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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 September 2018

Qatar's Al Jazeera helped split the GCC, says Iraq foreign minister

During a press conference in Doha alongside his Qatari counterpart, Ibrahim Al Jaafari said the television station must 'open a new chapter'

The Al Jazeera offices in Doha. Wolfgang Kumm / EPA
The Al Jazeera offices in Doha. Wolfgang Kumm / EPA

Iraq's foreign minister has accused Qatar's Al Jazeera news network of "fuelling divisions" in the region.

Ibrahim Al Jaafari made his remarks on Wednesday during a press conference in Doha alongside his Qatari counterpart, Mohammed bin Abdulrahman.

Mr Al Jaafari accused Al Jazeera of making a "historic" error by "stoking the sedition rhetoric" during the crisis with Qatar.

Responding to an Al Jazeera correspondent, Mr Al Jaafari said, "The news network has fuelled separation between the GCC states and has made historical mistakes that need to be rectified. The news network has sowed sedition for sectarian or ethnic purposes. "

He called on Al Jazeera to "open a new chapter in its reporting," saying only then would the news channel earn his respect.

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Read more:

GCC summit will most likely be postponed due to Qatar crisis

Arab quartet sends formal complaint about Al Jazeera to British broadcast watchdog

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The UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt — known as the quartet — cut diplomatic and transport ties with Doha on June 5, accusing Qatar of supporting terrorism and being too close to Iran, the regional enemy — all of which Qatar denies. The closure of Al Jazeera was a key demand in a long list the quartet presented to Qatar if they were to ease the boycott.

Mr Al Jaafari also said Baghdad was against "isolating and besieging" any other country.

"Iraq remains ready to engage in dialogue to find solutions to regional problems," he said.

He also expressed concern about the tense relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

“We are doing our best to promote good relations between them,” he said.

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