PH Embassy urges Filipinos in Qatar to exercise ‘prudence’
The Philippine Embassy in Qatar remains watchful of the country’s situation with three of its neighboring Gulf states – as well as Egypt, Yemen, and the Maldives – having broken off diplomatic ties.
In a message, Alan Timbayan, Philippine ambassador to Qatar, advised Filipino travelers to consult their travel agents “to ensure unhampered travel arrangements.”
“The Philippine Embassy in Doha calls on all Filipinos in Qatar to remain calm and exercise prudence as we all closely monitor the situation,” he added.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) also took a wait-and-see stance, saying in a brief statement: “The DFA and the Philippine foreign service posts in the Gulf States are closely monitoring the situation.”
There are around 250,000 Filipinos in Qatar.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) of Qatar, it was deeply regretful over the decision of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain and by Egypt to cut off diplomatic relations and close their borders and airspace.
Yemen and the Republic of Maldives have also broken off diplomatic ties with Qatar.
It said in a statement, the ministry said: “Such measures are unjustified and are based on baseless and unfounded allegations,” referring to accusations that Qatar had been supporting terrorism.
“Qatar is an active member of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), committed to its Charter, respects the sovereignty of other countries, does not interfere in their internal affairs, and carries out its duties in combating terrorism and extremism,” the ministry said.
“The fabrication of reasons for taking action against a sister country in the GCC is clear evidence that there is no legitimate justification for these measures, which were taken in coordination with Egypt, and the purpose is clear: the imposition of guardianship over the State. This in itself is a violation of its sovereignty as a state which is categorically rejected.
“These measures taken against the State of Qatar will not affect the normal course of life of the citizens and residents of the State and that the Qatari Government will take all necessary measures to ensure this and to thwart attempts to influence and harm the Qatari society and economy.” /atm