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Qatar news: Sheikh toughens stance on Saudi Arabia ‘we don’t accept anyone interfering’

Sheikh TamimCBS/.

The Gulf region remains embroiled in crisis

Sheikh Tamim said the gas-rich country will not close the Al Jazeera TV channel as demanded by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain as part of their suffocating blockade.

The demands are part of a crippling economic and political crackdown on Doha after the nations accused it of supporting terrorism.

Sheikh Tamim said: “Our sovereignty is a red line. We don't accept anybody interfering our sovereignty.

“When you tell me to close a channel like Al Jazeera, history will write one day in 50, 60 or 70 years how it changed the whole idea of free speech in the region.”

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Donald Trump .

Trump is said to support the end to the crisis

Our sovereignty is a red line. We don't accept anybody interfering our sovereignty

Sheikh Tamim

Qatar adheres to the ultra-strict form of Islam, known as Wahhabism, just like Saudi Arabia.

However, unlike Saudi Arabia, Qatar permits Christians to practice their faith and women have been driving for years in the tiny state.

When quizzed over whether his nation will close down Al Jazeera, he replied: "No, we're not going to shut down Al Jazeera.

“Actually, what they're saying in a very simple way, 'Give up your independence.'

The Qatari crisis, in pictures

Tue, July 4, 2017

Qatar is in a state of crisis after Saudi Arabia cut all ties and closed its borders to its neighbour, accusing it of funding terror




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Donald Trump and Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani take part in a bilateral meeting at a hotel in Riyadh on 21st May AFP/. Images

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Donald Trump and Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani take part in a bilateral meeting at a hotel in Riyadh on 21st May

“They don't like our independence, the way how we are thinking, our vision for the region.

“We want freedom of speech for the people of the region. And they're not happy with that. And so they think that this is a threat to them.”

Sheikh Tamim insisted he is dedicated to ending the crisis, which has seen his country blocked off from vital goods including medicine and food, because a military act would cause “chaos”.

The countries have demanded Qatar close down the Turkish base and curb relations with Iran.

Sheikh TamimCBS

Sheikh Tamim said Qatar will not have its sovereignty interfered with

He told CBS News’s Charlie Ross: “I’m fearful that if anything happens, if any military act happens, this region'll be in chaos.”

Speaking of a recent meeting with US President, he said Donald Trump stressed his support for an end to the crisis.

Sheikh Tamim said: “He told me very clearly, 'I will not accept my friends fighting amongst themselves.’

“The president showed that he is committed to find an end to this crisis. And yes, it is true, he, he suggested that we come.

“And I told him straightaway, 'Mr. President, we are very ready.' I've been asking for dialogue from day one.”

Sheikh Tamim earlier accused Saudi Arabia of two-faced politics as he claimed he was "shocked" when his country was hit with a crippling blockade.

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