Qatar’s Foreign Minister’s Envoy Says ‘Siege’ Has Failed
Qatar’s Foreign Minister’s Special Envoy on Counterterrorism and Mediation for Settling Conflicts Ambassador Mutlaq Al Qahtani said Sunday that “the siege enforced” on the State of Qatar has not succeed, as the Gulf crisis enters its third month. He added that now was the time to resolve the dispute, which was driven by Saudi and Emirati hypocrisy.
Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates have imposed sanctions on Qatar for sponsoring terrorism and being friendly with the Muslim Brotherhood, claims that Qatar has denied.
In an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal entitled Qatar Will Not Be Intimidated, Al Qahtani said that “If Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates the countries driving the confrontation, despite the appearance of a unified bloc hoped to bring Qatar to its knees, they have failed. If they hoped to damage Qatars reputation and improve their own, they have failed. If they hoped to enhance their relationship with the U.S. at Qatars expense, again, they have failed.”
“Instead, the anti-Qatar smear campaign has put a spotlight on the shameful history and unsavory practices of the Saudis and Emiratis themselves. Saudi Arabia justifies the blockade by alleging that Qatari authorities support extremists and terrorist organizations. But the accusation only reminds observers that the Saudis have consistently failed to prevent the radicalization of their citizens,” His Excellency added.
Al Qahtani pointed out that fifteen of the 19 hijackers in the 9/11 attacks were Saudis and thousands of Saudi citizens have taken up arms to join Islamic State and other radical groups. In addition to the fact that Saudi textbooks are used in ISIS schools. Saudi citizens also finance a large number of the 50 groups designated by the U.S. Department of State as terrorist organizations.
His Excellency then discussed the UAE and said that it have taken a similarly hypocritical stance.
“While the U.A.E. falsely portrays itself as Americas best ally in the region, its track record is no better than Saudi Arabias. Two Emiratis participated in the Sept. 11 hijackings, and the staff report to the 9/11 Commission revealed that much of the funding for the attacks flowed through the U.A.E., which was a world hub for money laundering,” His Excellency said.
Al Qahtani also said in the opinion piece that “the U.A.E. has fared no better with regard to freedom of speech and press. In 2014 authorities arrested a man for plotting a terrorist attack on a Formula One racetrack in Abu Dhabi. But the Emirates prohibited international media outlets from reporting on the trial. The U.A.E.s recent clampdown on free speech has been widely condemned, especially after the countrys Justice Ministry said in June that supporting Qatar on social media could be punishable by fines and even prison time.”
Al Qahtani then referred to leaked emails which show that Emirati officials were conspiring with a variety of interest groups and lobbyists on a campaign to slander Qatar long before the blockade was imposed. Now intelligence experts and Qatars cybersecurity services have identified the U.A.E. as the perpetrator of the hacking of Qatar News Agency, which set the entire Gulf crisis in motion.
“Surely this kind of publicity cant be what the Saudis and Emiratis hoped for when they instigated this crisis. Yet the longer the blockade goes on, the more damaging information the world will learn about them and the more difficult it will be to resolve their differences with Qatar.
Its time to abandon the public-relations campaigns, the blockade, the ultimatums and the pressure tactics and meet at the negotiating table, so we can broker a fair and just resolution to the Gulf crisis,” Al Qahtani said.