On Saturday, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain welcomed US president Donald Trump’s remarks on Qatar and other countries to increase efforts in fighting terrorism. They did not respond to the US secretary of state’s call for them to ease the pressure on Qatar.
On Friday in Cairo, President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi discussed the Qatari crisis with Bahrain’sKing, Hamad bin Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa.
On Monday morning, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Yemen, and Libya’s eastern-based government, in addition to the Maldives, cut their ties with Qatar. The six Arab governments accused it of supporting terrorism, disturbing security and stability in the region, and supporting Iran.
Qatar rejects the Egyptian-Gulf terror list
On Friday, the Qatari government rejected the Egyptian-Gulf terror list and allegations of supporting terrorism. The Qatari government said that the list of 59 people and 12 groups with links to Qatar “reinforces allegations that hold no foundation.”
Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Bahrain issued on Thursday a joint statement placing 59 individuals and 12 organisations that are Qatar-based or funded by Qatar on a terror list. The list included 24 Egyptians.
Most of the Egyptians named on the terror list live in Qatar or Turkey. The list includes the prominent Muslim cleric and former member of the Al-Azhar’s Committee of Senior Scholars Yousef Al-Qaradawi, also a member of the Muslim Brotherhood organisation. The list also included Tarek Al-Zomor, Assem Abdel-Magid, Wagdi Ghoneim, and others.
UN bound only by the sanctions made by UN bodies
When asked about the Gulf-Egyptian terror list, Stephane Dujarric, UN secretary-general spokesperson, said on Friday that the UN has signed significant work with Qatar Charity in Yemen, Iraq, and Syria.
“The UN is bound only by the sanctions put together by UN bodies, such as the Security Council. We’re not bound by any other lists,” Dujarric said.
Dujarric added that he had seen media reports that four Arab countries accused three Qatar-based charities of being involved in terrorism. He also pointed out that “the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has, over the years, built strong partnerships with these organisations, based on shared humanitarian principles, which are strictly non-political.”
US mixed positions
US president Donald Trump accused Qatar of being a “high level” sponsor of terrorism, during a joint news conference with Romanian president Klaus Iohannis on Friday.
“The nation of Qatar, unfortunately, has historically been a funder of terrorism at a very high level,” Trump told reporters in the White House.
US secretary of state Rex Tillerson called upon Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the UAE to ease the blockade against Qatar, saying it is causing unintended humanitarian consequences and affecting the US-led fight against the Islamic State (IS).
Tillerson said that the blockade was “impairing US and other international business activities in the region,” and had also caused inadvertent humanitarian consequences.
“The Emir of Qatar has made prog- ress in halting financial support and expelling terrorist elements from his country, but he must do more, and he must do it more quickly,” Tillerson said. Also, he demanded that Qatar, as well as the other countries, take steps to curtail support for terrorism.
Germany calls for ending the Gulf rift
German chancellor Angela Merkel expressed her concern about the Gulf rift, calling upon Gulf countries, as well as Iran and Turkey, to work together in ending the regional crisis.
After a meeting with Qatari for- eign minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani in Germany, German foreign minister Sigmar Ga- briel called for increasing diplomatic efforts to resolve the Gulf rift.
He also demanded an end to the land, sea, and air blockade imposed by some Arab countries on Qatar. “We are convinced that now is the hour of diplomacy, and we must talk to each other,” Gabriel said.
Erdogan reaffirms solidarity with Qatar
Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday that Turkey would provide food and medicine to
help Qatar ease its isolation despite the other nations’ “displeasure”.
In his speech at a Ramadan iftar dinner in Istanbul, Erdogan rejected accusations by some Arab countries that Qatar supports terrorism. Also, he called upon Saudi Arabia to end its sanctions.
Erdogan wondered why Arab countries are rejecting Turkish mili- tary presence in Qatar, while they do not mind the US’ in Al-Udaid military base in Qatar.
On Wednesday, Turkey’s parlia- ment passed legislation allowing Turk- ish troops to be deployed to a Turkish military base in Qatar.
Amnesty condemns the blockade
Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Bahrain are toying with the lives of thousands of Gulf residents as part of their dis- pute with Qatar, splitting up families and destroying peoples’ livelihoods and education, Amnesty International said on Friday.
The organisation’s researchers have interviewed dozens of people whose human rights have been af- fected by a series of sweeping mea- sures imposed in an arbitrary manner by the three Gulf countries in their dispute with Qatar, according to the organisation’s statement.