Qatar Changes Anti-Terror Legislation Amid Gulf Crisis

In his first speech since a diplomatic row broke out in the region, Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani said that Qatar was committed to fighting terrorism "not because it wants to please others but because it believes" in doing so. He also stressed that he valued earlier attempts by Kuwait, Turkey and the United States to try to resolve the crisis, highlighting the importance of dialogue to resolve issues:

"The time has come for us to spare the people from the political differences between the governments," the emir said in his televised speech Friday. He added that he was ready for dialogue but any solution to the Gulf crisis "must respect Qatar's sovereignty."

Earlier, Qatar announced amendments to its anti-terror legislation, one of the core issues underlying the crisis in the Gulf. The state news agency QNA reported that a royal decree issued by the emir set rules for defining terrorism, acts of terrorism and the financing of terrorism. It also created two national terrorism lists and established rules for including individuals and groups on each list, QNA said.

The legislative changes, which amend a 2004 anti-terrorism law, come after Qatar signed an accord with the United States to combat terror funding - an agreement that the Gulf nation's neighbors, who accuse Doha of supporting terrorism, claim does not go far enough.