Posts Tagged ‘al Jazeera’

Bahrain, UAE slam Qatar for attempts to defame Saudi Arabia

July 15, 2018

Bahrain’s Ministry of Information Affairs has announced full support for the Saudi Media Ministry’s statement rejecting Qatar’s irresponsible and false allegations linking Saudi Arabia with the pirate TV channel beoutQ.

The Bahraini ministry also rejected the allegation of political intent connected to the anti-terror Arab quartet’s dispute with Qatar.


Image result for beoutQ, photos

The ministry asserted its understanding of the reasons behind the Saudi ban on BeIN Sport, a subsidiary of Al Jazeera Media Network, owing to the involvement of the Qatari channels in supporting terrorism and extremism, as well as promoting sedition, hatred and extremism in the region.

Moreover, the Bahraini ministry condemned the propaganda campaign against Saudi Arabia and the deviation of BeIN Sport from its discourse during the broadcasting of football’s 2018 World Cup with the aim of defaming Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries.

Image result for beoutQ, photos

The ministry called for a review of the legal status of BeIN Sport channels in all countries, and stressed its backing of the Saudi measures taken in this regard.

The National Media Council (NMC) in the UAE has also commended the frequent and effective measures taken by Saudi Arabia to fight piracy and protect intellectual property (IP) rights.

“The NMC appreciates relentless efforts being exerted by the Saudi Ministry of Media in fighting media piracy by a pirate entity named ‘beoutQ,’ as part of the Saudi government’s commitment to protecting IP rights,” said the NMC in a statement.

“Qatar is trying to cover up its clear technical failure to protect its sports channels against piracy,” the statement noted.

The NMC also condemned Qatar’s attempts to involve BeIN Sports in politics, which have been closely monitored and observed through its programs, which targeted not only the Saudi Arabia, but also a number of Arab countries.

Concluding its statement, the NMC called for reviewing the legal status of BeIN Sports in each country in light of these repeated involvements of sports in politics, especially during the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

Arab News


Qatari emir not attending Arab summit in Saudi Arabia

April 15, 2018


DHAHRAN, Saudi Arabia (Reuters) – Qatar will not be represented by a senior official at an Arab summit taking place in Saudi Arabia on Sunday, in a sign that a nearly year-old dispute between Gulf Arab neighbours is still a long way from being resolved.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt severed diplomatic and transport ties with Qatar in June 2017, accusing it of supporting terrorism. Doha denies the charges and says the boycott is an attempt to impinge on its sovereignty.

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 Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani

The Qatari delegation will be headed by Doha’s permanent representative to the Arab League, Saif bin Muqaddam al-Buainain, the state news agency said without elaborating.

Most of the 22 other countries are represented by heads of state or government. Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani headed Qatar’s delegation at last year’s Arab summit in Jordan.

Sheikh Tamim returned to Doha on Saturday from a U.S. trip where he met President Donald Trump, who had publicly sided with the Saudis and Emiratis early in the crisis, but is now pushing for a resolution to restore Gulf Arab unity and maintain a united front against Iran.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said on Thursday that Qatar’s crisis would not be on the table at the Arab League summit, Al Arabiya reported.

Ahead of the summit, the four boycotting nations reaffirmed that their demands on Qatar — including closing Al Jazeera television station and reducing ties with Iran — were “a necessary basis” for a resolution to the crisis.

Reporting By Sarah Dadouch and Stephen Kalin; Writing By Maha El Dahan; Editing by Ghaida Ghantous and Jane Merriman

Seeking New Strategic Weapon, Hamas Is Turning Gaza Into a Laboratory for Future Drone Warfare

January 24, 2018

It was a matter of time before these cheap unmanned aircraft would be utilized by armed groups that don’t have the financial resources of a state

.A view of a drone allegedly used during recent attack on Russia's bases in Syria, at a briefing in the Russian Defence Ministry headquarters in Moscow on January 11, 2018.
A view of a drone allegedly used during recent attack on Russia’s bases in Syria, at a briefing in the Russian Defence Ministry headquarters in Moscow on January 11, 2018.KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP

Israeli intelligence believes that Hamas is focusing on greatly improving its drone capabilities in the Gaza Strip, in light of Israel’s success in intercepting rockets and destroying, cross-border tunnels. Rebels and terror organizations in the region are increasingly using attack drones, as was apparently the case earlier this month in an assault on Russia’s airbase in Syria.

The use of drones by such Middle Eastern organizations is not new, of course. Hezbollah launched three Iranian-made Ababil reconnaissance drones into Israeli territory in the 2006 Second Lebanon War, all of which were shot down by Israel Air Force fighter jets. Hamas has also a number of Ababils, which have been spotted over Gaza, but these drones are mainly used for surveillance and have been easily located, tracked and intercepted. In the decade since the Ababil reached Hezbollah and Hamas, the entire drone industry has changed, opening up new possibilities for changing the battlefield.

.A frame grab from a video released on July 14, 2014, by Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, allegedly shows the "Ababil" drone.

A frame grab from a video released on July 14, 2014, by Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, allegedly shows the “Ababil” drone. AFP PHOTO/HO/EZZEDINE AL-QASSAM BRIGADES

Driven by commercial demand, the mass production of small and increasingly capable drones and quadcopters has made these unmanned aircraft cheap and accessible. It was a matter of time before they would be utilized by resourceful armed organizations that don’t have the financial resources of a state.

A number of the groups fighting in the Syrian civil war have produced footage shot by cameras on drones. Hezbollah even disseminated a video claiming to show a bomb being dropped by one of its drones on rebel positions, although the image may have been photoshopped.

The attack that took place three weeks ago on Russia’s Khmeimim airbase on Syria’s Mediterranean coast seems to have been much more ambitious.

skip – Hezbollah using combat drones against ISIL in Syria

Hezbollah using combat drones against ISIL in Syria – דלג

Hezbollah using combat drones against ISIL in Syria

There are different versions of what happened there. The Russian military originally denied there had been an attack, but then acknowledged it had taken place. There may have been more than one attack and according to some reports, soldiers were killed and aircraft damaged. What does seem to have happened was that a “swarm” of drones – between 10 and 12 – were launched on a “suicide” mission from a point that was over 20 kilometers (about 12.5 miles) east of the base. The drones, which were filled with explosives and guided by GPS, were either programmed, or controlled from afar, to impact on the base’s runway.

Palestinian Hamas masked gunmen shows what they claim a locally-made drone during a rally to commemorate the 27th anniversary of the Hamas militant group, in Gaza City, Sunday, Dec. 14, 2014. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
Palestinian Hamas masked gunmen shows what they claim a locally-made drone during a rally to commemorate the 27th anniversary of the Hamas militant group, in Gaza City, Sunday, Dec. 14, 2014.AP Photo/Khalil Hamra

Russia claims to have intercepted and shot down seven of them with anti-aircraft missiles; other reports say the drones got through and caused extensive damage. Either way, this seems to have been the most complex drone strike ever undertaken by a non-state actor. It was likely carried out by Harakat Tahrir al-Sham, or HTS – an Islamist rebel group aligned with Al-Qaida.

The drones themselves, at least those presented by the Russian military to the media, are not particularly sophisticated, and wouldn’t have cost more than a few thousand dollars, probably less. However, the way they have been upgraded and used in this operation is unprecedented.

“Hamas are working on similar things now in Gaza,” said a senior Israeli officer last week. Development of its drone wing makes sense for Hamas, as its previous investments in building a large rocket arsenal in the Strip and in creating a network of cross-border tunnels to attack Israeli targets have been rendered near-obsolete.

Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system has achieved an interception rate of over 90 percent, and newly installed underground sensors have detected tunnels, which have been promptly destroyed. Hamas is now investing in new attack options, acquiring and upgrading drones and training frogmen.

In recent years, during military parades in Gaza, Hamas has showcased some of its drones, but following the assassination in Tunisia in December 2016 of Mohammed Zawahri, an engineer believed to have been developing drones for the Islamist organization, it has lowered the profile on its drone project.

Hamas has accused Israel of being responsible for Zawahri’s death. Six months ago, Al Jazeera claimed that Hamas had received 30 drones that were manufactured by Zawahri’s team, with Iranian guidance. But the most recent reports from Syria demonstrate that an organization like Hamas doesn’t necessarily need a state to supply it with ready-made drones or knowhow.

The drone threat on the Gaza border is not new. For a couple of years now, Israel Defense Forces officers stationed there have reported a major increase of small quadcopters hovering over them. Meanwhile, a number of armies and defense industries around the world are developing anti-drone systems, utilizing everything from shotguns, nets, sniper-rifles, radio signal jammers and electronic warfare systems to commandeer the drones and land them safely. Senior defense sources have said that Israel is working on a variety of countermeasures, but no details have been disclosed.

‘Channel of ISIS and Al-Qaeda’: Top UAE security official calls for Al Jazeera to be bombed

November 26, 2017

RT — Russia Today

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Dubai’s security chief Lieutenant General Dhahi Khalfan, known for his controversial social media posts, has called for Al Jazeera to be obliterated. The General accuses the Qatar channel of siding with the perpetrators of this week’s deadly Sinai attack.

“The alliance must bomb the machine of terrorism… the channel of ISIL, al-Qaeda and the al-Nusra front, Al Jazeera the terrorists,” Khalfan wrote on Twitter to his 2.4 million followers, using an older name for Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS)

“For how long will they continue to tamper with the security of Egypt and the Arab world?”

Khalfan, who has been a key agitator in the ongoing standoff between Qatar and other Gulf States, underlined his point by putting out a composite picture that placed the channel’s logo next to images of ISIS leader Bakr al-Baghdadi, Osama bin Laden, Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah, and Muslim Brotherhood ideologue Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who has his own show on the channel.

The Doha-based Al Jazeera has replied by saying that it is Khalfan who is inciting terrorism, and said that he would bear responsibility for any attacks against its journalists.

“The UAE needs to respond. Khalfan is not just an Emirati citizen but an official in the UAE government. He is using a moment of anger and grief over the terrible attack in Sinai to fuel his hatred against Al Jazeera.” Yaser Abuhilalah, managing director of Al Jazeera Arabic, told al-Quds al-Arabi.

“What Dhahi Khalfan is doing is incitement to terrorism. Terrorism is not just limited to committing a crime, but any act or statement that paves the way for a terrorist act or incites it, and incitement to terrorism is terrorism itself.”

On Friday, militants operating under the Islamic State banner carried out a shooting and bombing of a Sufi mosque in northern Sinai, killing over 300 people, including more than 120 children.

While Al Jazeera did not endorse this or previous terrorist attacks carried out in the name of Islam, it has been accused of terrorism links ever since it became the station to broadcast bin Laden’s messages to the world, which were handed over to its journalists by Al-Qaeda representatives.

Critics have also said that it serves as the propaganda arm of the Qatari state and particularly its security services, promoting their agenda in supporting various movements in the volatile region. Multiple Al Jazeera journalists were arrested in Egypt, where its offices were forced to close in 2013, at the behest of the current regime, over their on-air support of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The channel, which began broadcasting in Arabic in 1996, says that it merely operates outside the national restrictions that hobble other regional broadcasters, insists that it is providing independent journalism, and cites its high ratings in multiple countries as evidence that its editorial lines find resonance with viewers.

What Tillerson May Find in the Middle East — Qatar sees Saudi Arabia and other blockading countries as “siege countries” who violate human rights

October 22, 2017
Ali bin Smaikh al-Marri
Dr Ali bin Smaikh al-Marri — Dr al-Marri pointed that the siege countries had not responded to international and human rights appeals to stop violations

The plans of the siege countries, including military threats and attempt to overthrow the regime in Qatar, reflect deliberate intentions to attack Qatar, and a threat to international peace and security, the National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) chairman Dr Ali bin Smaikh al-Marri said.

Addressing a meeting with representatives of international media at the Press Club in Madrid, Spain, he observed that if the siege countries’ plans had gone through, it would have exacerbated human tragedies and serious violations of international humanitarian law.


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“In NHRC, we see that there are many options that the State of Qatar can take, such as resorting to the UN General Assembly and getting the International Court of Justice’s opinion on the illegality of the siege in addition to resorting to the Security Council, in the background of the threat to international peace and security in the region and the world at large, in parallel with the insistence on prolonging the siege and its serious humanitarian consequences,” Dr al-Marri stated.

The NHRC Chairman stressed that the four blockading countries have taken arbitrary and unilateral actions and decisions that affect human rights. He addressed the serious repercussions of the siege, stressing that what Qatar is going through is an unjust siege that goes beyond severing diplomatic relations.

“Experts in international human rights organisations, the UN Human Rights Council, politicians and officials in many countries have stressed that what is being imposed on Qatar is an illegal blockade,” he said adding that all violations have been documented by Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and other international human rights organisations in addition to the report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

“All these entities agreed to call upon the siege countries to reconsider their decisions and expressed their strong condemnation and rejection of the use of civilians and their involvement in political differences,” he stressed.

Dr al-Marri pointed that the siege countries had not responded to international and human rights appeals to stop violations, but had been waging a campaign of defamation against human rights organisations, that reached even the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

“The NHRC has received more than 4,000 complaints since June, 5 from those affected by the siege, which had impact on more than 13,000 Gulf citizens residing in Qatar. It also documented thousands of humanitarian cases of Qataris and GCC citizens and residents, whose basic human rights such as the right to family reunification, the right to work, the right to freedom of opinion and expression, education, treatment, mobility, property and the exercise of religious rites have been violated.

Dr al-Marri touched on the suffering of many Gulf citizens who have been imprisoned over charges of sympathy with Qatar, which prompted many citizens of the siege countries to file complaints against the violations they have suffered.

Responding to a question about the real reasons of the decisions that targeted Qatar, Dr al-Marri said: “The siege countries submitted 13 demands, some of which violate the sovereignty of the State of Qatar, the Charter of the United Nations and international human rights law, such as the demand to close Al Jazeera, while the United Nations and the High Commissioner for Human Rights have affirmed the illegality of any agreement that contravenes the Charter of the United Nations and human rights conventions.”

The NHRC chief pointed out that there is a body for the settlement of disputes in the GCC and wondered why it is not used to resolve the crisis. He pointed out that the NHRC has contacted all regional human rights mechanisms, including the Arab Parliament, and received no response from those organisations.

“The siege has had severe effects, directly on the citizens and residents of Qatar, and although the measures taken against the Qatari government have been overcome, thanks to the available alternatives, the humanitarian side remains the most affected by the siege.

Dr al-Marri also gave a lecture at a seminar hosted by the “Arab House” in the Spanish capital, on “The role of the National Human Rights Committee in the promotion and protection of human rights” as an independent non-governmental institution which made several recommendations that contributed to the reform of the country’s legal and legislative system for the development of human rights, including the rights of migrant workers and other social groups.

Of six national human rights institutions in the Arab states, Qatar’s NHRC is the only in the GCC to be rated A by the United Nations, a matter which reflects its efforts and its commitment to international standards of national human rights organisations, he added.


Analysis: Fighters in Inter-Arab Cold War Dig In For The Long Haul

October 11, 2017

The Jerusalem Post
OCTOBER 11, 2017 09:50

“This feud has not played out behind closed doors, it is being waged with the biggest public relations and propaganda efforts in the western media.”

Analysis: Fighters in inter-Arab ‘cold war’ dig in for the long haul

A general view taken on September 24, 2017 shows the Navy Special Forces off the coast of the Qatari capital, Doha. . (photo credit:KARIM JAAFAR / AFP)

Four months after first flaring up, the crisis between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates shows no signs of abating.

Indeed, new issues of contention keep opening up in this cold war that started when the four allies imposed a trade and diplomatic embargo on Qatar, accusing it of destabilizing the region and supporting terrorism, including through incitement by its Al Jazeera satellite station. Saudi Arabia closed Qatar’s only land border, and Egypt, Bahrain and the UAE severed air links.

On June 23, Riyadh and its allies issued a 10-day ultimatum for ending the blockade that included 13 demands, among them closing Al Jazeera; scaling back ties with Tehran; and ending contact with the Muslim Brotherhood.

But the pressure has not subdued Qatar and analysts believe the stalemate could continue for some time.

“The fact that it has gone on for so long shows the Saudis are not winning,” said Joshua Teitelbaum, a specialist on the Gulf at Bar-Ilan University’s BESA Center for Strategic Studies.

“Qatar has been able to stand on its hind legs and keep this from totally defeating it.” But, he added: “There’s a long way to go.”

Qatar’s staying power is attributed by analysts to factors including funding effective lobbying efforts in the West; Washington’s need to keep working relations with it on a sound footing due to its hosting a crucial US airbase; and the soundness of its economy, which is based largely on natural gas exports that are continuing.

However, notes Brandon Friedman, a scholar at Tel Aviv University’s Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies, Doha might be vulnerable if Saudi Arabia and the UAE choose to significantly escalate the crisis by pulling their holdings from Qatari banks.

In recent days, the conflict has expressed itself in a rivalry over who will become UNESCO’s next secretary-general with the field of candidates including Egypt’s Moushira Khattab, a former minister under the regime of Hosni Mubarak, and Qatar’s Hamad Bin Abdulaziz al-Kawari, a former minister of information and culture. Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain, though not members of the UNESCO board, are lobbying in favor of Khattab to prevent a Qatari victory.

Far more serious is the burgeoning dispute surrounding Qatar’s hosting of the 2022 soccer World Cup.

“This is a huge flagship issue for Qatar. The Saudis and their allies would like nothing better than to take it away,” said Teitelbaum.

The Saudis and their allies have started a lobbying campaign against the Cup being held in Doha, which is expected to focus on allegations of corruption in Qatar’s bidding for the venue. It is also expected to highlight alleged Qatari human rights abuses against workers on the project.

A senior Emirati security official, Lt.-Gen. Dhahi Khalfan of Dubai, tweeted recently that the Gulf crisis will end if Doha gives up on hosting the World Cup.

Meanwhile, a study carried out by the management consultant firm Cornerstone Global made available to the BBC cast doubt on Qatar’s ability to host the competition due to “increased political risk” stemming, in part, from the blockade.

Qatari officials perceive a Saudi hand behind the study, but the founder of Cornerstone Global, Ghanem Nuseibeh, denied that the report was funded by any of the countries mounting the blockade.

Qatari officials, meanwhile, say there is “no risk” that the event will be canceled.

In Friedman’s view, “both sides seem to be settling in for the long haul” in terms of their conflict, but he dismisses the idea that it is interminable, saying there is a possible scenario that could alleviate it in the future, namely “a geopolitical situation that would remind them that they need each other.”

This, he said, could take the form of a confrontation between Iran and the Arab Gulf states.

According to Friedman, one of the reasons the enmity between Qatar and the four allies is persisting is that neither side wants to incur the blow to its honor from backing down. “Honor and shame is something we have to be mindful of, especially with the royal families of the Gulf,” he said. “This feud has not played out behind closed doors, it is being waged with the biggest public relations and propaganda efforts in the western media. This makes it harder for either side to find a face-saving formula.”


Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary: All suspects killed in police ops were drug dealers — ‘Can we trust the Philippine police?’ — Philippine Government seen as “not trustworthy” in Al Jazeera interview

October 7, 2017
In an interview with Al Jazeera, Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano defended anew President Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war by making a sweeping claim that all 3,800 people killed under the deadly crackdown were all drug dealers. Screen grab from Al Jazeera’s YouTube video

MANILA, Philippines — Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano defended anew President Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war by making a sweeping claim that all 3,800 people killed under the deadly crackdown were all drug dealers, contradicting the Philippine National Police itself and several surveys.

Police data show 3,850 have “died in police operations,” suggesting these are drug suspects who engaged arresting officers in shootouts.

READ: PNP: 6,225 drug-related deaths, no extrajudicial killings

To be sure, the PNP uses the term “suspects” when referring to the fatalities. Under the Philippine law, a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

But when asked by British journalist Mehdi Hasan during a recent Al Jazeera interview if “every single one” of the 3,850 casualties in the drug war was a “criminal drug dealer,” Cayetano said: “Yes.”

Quizzed by Hasan about his basis for his claim considering Manila’s supposedly “not democratic way” of solving crime, Cayetano evaded the question and instead defended the police.

“You’re absolutely saying it as if you’re not on the ground,” Cayetano told Hasan, who, in turn, stressed that under normal procedures, drug suspects must be charged and tried first.

In response, Cayetano said: “So you mean in the US or in any country your show is shown, if someone pulls a gun on the police they have to bring them to court first before they fire back? The police are doing what they can.”

Duterte, who easily won the race to Malacañang last year on a brutal law-and-order platform, has stoked international alarm for activating his fierce anti-drug campaign.

Human rights watchdogs said most of the fatalities are extrajudicial killings committed by cops and unknown assailants—a claim that the government has vehemently denied by insisting that police are only killing in self-defense while gangsters are silencing potential witnesses.

But according to a latest Social Weather Stations poll, more than half of Filipinos believe that many of the victims killed by police in the government’s anti-drug campaign did not really put up armed resistance, contrary to the claims of authorities.

A separate SWS poll, meanwhile, revealed that seven out of 10 Filipinos are anxious that they, or anyone they know, might become victims of extrajudicial killings.

READ: SWS: Vast majority of Filipinos think drug suspects should be captured alive | SWS: Majority of Filipinos think ‘nanlaban’ victims didn’t really fight back

In the same interview with Al Jazeera, Cayetano maintained that there are no cases of summary executions in the country.

He also hit the supposed spread of wrong facts in the international community by human rights groups “associated” with the opposition and the Church.

“The point is Filipinos will not support human rights violations. We’re very spiritual people. Whether Muslim or Christian—Filipinos believe in the dignity of life,” he said.

Filipinos have mostly backed Duterte’s drug war even as critics condemned the alleged extrajudicial killings by cops. But the recent deaths of three teenagers in the country’s capital have triggered rare street protests and highlighted concerns about alleged police abuse.

READ: Child killings spark calls for UN probe — Human Rights Watch

‘Can we trust the Philippine police?’

Duterte early this year halted the drug operations nationwide, cussing the PNP as “corrupt to the core.”

He said 60 percent of the 160,000-force was rotten, needing retraining or booting out. A month-long lull followed, but the crackdown was later resumed.

READ: Bato suspends drug war for ‘internal cleansing’ of PNP | Duterte brings back police into war on drugs

Asked if the PNP can be trusted in carrying out the drug war considering the president’s previous diatribes against cops, Cayetano, in the same interview with Hasan, said Duterte was just using his colorful language.

“Last time I checked, hyperbole and figures of speech are allowed,” Cayetano told Hasan.

“We’re not saying we should trust them, we said we should follow the law which is presumption of regularity but investigate,” he added.

“The point is he’s (Duterte) trying to clean up the police and he admits that there is a problem.”

Asked by Hasan if all drug-related deaths are being investigated, Cayetano replied that “every single one” is under probe.

“Most independent observers have said they there have not been investigations of all those killings,” Hasan retorted.

“Independent investigators have seen the progress. It is the ideological and biased human rights groups,” Cayetano countered Hasan.

According to an updated police data, there are 2,290 “deaths under investigation,” which have already been determined to be “drug-related.”


Saudi Foreign Minister Al-Jubeir at UN Demands Qatar Stop Terror Support — Wants Iran Out of Yemen

September 24, 2017


By Kambiz Foroohar

  • Al-Jubeir warns of Iran’s role in Yemen hurting regional peace
  • Says no military solution to Yemen crisis entering fourth year
Saudi Arabia Foreign Minister Adel Ahmed Al-Jubeir.

 Photographer: Bryan R. Smith/AFP via Getty Images

Qatar’s support for terrorism has destabilized the region and Doha must stop its financing of terror groups, Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir told leaders at the annual United Nations General Assembly.

In a relatively restrained address, Jubeir demanded that Qatar abide by the previous agreements it had made and warned of Iran’s meddling in Yemen.

The Saudis, backed by United Arab Emirates and two other regional allies, broke off diplomatic ties with Qatar in early June, imposed an economic embargo, and cut transport links. The Saudi coalition has made a number of demands, including the closing of Qatar-based broadcaster Al Jazeera and expelling certain political groups.

QuickTake on Why Qatar Crisis Defies Rapid Resolution

Al-Jubeir also warned that the Houthi militia takeover of Yemen, with support from Iran, represented a threat to the region. His warning came on the third anniversary of the rebels taking over the capital, Sanaa, in September 2014, and forcing president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi to flee.

A Saudi-led coalition started a military campaign in 2015 to push back the Houthis. The conflict has caused a humanitarian disaster, where millions are at risk of famine and a rampant cholera crisis could affect 850,000 people this year, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross.

“A military solution will not end the crisis in Yemen,” Al-Jubeir said.

Arab Media Idolized Qatar Royals Who Left Home to Live Abroad — Both called this week to convene a meeting of the Qatari ruling family to “discuss the crisis.”

September 22, 2017

By Aziz El Yaakoubi

Emails Indicated Saudi Plan To Attack Qatar — To “solve everyone’s problems”

September 17, 2017
Image of the UAE Ambassador to the US, Yousef Al-Otaiba [File photo]

Image of the UAE Ambassador to the US, Yousef Al-Otaiba [File photo]

Saudi Arabia was preparing for a military attack on its neighbour Qatar, leaked emails dated May 2017 appear to show.

The emails between UAE Ambassador in Washington, Yousef Al-Otaiba, and US diplomat Elliott Abrams in May 2017 claim that Saudi came close to “conquering” Qatar and this would “solve everyone’s problems”, according to the Emirati official.

Al-Otaiba added that deceased Saudi monarch King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz “came pretty close to doing something in Qatar” a few months before his death in January 2015.

Abrams was surprised by the revelation, the emails show, declaring: “I did not know that. It is dramatic.”

“How hard could it be?” he asked, adding:

Foreigners won’t interfere … Promise the Indians a raise, promise the police a raise and who is going to fight to the death?

Al-Otaiba replied: “That was the conclusion. It would be an easy lift.”

Khalil Al-Anani: The shifts in the Gulf crisis

Alleged leaked emails between UAE Ambassador in Washington, Yousef Al-Otaiba, and US diplomat Elliott Abrams from May 2017, suggesting Saudi Arabia was preparing for a military attack on its neighbour Qatar.

Abrams went on to say that former US President Barack Obama would not have supported an attack on Qatar “but the new guy…” in reference to current American Presisdent Donald Trump.

In the emails, Abrams suggested Jordan control Qatar. “The Hashemites need to control Qatar … that would solve their financial problems and Qatar’s support of extremism.” as he put it.

It is noteworthy that Abrams served as deputy assistant to US President George W. Bush and as his deputy national security adviser.

On 5 June, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, and Bahrain severed diplomatic and economic ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorist groups in the region.

The four countries also imposed an embargo on Qatar and issued a long list of demands, including the closure of Doha-based news broadcaster Al Jazeera, under the threat of further sanctions.

Qatar has refused to submit, denying charges that it supports terrorism and describing the bloc’s efforts to isolate it as a violation of international law and an infringement of its national sovereignty.

A spokesperson at the UAE embassy in the US told Middle East Eye that she was “not in a position to confirm or deny” the emails were genuine.