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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 22 June 2018

UAE says Qatar terrorist wedding undermines its public image 

The comments from the UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash came after photos showed Qatar's Prime Minister attending a terrorist's family wedding

Abdullah Al Nuaimi, the groom, left, and Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Qatari prime minister and interior minister. Image taken from social media
Abdullah Al Nuaimi, the groom, left, and Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Qatari prime minister and interior minister. Image taken from social media

The UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said on Monday that the attendance of Qatar’s prime minister at a terrorist’s family wedding undermines its efforts to rebrand its image.

Photos of the wedding were published last week in Qatar’s Al Raya newspaper showing Prime Minister Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, fondly greeting Abdullah Al Nuaimi, the son of Abdul Rahman Al Nuaimi who was added to Doha's terrorism list last month.

“The presence of the Qatari prime minister in a family wedding of a terrorist's son, Abdul Rahman Al Nuaimi, who supports Al Qaeda, undermines the efforts of dozens of public relations firms in Washington,” Mr Gargash said on Twitter.

“It also proves that Doha supports terrorism,” he said.

The images provoked outrage across social media and among security experts, who called into question Qatar’s commitment to targeting terrorist suspects and those who finance extremism.

“How can a country that is seeking to persuade western capitals that it has renounced its support for terrorism and extremism allow for its officials to attend a public ceremony of a person that is listed on a terrorist list?” Mr Gargash said.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt cut all ties with Qatar in June last year over its support of extremism and interference in other countries’ affairs. Doha denies this.

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“Doha will not be able to emerge out of this crisis by depending on public relations companies to polish its image," Mr Gargash said, adding that Qatar "must change its policy of supporting terrorism and must stop destabilising the region".

The four Arab countries stand firm by their decision to boycott Qatar, saying they are willing to re-establish communications with Doha only if it adheres to regional and international agreements and the demands and principles they have issued.