Qatar's foreign ministry on Saturday blasted an article published by FoxNews.com that contained the baseless allegation of withholding information against the Gulf country.
The ministry said Qatar had no advance knowledge of the attack on commercial vessels in the Gulf of Oman on May 12, 2019.
In a statement, the ministry said: "It is well beneath the standards of FoxNews.com to post the November 16, 2019 article, by Benjamin Weinthal at the Foundation for Defence of Democracies (FDD), full of baseless assertions and attacks.
"The State of Qatar had no advance knowledge of the attack on commercial vessels in the Gulf of Oman on May 12, 2019. Nowhere in Weinthal’s article does a United States government official or any Western government official corroborate or support Weinthal’s claim. Yet FoxNews.com allows him to use an unseen and unverified report."
Stressing Qatar's impeccable credentials as a strategic partner of the United States, the statement said: "In its role as an ally of the United States, Qatar provides unfettered access to a state-of-the-art military base, along with intelligence and logistical support. Significant intelligence sharing takes place and Qatar would never withhold critical intelligence from its allies."
According to the statement, Weinthal misleads and distorts throughout his piece. "The Associated Press reported that Weinthal’s employer, FDD, worked with one of the blockading countries' paid representative Elliot Broidy to commission and publish articles exactly like the FoxNews.com piece, as well as execute an anti-Qatar conference in May2017. As a result, it is not surprising Weinthal and FDD would attempt to advance these false narratives."
Two oil tankers were attacked in the Gulf of Oman on May 12, 2019, leaving one ablaze and both adrift, raising regional tensions. The crew from both tankers were evacuated.
The attacks occurred along one of the world’s busiest oil routes.
In May four tankers were attacked off the coast of the United Arab Emirates. The US blamed those attacks on Iran – an accusation Tehran has denied.
The timing of the attacks was especially sensitive because it came as the Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe, held talks with the Iranian leadership in Tehran in an effort to find a basis for discussions between the US and Iran. Japan’s trade ministry said the two oil tankers carried “Japan-related” cargo.
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