.”

Saudi Arabia faces its worst political crisis for decades over the killing of Khashoggi at the Riyadh Consulate in Istanbul at the beginning of last month, which has damaged the Kingdom’s standing and strained its ties with the West.

Sheikh Mohammed said that Saudi Arabia and its Arab Allies refusal to end a 1

7-month political and economic boycott in Qatar were “ruthlessness” which threatened regional security.

Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt lowered trade and transport links with Qatar in June 2017 and accused it of supporting terrorism and their enemy Iran. Doha denies the allegations and says that the boycott aims to influence its sovereignty.

“We still see them (Saudi and Emirates) continue with the same behavior, continuing to not respond to any attempts by the international community” to end the conflict, he said.

The United States has increased pressure on Riyad to terminate its long-standing dispute with Qatar after Khashoggi’s death to restore Gulfunity, which Washington considers necessary to contain Iranian influence in the region.

Shiekh Mohammed said that Qatar would continue to deal with Iran, which helped Doha to secure supplies when the boycott was introduced first and was ready to convey between Washington and Tehran.

“There is this dispute between the United States and Iran, which puts us in a situation where we see a disagreement between our strongest allies and our neighbor, which is not comfortable,” he said.

“There should be a way to find a bridge to convey this problem, if Qatar can provide this bridge, why not?”

Reporting Davide Barbuscia; Writing by Nayera Abdallah and Ghaida Ghantous; Editing Matthew Mpoke Bigg

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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