Qatar refuses to surrender, rejects interference in Foreign Policy

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Qatar refuses to surrender, rejects interference in Foreign Policy

DOHA: Qatar said Thursday it will not "surrender" and rejected any interference in its foreign policy, defying its Gulf neighbours in an escalating dispute over its alleged support for extremists.

In an interview with AFP, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani said calls for a change in Qatari policy from Saudi Arabia and its allies, which cut diplomatic ties with Doha this week, were unacceptable.

"No one has the right to intervene in our foreign policy," Sheikh Mohammed said.

He also rejected "a military solution as an option" to resolving the crisis, and said Qatar could survive "forever" despite the measures taken against it.

"We are not ready to surrender, and will never be ready to surrender the independence of our foreign policy," he told reporters later, adding: "No one will break us."

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain lead a string of countries that this week cut ties with Qatar over what they say is the emirate´s financing of extremist groups and its ties to Iran, Saudi Arabia´s regional arch-rival.

Qatar strongly denies the allegations and has expressed a willingness to engage in talks to resolve the crisis.

The gas-rich emirate´s satellite news giant Al-Jazeera has also emerged as a point of contention, and on Thursday the broadcaster said it was battling a major cyber attack.

Al-Jazeera tweeted that it was "under cyber attack on all systems, websites & social media platforms", and a source said it was trying to repel the hack.

The UAE and Saudi Arabia have banned Al-Jazeera from the airwaves and closed the channel´s offices.