An anti-Qatar alliance has threatened Qatar’s presence in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and suggested that it could lose its post if it “undermined regional security”.
Anwar Gargash, the UAE state minister for foreign affairs, warned Qatar “cannot be part of a regional organisation dedicated to strengthening mutual security and furthering mutual interest and at the same time undermine that security”.
“You cannot be both our friend and a friend of al-Qaeda,” he said, repeating allegations – denied by Qatar – that the country funds extremists.
The boycotting countries shut down their borders with Qatar and blocked Qatari nationals from passing through its airports.
“What we really do want is we either reach an agreement and Qatar’s behaviour changes, or Qatar makes its own bed and they can move on and we can move with a new relationship. But we cannot have a member who is undermining us and supporting extremism,” Gargash said during a speech at the Chatham House international affairs think tank in London.
Meanwhile, Qatar has upheld US intelligence officials report that revealed UAE’s involvement in the hacking of Qatar’s news agency, which triggered the ongoing crisis. The alleged hack of the Qatar News Agency website on 24 May attributed explosive remarks to Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani.
The remarks covered sensitive political subjects such as Iran, Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, Israel and the United States.