Thursday, 27 July, 2017

Tillerson leaves Gulf with no end in sight to Qatar crisis

Tillerson leaves Gulf with no end in sight to Qatar crisis Tillerson leaves Gulf with no end in sight to Qatar crisis
Melissa Porter | 18 July, 2017, 07:10

The statement went on to say that the Washington Post report "unequivocally proves that this hacking crime took place".

Reports surfaced in the Washington Post on Sunday claiming that government officials in Abu Dhabi orchestrated the planting of a fabricated story in Qatari media on 24 May that contributed to the current political spat in the region.

Quoting unnamed USA intelligence officials, the paper said senior members of the Emirati government discussed the plan on May 23.

The Washington Post reported that USA intelligence officials learned last week of newly analysed information that showed that senior UAE government officials discussed the planned hacking on May 23, the day before it occurred.

"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 UAE has denied that it was responsible for an alleged hacking of the Qatari state news agency and websites earlier this year.

On June 5, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE, Eygpt and Yemen severed diplomatic ties with Qatar, claiming that the move was to protect their respective governments from extremism, which is allegedly supported by Qatar.

Last month, Qatar had ties with six Arab counties cut because they considered the Gulf state a base of terrorism.

Dr Ebtisam Al Kitbi, chairwoman of Emirates Policy Centre, questioned the credibility of the report published by the Washington Post and slammed it as "mere fabrications". Qatar has denied the accusations.

These concerns have been present ever since Qatar secured the rights to host the event in late 2010, and have grown in magnitude as Federation Internationale de Football Association became increasingly embroiled in corruption scandals over the past six or seven years.

Representatives of the Saudi government in the United States, have not commented at this time about the letter. "Qatar inciting violence, encouraging radicalization, and undermining the stability of its neighbors", the ambassador said in a statement.

The UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt responded by blocking Qatari media.

"We need a regional solution and global monitoring...." The US Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) declined to comment, according to the newspaper.