UPDATE – Gulf crisis harms regional stability: Qatar’s emir

*UPDATES WITH MORE DETAILS

DOHA (AA) – Qatar’s emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani said Tuesday that deterioration in Gulf ties was hindering efforts to resolve regional problems.

“The deteriorating Gulf relations are weakening our ability to solve regional problems,” he said in a speech to the country’s Shura Council.

“The security and stability of the Gulf and Arab countries will not be achieved by prejudicing their sovereignty,” he said. “History teaches us that crises will pass.”

Sheikh Tamim said the continuation of the Gulf crisis has exposed “the failure of the umbrella Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to achieve its goals and meet the aspirations of our people”.

A six-nation bloc of oil-rich Arab Gulf states, the GCC is composed of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Bahrain and Qatar.

In June of last year, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain collectively severed ties with Doha, accusing it of supporting terrorism.

The Saudi-led axis also imposed an air/land/sea embargo on Qatar, which continues to vociferously deny the terror allegations.

In his speech, the Qatari ruler outlined his country’s economic achievements during the past year.

He said Qatar’s currency has preserved its value since the start of the Gulf crisis.

“Our exports had grown by 18 percent last year,” he said, going on to stress that Doha would continue to develop its oil and gas industries as it is keen to preserve its status as the world’s top liquefied natural gas exporter.

Last year, Qatar announced plans to increase its liquefied natural gas production to 100 million tonnes in the next seven years, up from the current 80 million tonnes.

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