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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 23 June 2018

Qatar's irresponsible behaviour motivated boycott, says UAE UN representative

Obaid Salem Al Zaabi, UAE's permanent representative to the United Nations, refutes a speech made by Qatar's representative in Geneva

The Arab quartet is boycotting Qatar over Doha's support and funding for terrorists and terrorist organisations. Naseem Zeitoon / Reuters
The Arab quartet is boycotting Qatar over Doha's support and funding for terrorists and terrorist organisations. Naseem Zeitoon / Reuters

The UAE's permanent representative to the UN in Geneva has refuted Qatar's assertion that the Arab quartet's boycott of Doha was a "blockade".

The action taken by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain are "legitimate sovereign decisions" said Obaid Salem Al Zaabi.

''The boycott was motivated by the damage caused by Qatar’s irresponsible behaviour in supporting, funding and providing shelter to terrorists and terrorist organisations, which is what pushed our countries to make the decision to boycott Qatar,'' Mr Al Zaabi said in a statement issued on behalf of the four countries.

His statement was a response to a speech by Qatar's representative at a gathering held by the Human Rights Council with the Special Rapporteur on unilateral coercive measures, as part of its 36th regular session in Geneva on Thursday.

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"We welcome this discussion session, while again stressing our condemnation of imposing forced measures, as they contradict international laws and violate human rights," Mr Al Zaabi said. "Under this framework and in response to the speeches of Qatar’s representative and Jean Ziegler, advisory committee member, we again stress that the action taken by our four countries are legitimate sovereign decisions that are not in any way a 'blockade,' but rather a 'boycott'.

"If the Qatari people were aggrieved by what the Qatari representative has called a 'blockade by boycotting countries', how can he explain the statements of senior officials from his country that Qatar and its citizens have not been affected by the severing of diplomatic relations, and that life in Qatar is still normal?

"In our opinion, these contradictions, which always exist in Qatar's policies, reveal the double-standards of his speech, as Qatari officials have made a different speech for their own country, and another speech to mislead international public opinion and hide the true causes of the crisis, while everyone knows that Qatar supports terrorism and funds terrorist organisations.

"It is unfortunate that the Qatari delegation has raised this topic for the second time today. If it proves anything, it only proves that Qatar has no honest intention of reviewing its policies and stances, which support terrorism and extremism.