Qatar accuses Quartet of wanting to interfere in Qatari affairs



Thu, 23 Nov 2017 - 11:30 GMT


Thu, 23 Nov 2017 - 11:30 GMT

FILE – The flag of Qatar

FILE – The flag of Qatar

CAIRO – 23 November 2017: Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, Qatari foreign minister, said in an interview with CNN that the Arab Quartet committed countless crimes including suppressing opposition, creating humanitarian crises, intimidating citizens and using media to promote propaganda to discredit Qatar.

Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser Al-Thani said in an interview with Al-Haqiqa on Wednesday that “the crisis’s goal has become clear to everyone; it is to interfere in the internal affairs of Qatar. This is a red line and is unacceptable to us.”

On June 5, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain severed diplomatic ties with Qatar over accusations of sponsoring terrorist groups. Qatari charges towards the Quartet seem congruent with the six demands that the Quartet has directed toward Qatar in order for a dialogue to begin:
1. Commitment to combat extremism and terrorism in all its forms and to prevent their financing or the provision of safe havens.
2. Prohibiting all acts of incitement and all forms of expression which spread, incite, promote or justify hatred and violence.
3. Full commitment to the Riyadh Agreement 2013 as well as the supplementary agreement and its executive mechanism for 2014 within the framework of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) for Arab States.
4. Commitment to all the outcomes of the Arab-Islamic-U.S. Summit held in Riyadh in May 2017.
5. To refrain from interfering in the internal affairs of states and from supporting illegal entities.
6. To accept the responsibility of all states in the international community to confront all forms of extremism and terrorism as a threat to international peace and security.

Suppressing Opposition:

In September, a high-level Qatari opposition source said that Al-Murrah tribe is gathering for the first time in 10 years to support their leader Sheikh Taleb bin Lahom bin Shraim, who is known for his criticism of Tamim’s policies and has had his citizenship stripped.

Shraim had previously stated that Qatar withdrew his citizenship and the citizenship of 55 other members of the tribe, because they refused to denounce Saudi Arabia and the Kingdom of Bahrain, particularly the Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz and his son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, when the Qatari regime asked them to.

Qatar also revoked the citizenship of the leader of Shaml al-Hawajir tribe Sheikh Shafi Nasser Hammoud al-Hajiri and many other members according to Qatari opposition sources.

Qatari opposition said on social media that Al-Thani froze the bank accounts of two ruling family members; Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali Al-Thani and Sultan bin Suhaim Al-Thani.

Creating Crises:

Anwar Gargash, the UAE minister of State for Foreign Affairs, tweeted on Sunday that the Qatari crisis is no longer a priority for the four boycotting countries: Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain. “Qatar knows what is needed to end this crisis,” he added.

In an interview with CNN on November 6, Adel al-Jubeir, the Saudi foreign minister said, regarding the Qatar crisis: “This is not a crisis. The Qatari issue is very small. We have huge issues to deal with.”

Interference in other countries’ affairs:

Al-Jubeir said during the interview that the Saudi policy towards Qatar is not to enforce a regime change but rather a behavioral change. “Don’t interfere in the affairs of the other countries,” Jubeir added.

Intimidating citizens and misuse of media:

Al-Jubeir said, referring to the reasons of the crisis: "Our policy is: stop supporting terrorism and extremism, don’t harbor fugitives, and don’t spread hate speech and incitement through your media platforms.”

“Al-Jazeera for example has been a platform that allows radicals to justify suicide bombings. This has an impact on our youth,” al-Jubeir stated.



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