Qatar emir says open to dialogue to resolve Gulf crisis

(From left) Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and Indonesian President Joko Widodo speak during a joint press conference at the Presidential Palace in Bogor, Indonesia on Oct 18, 2017. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

BOGOR, INDONESIA (REUTERS) - Qatar is "open to dialogue" in resolving a dispute that has seen the Gulf state isolated from its Arab neighbours, its emir said during a visit to Indonesia on Wednesday (Oct 18).

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain cut diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar on June 5, accusing it of financing terrorism and maintaining too close of ties to their arch-rival Iran. Doha denies the charges.

Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani said he discussed the issue with President Joko Widodo of Indonesia, which has the world's largest population of Muslims and has close ties to the Arab world.

"We conveyed...that Qatar is ready to conduct a dialogue to solve the problem as we already know that no one will win,"Thani told reporters after meeting with Joko at the state palace in Bogor, outside the capital of Jakarta.

"We are all brothers and suffering because of this crisis,"he added.

President Joko did not publicly address the dispute.

The leader of the world's biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas also visited Malaysia - another Muslim-majority nation - and Singapore this week.

Saudi and other Arab nations have made a list of 13 wide-ranging demands of Qatar, including closing down the Al Jazeera television network and curbing ties with Iran.

Kuwait and top United States officials have attempted to mediate between the parties, but there is little sign that the crisis will be resolved soon.

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