UAE Wants International Monitoring of Qatar

Angelica Greene
July 17, 2017

According to the Washington Post, US officials discovered last week that UAE ministers held a meeting on 23 May to discuss plans to hack Qatari government news and social media sites and post incendiary false quotes attributed to Qatar's emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani.

Qatar said its emir had never given the speech, and that the story had been planted electronically, but its allies were outraged, and one of the most serious feuds in years between Western-aligned Gulf states began.

Speaking at the Chatham House forum in London on Monday, the UAE foreign minister, Anwar Gargash, twice denied the veracity of the claims. "You will see in the next few days the story will die".

Still, the four Arab powers have said the memorandum fell short of allaying their concerns that their sanctions would remain in place until Doha meets their demands and that they would keep a close eye on Qatar's efforts to fight terrorism funding.

In an interview, Mohammed Cherkaoui, professor on conflict resolution at George Mason University, said the new Washington Post "bombshell" shows that the Gulf crisis "is moving from one escalation to another". However, the remarks were reported across the region and caused a stir.

He again suggested the structure of the Gulf Cooperation Council, the six-member defence and trading bloc, is not sustainable and denied reports that the UAE had threatened Federation Internationale de Football Association over continuing to allow Qatar to host the 2022 World Cup.

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Speaking at the Chatham House worldwide affairs think tank in London, Gargash repeated claims - denied by Qatar - that the country funds extremists.

The Washington Post cited unidentified USA intelligence officials as saying they had learned last week of newly analysed information showing that top UAE officials had discussed the planned hacks on May 23, the day before they occurred.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation was previously known to be working with Qatar to probe the hacking. "Inciting violence, encouraging radicalisation, and undermining the stability of its neighbours".

"What we know now is that Qatar is admitting that the list is worthy, that the list needs to be looked at, and that they need to change some of their laws to ensure that there is a proper process to cover this list", he said.

But, he added, the four states would not escalate the boycott by asking companies to choose between doing business with them or with Qatar.

Other reports by GizPress

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