First Published: 2017-10-18

Qatar emir calls for talks on visit to Indonesia
Sheikh Al-Thani's two-day visit to Indonesia, for talks focused on investment and trade opportunities, comes amid heightened tensions in Gulf dispute.
Middle East Online

Indonesian President Joko Widodo with Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

BOGOR - The emir of Qatar held talks with Muslim-majority Indonesia on Wednesday, more than four months into a Saudi-led blockade against the Gulf emirate.

Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani's two-day visit to Indonesia, Southeast Asia's largest economy and the world's most populous Muslim country, comes amid heightened Gulf tensions.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt severed ties with Qatar on June 5 over its alleged support of extremism, charges Doha denies.

Talks focussed on investment and trade opportunities in energy, infrastructure and tourism.

But the emir said the two leaders also discussed the "unjust siege" of his country by neighbouring Gulf states.

"We have also reminded to the [Indonesian] president that Qatar is always ready for dialogue to find a solution to this issue, because there is no winner in this problem. We're all brothers, and we're all losing because of this crisis," the emir said through an Arabic interpreter at the presidential palace in Bogor.

Al-Thani led a delegation of 40 businessmen who also accompanied him to Malaysia and Singapore.

"This is a very important visit and the first visit for emir Al Thani to Indonesia which also coincides with the commemoration of 41 years of diplomatic relations between Indonesia and Qatar," Widodo told reporters after closed door talks.

Qatar and Indonesia signed memorandums on aviation, health and education and discussed a number of issues facing the Muslim world, including the plight of Rohingya refugees.


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