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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 18 June 2018

UAE's Gargash slams Qatar's 'weak' excuses

Dr Gargash said that Qatar's excuses have been weak, at best, adding Doha's state media has been inconsistent with its reporting

File photo of Dr Anwar Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, speaking at a news conference at his office in Dubai from June last year. Giuseppe Cacace / AFP
File photo of Dr Anwar Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, speaking at a news conference at his office in Dubai from June last year. Giuseppe Cacace / AFP

Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr Anwar Gargash said that Qatar's inability to provide evidence that it does not support terrorist groups and activities has led to it creating a string of “weak” excuses.

Dr Gargash has been one of Qatar's strongest critics since the crisis broke out on June 5, when Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt cut all ties with Doha over its support of extremism and interference in other countries' affairs.

Dr Gargash said that Qatar's excuses have been weak, at best, adding Doha's state media has been inconsistent with its reporting.

“Confusion in rhetoric and politics is ongoing. Sometimes it’s the general public’s jealousy of Qatar, sometimes it’s maintaining Qatar’s sovereignty, and other times it’s Qatar’s support of democracy, sometimes it’s its support for the Arab Spring, and other times it’s because of the ‘UAE instigator’,” he tweeted on Wednesday evening.

Dr Gargash said that the only way the issue will be resolved is if Qatar changes its “policies of supporting extremism, terrorism, and of interfering in the domestic affairs of others”.

“We have become accustomed to the duality of Qatar’s political rhetoric, for it was the one that hosted the base, which bombed Iraq, and the channel that incited against it. It is the one that supported Hamas and warmed up to Israel, and it is the one that conspired against King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia,” he said.

“Qatar before 1995 was one with its neighbours, but the venture it set off on that year was a clear line of severance, the crisis seems to be continuing and the policies have hurt Qatar and 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.

Doha has so far refused to meet the quartet’s 13 demandsincluding the closure of Qatar-owned Al Jazeera news channel, which the quartet says provides a platform for extremists and dissidents, and the shutting down of a permanent Turkish military base in the country.