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Qatar harbouring wanted terrorists, says UAE FM Anwar Gargash

The United Arab Emirates Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dr. Anwar Gargash, has said Qatar is harboring wanted terrorists, questioned the authenticity of Doha’s stand from any initiative to broker a solution to the crisis and blamed Qatar of practicing duplicity in handling matters.

In an interview with ARY group’ publication, Newsweek Middle East, Gargash said that individuals who are on the US terror list and are sanctioned by the UN, lead a normal life in Qatar. “You have Khalifa Mohammed Turkey Al Subaiei, who is a supporter of Khaled Sheikh Mohammed of Al Qaeda living there… You have Abdul Malek Yousuf Abdul Salam who is living in Qatar as well, and he is a member of Al Qaeda and is on the terrorist list of the US and listed by the UN too. You have Mohammed bin Eid and his charity organization which raises funds for terrorists and is also blacklisted by the UN and the US, in addition to AbdulRahman Al Nuaimi, founder of Al Karama group, supporter of Al Qaeda who is also sanctioned by the US,” explained Gargash.

The UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt have also imposed an air, maritime and land curfew on Qatar, banning airplanes coming out of Qatar or heading towards it from using their airspace, territories and territorial waters, which have pushed Qatar towards using the Iranian air and maritime spaces for the exit of its ships and airplanes.

In addition to that, they have severed their ties with Qatar along with three other nations. Kuwait, on the other hand continues to exert its good offices policy in an attempt to broker a solution to the crisis, but Minister Gargash seemed skeptic that the situation may change if Qatar remains fixated on its stand with regard to supporting extremists and terrorism and promoting that ideology via its many media, diplomatic, political and trade channels.”

“The mediation can be as successful as the other party would be willing to go with it,” he told Newsweek Middle East. Kuwait’s Ruler Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmed Al Jaber Al Sabah, whom Gargash said he “is an experienced mediator” had contacted Qatar’s Ruler, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani late Monday asking him to be wise and diffuse the tension, to which the young ruler agreed to postpone a scheduled speech for Tuesday.

And on Tuesday the 87-year old Sheikh Sabah traveled to Saudi Arabia where he met with King Salman bin Abdul Aziz in Jeddah in an attempt to broker an agreement that would put an end to the tension. Sheikh Sabah left Jeddah the same day without giving any statement as to whether he was successful, and the UAE, just like other countries, hope that the mediation would reach somewhere positive. Iran, on the other hand, who offered Qatar its airspace and territorial waters to use as an exit away from the three GCC nations, have no say over the GCC, said Gargash.

“We do not take advise from Iran,” he said when asked about his Iranian counterpart’s call for GCC nations to mend fences among each other. The ties between Iran and the UAE as well as Saudi Arabia and Bahrain have been rocky over the past years marred by Iran’s military occupation of three Islands which the UAE claims their ownership, while Saudi Arabia and Bahrain barely have any ties with their Persian neighbor, whom they accuse of supporting terrorist groups detained on their territories.

Gargash further addressed more global issues in the interview including US President Donald Trump’s recent tweets on Qatar, terrorism and extremis, calling them “very frank and extraordinary tweets,” which he believes European officials say, “but behind closed doors.”

He also condemned the terrorist attacks in London and Manchester which happened over a span of the past few weeks, reiterating his stand that “such terrorist acts do not represent Muslims or Islam.”

The complete interview will be published in the Newsweek Middle East at a later date.



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