Posts Tagged ‘Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani’

Turkey’s Erdogan Ends Gulf Tour With No Progress Reported on Qatar Crisis

July 24, 2017

DOHA — Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan left Qatar on Monday after two days in the Gulf trying to mediate in the worst row among Arab states for years but there was no sign he had made any progress.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt severed diplomatic and travel ties with Qatar in June, accusing it of supporting Islamist militants. Doha denies that.

Turkey has been Qatar’s most powerful ally in the dispute, rushing through legislation to send more troops to its base in Doha as a sign of support.

Kuwaiti and Western efforts to end the crisis have yielded little so far. The four Arab states want Qatar to reduce ties with their arch-foe Iran, close down the Turkish military base and shut the Al Jazeera TV channel, which they view as critical of their governments.

Qatari state news agency QNA said that Qatar’s ruler, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, had “reviewed regional developments, specifically the Gulf crisis and efforts to contain it and to resolve it through diplomatic means…” in talks with Erdogan.

The agency said the talks also covered joint efforts to combat terrorism and reviewed defense and economic cooperation.

Several contingents of Turkish troops with columns of armored vehicles have arrived in Doha since the crisis erupted on June 5.

Under a 2014 agreement, Ankara could send in as many as 1,000 troops.

Turkey and Qatar have been important backers of the Muslim Brotherhood movement that has challenged entrenched Arab rulers and Erdogan has his roots in an Islamist political party.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE have designated the Brotherhood a terrorist organization.

Before he arrived in Qatar, Erdogan visited Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. In Saudi Arabia, he discussed with King Salman “efforts to combat terrorism and its sources of funding”, state news agency SPA said, without elaborating.

(Reporting by Aziz El Yaakoubi; Editing by Sami Aboudi and Louise Ireland)

Erdogan in Qatar for talks on Gulf crisis

July 24, 2017

AFP

© TURKISH PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SERVICE/AFP | This handout photo released by Turkey’s presidential press service on July 24, 2017 shows Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (C) and wife Emine (2L) being welcomed by the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani (2R), at Doha airport

DOHA (AFP) – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived in Doha ON Monday as part of a Gulf tour aimed at defusing a dispute between Turkey’s ally Qatar and neighbouring Arab states.Erdogan was greeted by Qatari ruler Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani in Doha ahead of their first face-to-face talks on the Gulf crisis, state news agency QNA reported.

Turkey has sided with Qatar in the crisis, the worst to hit the region since the 1981 establishment of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council.

On June 5, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain suspended diplomatic and economic ties with Qatar over allegations that Doha had too close ties with Iran and supported Islamist extremist groups.

Qatar has denied the allegations.

Erdogan held talks on Sunday in Kuwait, which is leading mediation efforts in the crisis, and Saudi Arabia, where King Salman hailed the Turkish leader’s “efforts in the fight against terrorism and its financing”.

Erdogan has voiced support for the mediation efforts of Kuwait, a possible indication Ankara sees Kuwait as the key to resolving the crisis.

Qatar’s emir on Friday said he was open to talks with the Saudi-led bloc on condition the emirate’s “sovereignty” was respected.

His call received a cold reception from the UAE’s state minister for foreign affairs, Anwar Gargash, who wanted Qatar to review its policies.

“Dialogue is necessary, but it should be based on a revision” of Qatar’s stance, he tweeted.

Qatar has emerged as Turkey’s number one ally in the Middle East in recent years, with Ankara and Doha closely coordinating over issues including the Syria conflict where the two are staunch foes of President Bashar al-Assad.

Turkey is also setting up a military base in Qatar, its only such outpost in the region. It has expedited the process since the crisis began and reportedly now has 150 troops in the emirate.

Related:

The situation in Qatar will soon become like Yemen unless the siege is ended

July 22, 2017

Opinion — Letter

The Independent 

I applaud The Independent for drawing much needed attention to the worsening humanitarian crisis in war-ravaged Yemen.

This poor country is in the grip of man-made cholera; is sitting on the cusp of famine, malnutrition, severe shortages of food, medicine, clean water and livestock. This war has weakened the Yemeni people, rendered them more impoverished and susceptible to diseases, acted as a breeding ground for radical extremism and terrorism and resulted in an economic collapse and crumbling health systems, with no end in sight to peoples’ miseries. Warring factions and their backers are responsible for stoking the embers of war and hatred for mere financial gains “the merchants of war”.

It is also imperative to remember the besieged people in Qatar. Unlike Yemen, Qatar is a wealthy country with massive oil and gas reservoirs. However, its unwarranted siege would have severe repercussions for families, students, the elderly, the infirm and the sick. Qatar has always believed in dialogue and diplomacy as a way out of this conflict. The global community cannot remain impervious to the anguish and suffering of people. It is time to demonstrate the wisdom of diversity, constructive engagement and diplomacy during times of adversity.

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/letters/letters-qatar-will-soon-become-like-yemen-a7844166.html

Munjed Farid Al Qutob
London NW2

Related:

Qatar emir calls for negotiations to ease Gulf boycott

July 22, 2017

BBC News

Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, 2017
The Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani condemned a “malicious smearing campaign” – Reuters

The emir of Qatar has called for negotiations to ease a boycott by four powerful Arab neighbours.

In his first public address since the crisis erupted, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani said any solution must respect Qatar’s sovereignty.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut ties with Qatar in June over its alleged support for terrorism and ties with Iran, and issued a series of demands.

Qatar denies aiding terrorists.

In his television address, the emir condemned a “malicious smearing campaign” against Qatar and praised the resilience of its people.

“As you know, life in Qatar life goes on normally,” he said.

But he said “the time has come for us to spare the people from the political differences between the governments”.

“We are open to dialogue to resolve the outstanding problems,” so long as Qatar’s “sovereignty is respected”, the emir said.

The restrictions put in place by the four Arab nations have forced the gas-rich emirate to import food by sea and air to meet the basic needs of its population of 2.7 million.

Saudi Arabia and its allies have now backed down from a list of 13 specific demands they made last month. They included shutting down the Al Jazeera news network, closing a Turkish military base, cutting ties with the Muslim Brotherhood and downgrading relations with Iran.

Instead they say they want Qatar to accept six broad principles before they lift the restrictions. These include commitments to combat terrorism and extremism, and to end acts of provocation and incitement.

Giles Trendle of Al Jazeera: “We’re not partisan to any particular group or ideology or government”

Qatar has not responded directly to the latest demands. It has previously refused to agree to any measures that threaten its sovereignty or violate international law, and denounced the “siege” imposed by its neighbours.

In Friday’s address, the emir thanked Kuwaiti mediators who have been trying to resolve the crisis.

Earlier this week, UAE Minister of State for International Co-operation Reem al-Hashimi said: “At this stage, the ball is in Qatar’s court.”

Qatar has acknowledged providing assistance to Islamist groups designated as terrorist organisations by some of its neighbours, notably the Muslim Brotherhood. But it has denied aiding jihadist groups linked to al-Qaeda or Islamic State (IS).

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-40687981

Map

Qatar changes anti-terror law amid Gulf row

July 21, 2017

Image may contain: one or more people, skyscraper, ocean, sky, outdoor and water

DOHA (AFP) – Qatar announced on Thursday changes to its anti-terror legislation, one of the controversial issues at the core of the crisis between Doha and its neighbours who accuse it of backing extremists.

The decree from Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani establishes two national lists for individuals and terrorist entities and sets out the requirements for being included on them.

It also defines terrorists, terrorist crimes, terrorist entities as well as the financing of terrorism.

The decree follows the signing of a US-Qatar agreement to combat terror funding, later dismissed by the Gulf nation’s neighbours.

Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson arrived in Doha, Qatar. Credit Qatar News Agency, via Associated Press

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt have put in place a boycott on Qatar since June 5.

They have imposed sanctions on Doha, including closing its only land border, refusing Qatar access to their airspace and ordering their citizens back from Qatar.

They also presented the emirate with a list of 13 demands with which to comply to end the worst political crisis in the region for years.

Qatar denies the charges of extremism and has called the demands unrealistic.

Related:

The Blockade Of Qatar Is Failing — Qatar Could Seek Damages

July 19, 2017

In the grown-up world of geopolitics, the Saudi and Emirati-led move against Doha does not seem to be achieving its goals.

Image may contain: skyscraper, sky, ocean, outdoor and water
Food supplies and other goods are still flowing into Qatar’s docks and airports (Representational)

.
It’s hard to imagine the leaders of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates thought it would go this way. Officials from their governments – as well as junior partners Egypt and Bahrain – described the punitive sanctions they collectively slapped on Qatar in early June as an unfortunate but necessary action, aimed at bringing the pesky Qataris to heel. It was as if Qatar, accused by its neighbors of fomenting extremism near and far, was an unruly child who needed to be disciplined.

But in the grown-up world of geopolitics, the Saudi and Emirati-led move against Doha does not seem to be achieving its goals. Rather than isolating Qatar, it has deepened Qatari ties with regional powers Turkey and Iran. Oman and Kuwait, two other states in the Gulf Cooperation Council, have not joined in. Food supplies and other goods are still flowing into Qatar’s docks and airports. And, no matter the White House’s mixed messaging, American diplomats appear to be pushing for conciliation and compromise with Qatar rather than seeking Doha’s acquiescence to the Saudi and Emirati demands.

“As with their disastrous war in Yemen, Saudi Arabia and the UAE radically overstated their prospects for success and failed to have a plausible plan B in case things did not go to plan,” wrote Marc Lynch, a Middle East expert at George Washington University. “The anti-Qatar quartet seems to have overestimated Qatari fears of isolation from the GCC and their own ability to inflict harm on their neighbor.”

 

A new Washington Post report this week added to the awkwardness facing the blockaders. According to unnamed U.S. intelligence officials, the UAE was behind a controversial late-May hack of Qatari government news and social media sites that helped trigger the crisis. The hack attributed false quotes to Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad al-Thani, that had him celebrating Iran as an “Islamic power” and praising Palestinian Islamist group Hamas.

Image result for Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad al-Thani,, photos

Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad al-Thani

Despite Doha’s vociferous denials, the furor led Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt to ban Qatari media, then later break relations with Doha and impose their trade and diplomatic boycott. U.S. officials “became aware last week that newly analyzed information gathered by U.S. intelligence agencies confirmed that on May 23, senior members of the UAE government discussed the plan and its implementation,” my colleagues Karen DeYoung and Ellen Nakashima reported. “The officials said it remains unclear whether the UAE carried out the hacks itself or contracted to have them done.”

In a statement, the UAE’s ambassador to Washington, Yousef al-Otaiba, rejected these claims. “The UAE had no role whatsoever in the alleged hacking described in the article,” he said, before reiterating his country’s complaints about Qatar’s maverick foreign policy. “What is true is Qatar’s behavior. Funding, supporting, and enabling extremists from the Taliban to Hamas … Inciting violence, encouraging radicalization, and undermining the stability of its neighbors.”

There is plenty of precedent for rumors and murky innuendo fueling tensions in this part of the world: A rupture in relations in 2014 saw false news reports proliferate about Saudi and Emirati citizens being banned from Harrods, the London department store owned by Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund.

Analysts explain that the current impasse is an extension of long-running disagreements and tensions with Qatar, which has irritated its larger neighbors by using its riches to play an outsized role on the world stage. At issue are squabbles over support for different proxies in conflicts from Syria and Libya, as well as the provocative work of Qatari-funded network Al Jazeera, which Riyadh and Abu Dhabi want to see shut down.

The Qataris have also charted a different diplomatic path from their neighbors, playing host to political offices for groups such as the Taliban and Hamas in a bid to mediate regional conflicts. “Against a backdrop of purring limousines and dhows moored in the bay, Doha has become home to an exotic array of fighters, financiers and ideologues, a neutral city with echoes of Vienna in the Cold War, or a Persian Gulf version of the fictional pirate bar in the Star Wars movies,” wrote Declan Walsh of the New York Times.

“It’s always been this place where waifs and strays and unwanted people ended up,” said David B. Roberts, the author of “Qatar: Securing the Global Ambitions of a City-State,” to the Times. “There was no overarching power on the peninsula, so if you were wanted by a sheikh, you could escape to Qatar and nobody would bother you.”

So the crisis among the wealthy Persian Gulf states rumbles on. Last week, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson carried out a fitful round of shuttle diplomacy in Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia in an attempt to defuse the situation. The squabbling countries are all U.S. allies – Qatar hosts the United States’ largest military base in the Middle East – and Tillerson would prefer everyone calm down and get back to other issues, notably the fight against the Islamic State. But his efforts have yet to bear much fruit.

Tillerson made a public gambit in Doha, signing a memorandum of understanding in which Qatar pledged to do more to block funding for extremist groups in the Middle East and elsewhere. It quickly became a farce. “The Qataris boasted that they were the first in the region to sign such a pact and urged the Arabs allied against them to do the same,” my colleague Carol Morello wrote. “The four countries heading the embargo claimed credit for pressuring Qatar into signing, and simultaneously dismissed it as ‘insufficient’ to end their embargo.”

The Saudi Embassy tweeted, “President Trump: Qatar ‘Known as a Funder of Terrorism'”

On Monday, as the Emiratis were rejecting the hacking allegations, the Saudi Embassy in Washington tweeted lines from an interview with President Trump where he had lashed out at Qatar. It was yet another illustration of the dissonance between the White House and State Department over the crisis – and yet another reminder that the quarrel in the Gulf won’t stop anytime soon.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

**************************************

Al Jazeera

Qatar considers seeking damages over Gulf blockade

Economy minister discusses compensation with trade officials in Geneva as legal team prepares to study the sanctions.

Qatar’s defence minister says Doha could take its case before the World Court [Reuters]

Qatar has announced that it is considering legal action against four Arab countries led by Saudi Arabia and the UAE, demanding compensation for losses incurred owing to the ongoing blockade.

Ahmed bin Jassim Al Thani, Qatar’s economy minister, met on Tuesday the heads of international trade organisations in Geneva, Switzerland, to discuss the case for compensation.

Qatar has contracted a specialised legal team to study the actions taken by the blockading countries against it, according to a statement from the economy ministry in Doha.

READ MORE: France calls for lifting of sanctions on Qatar citizens

Separately, Khalid bin Mohammed al-Attiyah, Qatar’s defence minister, said the country may even its case to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), also known as the World Court, at The Hague.

Because of its financial reserves and as long as it can continue exporting liquefied natural gas, Qatar has avoided any crippling economic crisis because of the blockade.

But it has been forced to rely on planes to import food, after Saudi Arabia and the UAEblocked shipment of goods into Qatar.

Several other businesses were also disrupted, including the country’s national flag carrier Qatar Airways, whose flights to Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain remain suspended.

Legal measures

The development comes a day after Qatar officials said the government was considering “legal measures” locally and internationally over the alleged hacking of the state news agency.

Speaking to Al Jazeera on Tuesday, Marwan Kabalan of the Doha Institute said that over the past weeks, Qatar has been trying to use “different tools to undermine the blockade”.

The “balance of power” within the Gulf region is now “tilting towards Qatar”, particularly after the Washington Post revelation of UAE’s role in the hacking that precipitated the crisis.

Qatar Airways flights to Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain remain suspended [Reuters]

With the Gulf crisis entering its eighth week, however, there is no sign of the dispute being resolved soon.

Earlier, Mohammed Cherkaoui, professor of conflict resolution at George Mason University in Virginia, told Al Jazeera that regional and international mediation have faced “several setbacks”. Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt imposed a land, sea and air blockade on Qatar on June 5.

The quartet accuse Qatar of funding “terrorism”, an accusation Qatar rejects as “baseless”.

On June 22, the Saudi-led group issued a 13-point list of demands, including the shutdown of Al Jazeera, limiting ties with Iran and expelling Turkish troops stationed in the country, as a prerequisite to lift the sanctions.

Qatar rejected the demands and the countries now consider the list “null and void”.

Kuwait is trying to mediate in the dispute, and countries such as the US and France have urged the parties to engage in direct talks.

Qatar and several countries have called for the lifting of the sanctions before face-to-face talks can proceed.

Daniel Hannan, a Conservative British member of the European Parliament who visited Qatar on Monday, said the continuing blockade on Qatar is not helpful in resolving the crisis.

“There is almost no situation in the world that isn’t made worse by an economic blockade,” Hannan told Al Jazeera.

Hannan said an “immediate lifting” of the sanctions could pave the way for talks, saying: “It is very difficult to negotiate with a gun to your head.”

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/07/qatar-weighs-seeking-damages-gulf-blockade-170718145928093.html

Qatar crisis: UAE denies hacking news agency

July 17, 2017

BBC News

The UAE’s minister of state for foreign affairs, Anwar Gargash, denies it hacked Qatar’s news agency.

The United Arab Emirates has denied it was behind the alleged hacking of Qatar’s state news agency in May.

The Washington Post cited US intelligence officials as saying the UAE had orchestrated the posting of incendiary quotes attributed to Qatar’s emir that he insisted were fabricated.

The incident helped spark a diplomatic rift between Qatar and its neighbours.

UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash told the BBC on Monday the Post’s report was “untrue”.

He also reiterated that the UAE and five other Arab nations had not written to Fifa to demand that Qatar be stripped of the right to host the 2022 World Cup.

Swiss news network The Local said a fake news story quoting Fifa president Gianni Infantino had been posted on a copycat website on Saturday.

The Washington Post’s story cited unnamed US intelligence officials as saying newly-analysed information confirmed that on 23 May senior members of the UAE government had discussed a plan to hack Qatari state media sites.

Screengrabs showing the allegedly fake news story were posted on TwitterQNA/INSTAGRAM
Screengrabs showing the allegedly fake news story were posted on Instagram

Later that day, the official Qatar News Agency quoted Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani as criticising US “hostility” towards Iran, describing it as an “Islamic power that cannot be ignored”, and calling Hamas the “legitimate representative of the Palestinian people”.

Qatari officials said the agency had been hacked by an “unknown entity” and that the story had “no basis whatsoever”. However, the remarks were reported across the region and caused a stir.

The UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt responded by blocking Qatari media.

Two weeks later, the four countries cut all links with Qatar over its alleged support for terrorism and relations with Iran. The boycott has caused turmoil in the oil- and gas-rich emirate, which is dependent on imports by land and sea for the basic needs of its population of 2.7 million.

The US intelligence officials told the Washington Post it was unclear whether the UAE authorities had hacked the Qatar News Agency itself or paid a third party to do it.

The Guardian reported last month that an investigation by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had concluded that freelance Russian hackers were responsible.

US intelligence agencies declined to comment on the Post’s article, but the UAE’s ambassador insisted that it “had no role whatsoever in the alleged hacking”.

“What is true is Qatar’s behaviour. Funding, supporting, and enabling extremists from the Taliban to Hamas and Gaddafi. Inciting violence, encouraging radicalization, and undermining the stability of its neighbours,” Yousef al-Otaiba wrote in a statement posted on Twitter.

Map

Qatar has acknowledged providing assistance to Islamist groups designated as terrorist organisations by some of its neighbours, notably the Muslim Brotherhood. But it has denied aiding jihadist groups linked to al-Qaeda or so-called Islamic State (IS).

Mr Gargash told the BBC that Qatar’s denial had been contradicted by its agreement to review a list of 59 individuals and 12 organisations who the UAE has accused of supporting terrorism and wants arrested or expelled.

“What we know now is that Qatar is admitting that the list is worthy, that the list needs to be looked at, and that they need to change some of their laws to ensure that there is a proper process to cover this list,” he said.

Mr Gargash said Qatar’s neighbours were prepared to continue the boycott for months if it did not comply with the list of demands it was handed last month and agreed to international monitoring.

“I understand the concern of our allies,” he added. “But the issue is that we are being hurt, and the world is being hurt, by a state that has $300bn (£230bn) and is the main sponsor of this jihadist agenda.”

But, he added, the four states would not escalate the boycott by asking companies to choose between doing business with them or with Qatar.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-40630602

Related:

UAE planted fake news story to trigger Qatar crisis, US report claims — Who funds Iran, Hamas, Taliban, Muslim Brotherhood?

July 17, 2017

AFP

© Bandar Al-Jaloud, Saudi Royal Palace / AFP | A handout picture provided by the Saudi Royal Palace on December 5, 2016 shows Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz (L) listening to UAE Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum (C).

Text by FRANCE 24 

Latest update : 2017-07-17

The United Arab Emirates orchestrated the hacking of a Qatari government news site in May, planting a false story that was used as a pretext for the current Gulf diplomatic crisis, according to a Sunday report by The Washington Post.

Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, had been falsely quoted in May as praising Hamas and saying that Iran was an “Islamic power,” the Washington Post reported. In response, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain cut diplomatic and transport ties with Qatar on June 5, accusing it of supporting terrorism. Qatar said in late May that hackers had posted fake remarks by the emir, an explanation rejected by Gulf states.

The Washington Post reported that US intelligence officials learned last week of newly analysed information that showed that top UAE government officials discussed the planned hacks on May 23, the day before they occurred.

The officials said it was unclear if the UAE hacked the websites or paid for them to be carried out, the newspaper reported. The Washington Post did not identify the intelligence officials it spoke to for the report.

UAE Ambassador Yousef al-Otaiba denied the report in a statement, saying it was “false,” the Washington Post said.

“What is true is Qatar’s behavior. Funding, supporting, and enabling extremists from the Taliban to Hamas and Gaddafi. Inciting violence, encouraging radicalisation, and undermining the stability of its neighbours,” the statement said.

The US State Department declined comment in response to a Reuters query. The Federal Bureau of Investigation was previously known to be working with Qatar to probe the hacking.

The ongoing crisis has threatened to complicate the US-led coalition’s fight against the Islamic State (IS) group as all participants are US. allies and members of the anti-IS group coalition. Qatar is home to more than 10,000 US troops and the regional headquarters of the US Central Command while Bahrain is the home of the US Navy’s 5th Fleet.

President Donald Trump has sided strongly with Saudi Arabia and the UAE in the dispute, publicly backing their contention that Doha is a supporter of Islamic militant groups and a destabilising force in the Middle East. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson recently concluded several days of shuttle diplomacy in the Gulf, but he departed the region without any public signs of a resolution.

(FRANCE 24 with AP, REUTERS)

Related:

US officials claim the UAE is behind the hacking of Qatar's news agency in May which sparked a diplomatic crisis. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was in Doha last week to try to resolve the crisis with Qatar's Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani (above together on July 11) 

US officials claim the UAE is behind the hacking of Qatar’s news agency in May which sparked a diplomatic crisis. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was in Doha last week to try to resolve the crisis with Qatar’s Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani (above together on July 11)

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4702232/UAE-hacking-Qatari-government-news-sites.html#ixzz4n4ogUZlX
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

United Arab Emirates hacking of Qatari government news site may have sparked current standoff, blockaid

July 17, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United Arab Emirates orchestrated the hacking of a Qatari government news site in May, planting a false story that was used as a pretext for the current crisis between Qatar and several Arab countries, according to a Sunday report by The Washington Post.

The Emirati Embassy in Washington released a statement in response calling the Post report “false” and insisting that the UAE “had no role whatsoever” in the alleged hacking.

The report quotes unnamed U.S. intelligence officials as saying that senior members of the Emirati government discussed the plan on May 23. On the following day, a story appeared on the Qatari News Agency’s website quoting a speech by Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad al-Thani, in which he allegedly praised Iran and said Qatar has a good relationship with Israel. Similarly incendiary statements appeared on the news agency’s Twitter feed.

The agency quickly claimed it was hacked and removed the article. But Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt all blocked Qatari media and later severed diplomatic ties.

The ongoing crisis has threatened to complicate the U.S.-led coalition’s fight against the Islamic State group as all participants are U.S. allies and members of the anti-IS coalition. Qatar is home to more than 10,000 U.S. troops and the regional headquarters of the U.S. Central Command while Bahrain is the home of the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet.

President Donald Trump has sided strongly with Saudi Arabia and the UAE in the dispute, publicly backing their contention that Doha is a supporter of Islamic militant groups and a destabilizing force in the Middle East. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson recently concluded several days of shuttle diplomacy in the Gulf, but he departed the region without any public signs of a resolution.

Turkey’s Erdogan slams ‘inhumane’ isolation of Qatar — “Contrary to Islamic values.”

June 13, 2017

AFP

© AFP/File | The Qatar crisis has put President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Turkey in a delicate position as Ankara regards Qatar as its chief ally in the Gulf but is also keen to maintain its improving relations with the key regional power Saudi Arabia

ISTANBUL (AFP) – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday slammed the economic and political isolation of Qatar as inhumane and contrary to Islamic values after key Gulf states broke off ties with Ankara’s ally.

“Taking action to isolate a country in all areas is inhumane and un-Islamic,” Erdogan said in televised comments to his party in Ankara, after Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain broke off relations with Qatar on June 5, accusing it of supporting “terrorism”.

In his strongest comments yet on the crisis, Erdogan added that Qatar was a country “on which a death sentenced had in some way been pronounced”.

The crisis has put Turkey in a delicate position as Ankara regards Qatar as its chief ally in the Gulf but is also keen to maintain its improving relations with the key regional power Saudi Arabia.

Turkey also is eager to maintain workable relations with Iran, Saudi Arabia’s foe with whom Doha’s critics say Qatar maintained excessively close ties.

Erdogan added he would hold three-way phone talks on the crisis later Tuesday with French President Emmanuel Macron and Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani.

The move by Saudi and its allies came shortly after US President Donald Trump visited Riyadh, with some analysts saying the US leader had emboldened the Saudi leadership.

Earlier, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that Erdogan would hold talks on the crisis with Trump in the coming days.

Erdogan vehemently rejected the accusations — already strongly denied by Doha — that Qatar supports terrorism, arguing the country had been a staunch opponent of Islamic State (IS) jihadists.

“Qatar is a country which, like Turkey, has adopted the most resolute stance against Daesh (IS),” said Erdogan. “Let’s stop fooling ourselves.”

Striking a careful balance, Erdogan stopped short of directly criticising Saudi Arabia’s actions but called on Saudi King Salman to show leadership by solving the crisis.

“I think that as the elder statesman of the Gulf, the king of Saudi Arabia should solve this affair and show leadership,” said Erdogan.

Turkey’s parliament last week approved deploying troops to a Turkish base in Qatar in what was seen as a show of support for its embattled ally.

The agreement does not contain any specific number of troops to be stationed in the base, or when.

The curbs placed on gas-rich Qatar have ranged from bans on flag-carrier Qatar Airways using airspace of the countries involved to Saudi Arabia suspending subscription sales and renewals to a Qatar-linked sports broadcaster.