Qatar’s Ambassador to Turkey has accused UAE of supporting “counter-revolutions in the Arab world for restoring dictatorships”.
In a statement issued on Saturday evening, Ambassador Salem Al-Shafi said: “The UAE and a number of allies have paid around $40 billion to consolidate the military coup in Egypt alone,” in reference to the ouster of Mohamed Morsi, the country’s first freely elected president, in 2013.
“We say that these countries have not learnt the lesson well,” he added. “Blaming Qatar, using bright terms such as counterterrorism and attacking the moderates with a view to winning the West will not help protect them from the people.”
He also denied reports of Qatar backing Islamists and extremists in the Middle East.
“There are some Arab countries which are afraid of revolutions,” he said. “Instead of reforming their regimes and fulfilling the people’s aspirations, they heap the blame on Qatar and the so-called political Islam.”
The ambassador stressed that Qatar was “doing all it can to serve security and stability in the region in a way that does not clash with aspirations of the people”.
UAE along with three other nations imposed an embargo on Qatar after accusing it of supporting terrorism, which was denied by Qatar.
Al-Shafi said the UAE’s role “in triggering the crisis with Qatar has become visible for all”.
“Our technical and legal investigations, in cooperation with the FBI and NCA [Britain’s National Crime Agency] have categorically proved this,” he said, in an implicit reference to the hacking of Qatar’s official news agency.
It was revealed by US intelligence that UAE was behind the hacking of Qatar’s state run news and social media sites “to post incendiary false quotes attributed to Qatar’s emir, H H Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad al-Thani”.
The hacked reports said Qatar’s emir called Iran an “Islamic power”, and heaped praise on Palestinian resistance group Hamas, among other controversial claims.
The Ambassador also said that the blockading states “have rejected any foreign mediation to solve the crisis”.
It should be noted that UAE State Minister for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash asked Turkey to ‘remain neutral’ in the crisis.
“The international community and most world countries have rejected UAE allegations and illegal measures against Qatar,” Al-Shafi said.
He said Doha had restrained from taking “vengeful” measures in response to the blockade.
“We hope that they [the blockade states] will return to reason,” he said. “We believe that they will ultimately return to dialogue.”
The envoy reaffirmed Qatar’s commitment to fight terrorism. “Qatar is an active member in all counterterrorism forums and in the international anti-Daesh coalition,” he said. “Qatar also hosts the largest U.S. military base in the Middle East for fighting terrorism,” he said, in reference to al-Udeid base.
He took a dig at UAE for asking Turkey’s base in Qatar to be closed.
“It is strange to see the UAE, which hosts several foreign bases, to call for closing the Turkish base in Doha and for cutting defense ties between Qatar and Turkey, unless the UAE and allied states have hostile intentions or plans for a military intervention,” he said.