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Gargash on Qatar: This is more than a political crisis

Qatar’s public relations campaign is directed at ‘those whom you have paid to support you’

Image Credit: AP
Anwar Gargash, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs talks about relations with Qatar in Dubai.
Gulf News

Dubai: Dr Anwar Mohammad Gargash, the UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, said that the crisis with Qatar is more than a political one.

“A terrible moral collapse that has been revealed through recorded conversations,” he said in a tweet, referring to the recordings played by Bahrain Television on Friday evening.

The released tapes proved Qatar’s official and active involvement in supporting the opposition against Bahrain’s government in 2011 and how Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Attiya, the special adviser to Qatar’s Emir and Hassan Sultan, a Bahraini opposition figure, were colluding over events in Bahrain — discussing ways to report it on Al Jazeera, Qatar’s media arm.

“The crisis has resulted from practices by Qatar throughout years of conspiracies and schemes that are well documented. Motivated by whims to play a specific role, Qatar sought to form ephemeral alliances that eventually caused it to lose the trust of its extended families (Gulf neighbours), people and natural environment.”

Gargash, one of the most vociferous Gulf statesmen since the crisis with Qatar emerged in the open on June 5, said that trust would remain a core issue.

He said he was sceptical whether trust would be able to be restored even if the crisis is resolved.

“Even in this serious current situation, we see lack of foresight in his arrogance and failings with his brothers.”

The broadcasting by Bahrain Television of conversations between an adviser to the Emir of Qatar and a leading member of Al Wefaq, the largest opposition society in Bahrain, has sent shock waves through the Gulf and the international community and prompted concrete accusations of conspiracy.

Qatar rejected the conspiracy claims, saying that it was mediating between the Bahraini government and the opposition to defuse the tense situation.

However, Bahrain’s parliament rejected the claims and called for taking legal action against those involved in the conspiracy.

Gargash, in his tweets, said Qatar was in a tight corner following the revelation of the recorded conversations.

“It is difficult to defend a stance based on conspiracy, breach of promises and lack of credibility,” he said.

“It is much easier to defend your case when you are honest and sincere.”

In a second tweet, Gargash said he felt sorry for the speaker who has to defend Qatar’s impossible stances and broken promises.

“I pity the sole media voice. There is a repeated appearance, but without valid arguments. His task has become much more difficult as all the evidence confirms the sowing of sedition and the breach of pledges. The essence of successful media is credibility.”

Sincere feedback on Qatar’s destructive role in the region would be difficult coming from its stakeholders and those “whom you have paid to support you”, Gargash added.

The UAE official lamented the situation in Al Jazeera.

“It turned out that when building a media powerhouse, the Qatari citizen was ignored. This resulted in a weak Qatari voice that merely repeats itself. It simply cannot be replaced with voices emanating from electronic battalions and networks with partisan agendas.”