Qatar is ´undermining´ GCC allies: UAE minister

Patrice Gainsbourg
Julho 18, 2017

The cyber attack took place on 24 May and included false reports that the emir had described Iran as an "Islamic power", and had praised Islamist fundamentalist terror group Hamas.

In addition to cutting diplomatic ties, the countries also banned all Qatari media and instituted a transport and trade boycott in a bid to force the emirate comply with a series of political demands.

Asked about a Washington Post report citing USA intelligence officials saying the UAE may have been behind the hack, Gargash said it was "purely not true".

Qatar said those reports were fabricated and posted by hackers, though it hasn't identified the source.

The UAE embassy in Washington on Monday sent a series of tweets quoting its ambassador, Yousef Al Otaiba, denying the Washington Post report, which was published Sunday and, according to the paper, was based on information provided by unnamed U.S. intelligence officials.

"What is true is Qatar's behaviour. Inciting violence, encouraging radicalization, and undermining the stability of its neighbours", Yousef al-Otaiba wrote in a statement posted on Twitter.

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"We need to be certain that Qatar, a state with $300 billion in reserves, is no longer an official or unofficial sponsor of jihadist and terrorist causes", said Anwar Gargash, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Reuters reported.

The fake statements, which spoke favorably of Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah, as well as of relations with Israel, provoke the ire of a number of Gulf states as well as Egypt, and Qatar was effectively cut off from the Arabian Peninsula with a blockade.

Qatari officials said the agency had been hacked by an "unknown entity" and that the story had "no basis whatsoever".

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt imposed sanctions on Qatar on June 5, accusing it of financing armed groups and allying with Saudi Arabia's regional rival, Iran - allegations that Qatar denied.

It described the alleged hacking as a violation of worldwide law and of agreements between the member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) - the regional trade and security group - as well as collective agreements with the Arab League, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and the United Nations. "You can not be both our friend and the friend of al-Qaida".

Mr Gargash said Qatar's neighbours were prepared to continue the boycott for months if it did not comply with the list of demands it was handed last month and agree to global monitoring.

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