Anwar Gargash, UAE's minister of state for foreign affairs
CAIRO – 8 June 2018: Anwar Gargash, UAE's minister of state for foreign affairs, said on Thursday that the Anti-Terrorism Quartet will not concede its boycott of Qatar, asserting that Doha is the one to blame for insisting on its policies.
Gargash’s remarks came in an interview with The National where he addressed the Qatari crisis on the first anniversary of imposing economic boycott on Qatar by the Egypt, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.
One year ago, Qatar has been hit by its biggest diplomatic crisis after multiple Arab nations, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain, cut ties with Qatar, accusing it of destabilizing the region with its support for Islamist groups.
The Arab quartet halted all land, air and sea traffic with Qatar, and withdrew their diplomats and ambassadors from the Qatari peninsula. The Arab quartet issued 13 demands to Doha – then shortened to six principles - including closing Al Jazeera television, curbing relations with Iran and shutting down a Turkish military base.
The four Arab countries severed relations with Doha over what they say was its close links to Iran, which has been accused of interfering in Arab countries’ affairs and being behind terrorist plots. Doha restored full diplomatic relations with Tehran amid the crisis.
One major disagreement between Qatar and its neighbors has been the former’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood, which has been outlawed as a terrorist group by the boycotting countries.
Since the eruption of the crisis, Qatar showed no intention of solving the strife. However, Qatar placed several people and entities on its terrorism list in March, including several Qatari nationals already blacklisted by Arab quartet that accused Doha of supporting militants. Qatar’s issuance of a terror list of 19 individuals and eight entities has done little to impress decision-makers in the four Arab countries.