UAE Threatens Jail To Qatar 'Sympathizers' On Social Media

Pauline Gross
June 7, 2017

Also, on Monday Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain cut diplomatic ties with Qatar. The internationally recognised Yemeni government and Libya's eastern-based government, as well as the Maldives followed suit shortly after.

It is a change in tone for the president who had appeared to side with Saudi Arabia and other countries against Qatar in a series of tweets on Tuesday that seemed to endorse the accusation that Qatar funds terrorist groups.

The three Gulf states announced the closure of transport ties with Qatar and gave Qatari visitors and residents two weeks to leave their countries.

Asked if he anxious that Qatar was being pushed into the arms of Shi'ite Muslim power Iran, Gargash suggested Tehran was seeking to exploit the row to widen Gulf Arab divisions.

US President Donald Trump - pictured during the Arab Islamic American Summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on 21 May. It has also counselled improving relations with Tehran, the Saudi's arch-enemy.

Gabriel will be meeting with is Saudi counterpart on Wednesday. The nations said that their decision was based on the claims that Qatar supported Islamist groups and associated with terrorism.

He added that Qatar was undermining the Palestinian Authority and Egypt by supporting Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, and said stopping these policies would "contribute to stability in the Middle East".

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In a Reuters interview, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said it would be very complex to disentangle the "very diverse" business ties between Qatar and its neighbors but suggested this might be necessary.

Turkey, also a key U.S. ally, criticized the decision by nine countries to sever diplomatic ties, according to the semiofficial Anadolu Agency.

"The aim is clear, and it is to impose guardianship on the state".

Sources said the UAE and Saudi Arabia have already cut exports of white sugar to Qatar.

Gargash said he hoped further steps were not needed but could not be ruled out. "Such a resolution would likely be triggered by, first, a consensus within the Al Thani family that mediation or smaller concessions would not appease Saudi Arabia and the UAE and, second, signals from the U.S. that it would not pressure these countries to back down".

On top of a possible jail term, offenders would also be hit with a fine of at least 500,000 dirhams, the newspaper said, citing a statement to Arabic-language media.

While liberal compared to much of the Middle East, the UAE has tough cybercrime and slander laws under which people can be arrested, imprisoned and deported for taking photographs without the consent of those shown or being insulting.

Other reports by GizPress

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