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UAE expects actions, not talks from Qatar to end diplomatic standoff: official

Editor: zhenglimin 丨Xinhua

06-08-2017 09:28 BJT

DUBAI, June 7 (Xinhua) -- Dr. Sultan Al-Jaber, United Arab Emirates (UAE) Minister of State, said in an exclusive interview with Xinhua that his country expects from fellow Gulf state Qatar "to stop blatantly and openly working against the stability and security of the UAE and other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries."

Three days after the UAE, Saudi Arabia and several other Arab nations in the Middle East and North Africa have cut diplomatic ties with Doha, Al-Jaber made it in the interview clear that from the UAE's perspective, the ball is now in the field of the Qatari government.

Along with its Arab allies around Saudi Arabia, Al-Jaber said, "the steps Qatar must take are clearly laid out in the Riyadh agreement and this includes "ending all interference in internal affairs of GCC countries and other countries, removing individuals who are hostile to the GCC and ending all media incitement or provocation."

Like the UAE and Saudi Arabia, Qatar is a member of the GCC and of the oil-cartel OPEC.

The UAE Minister of State added that Qatar has also to finish "its support of Muslim Brotherhood and it has to forbid all religious figures using Mosques and religious institutions as platforms to incite against GCC countries."

The Muslim Brotherhood is banned and labeled as a "terrorist organization" in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, and security courts in the Gulf state have sentenced scores of its members in recent years to long-term jail sentences for planning civil unrest.

"Halting all incitement against Egypt" is another aspect the UAE government expects from Qatar, said Al-Jaber. The Muslim Brotherhood ruled in Egypt from mid-2012 to mid-2013 before the Egyptian military removed the party from power.

Al-Jaber stated that the decision to cut ties with the Qatari government "did not come overnight." However, he said, "It is the result of twenty years of broken promises and unending duplicity."

Despite making firm commitments on many occasions, including the Riyadh Agreement in 2014, "the Qatari government has continued to fund and provide safe havens and shelter for terrorist organizations such as Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda," said Al-Jaber.

Qatar's government "also continues to support terrorist organization in Libya, Syria and Yemen and Sinai. Most recently, the Qatari government has become not just a supporter but also an advocate for Iran, a regime that exports and funds terrorism throughout the region, destabilizing countries including Libya, Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen and Syria," said Al-JAber.

Through "supporting Iran," he stated "the Qatari government is supporting a regime that poses an existential threat to the region through its promotion of Islamic revolution, which is enshrined in its constitution."

Most recently, he pointed out, "the Qatari government has failed to comply with the Arab Islamic-American Summit Communique that was released on May 21, 2017, which also designated Iran as a state sponsor of terrorism in the region. The UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain also closed their airspace for Qatari planes. Qatar's only land border with neighbor Saudi has been closed by the Kingdom since Monday."

Asked if he expects Qatar to change its policies at home and in the region, he replied "Our hope that this is the case."

However, the Emirati Minister, who is also the Director-General and CEO of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, warned that if Qatar continues on the path, "it will remain isolated and suffer economic and diplomatic costs. In the global fight against extremism, the Qatari government's next step is critical."

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