The Gulf State of Qatar has declared itself against any military action by the USA against Iraq, despite housing the US Air Base of Al-Odaydia.
Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassem Al-Thani declared recently in Baghdad that the crisis should be solved by diplomatic means, and that the weapons inspectors should be allowed back into Iraq. He spoke as US Vice President Richard (Dick) Cheney made a belligerent speech to war veterans in the USA, claiming that there is no reason for the inspectors to return, since Saddam Hussein’s regime would only be using them as a ploy to gain credibility and would not respect their guidelines.
Saudi Arabia and Bahrain have also recently decided to prohibit the use of their bases in any military action against Iraq. The refusal of Qatar to allow its bases to be used puts a halt to the rumour that the United States was stockpiling military equipment there for use in a strike. Sheikh Al-Thani declared: “We are of course opposed to any military operation and have always said that (disarmament) must be settled through diplomacy within the framework of the United Nations”.
Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.Ru
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