By Sheikh Meshal bin Hamad al-Thani
In his June 13 op-ed “Qatar Cannot Have It Both Ways”, United Arab Emirates (UAE) ambassador Yousef al-Otaiba demanded that Qatar be “all in” in the fight against terrorism. I can assure him that we are. The better question might be, where do the UAE and the other nations currently boycotting Qatar stand on this existential threat?
Ambassador Otaiba must certainly be aware that the United Nations and the US Treasury Department list 10 times as many suspected terrorists and terrorist financiers from the boycotting countries as from Qatar. Surely his excellency also remembers that the UAE was singled out in the 9/11 Commission’s report for its role in laundering money to terrorists, and that Emiratis, not Qataris, were among the hijackers who flew planes into the Twin Towers.
Ambassador Otaiba calls upon Qatar “to return to the community of responsible nations,” and criticises television news channel Al Jazeera for inciting violence, though he fails to mention that the UAE financed the military coup that overthrew Egypt’s first democratically elected government, and that the UAE allegedly bankrolled the coup plotters who attempted to overthrow the elected government in Turkey.
The ambassador writes that the UAE did not act “in haste” against Qatar, yet the UAE never brought any of its complaints to the responsible entities at the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) before launching aggressive diplomatic and economic measures against us. Instead, as leaked e-mails show, the ambassador and the UAE government privately conspired against Qatar in the shadows.
It has become clear that the current campaign against Qatar is not about terrorism, Al Jazeera or any of the other issues highlighted by the boycotting nations. It is about Qatar’s independence, which some apparently view as a threat. We would like our brothers in the GCC to know that we are a threat to no one. But they should also understand that Qatar is a sovereign nation, and that we will not be bullied.
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