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UAE: Anti-terror quartet not bullying Qatar

Four Arab countries stick to demands amid US moves to defuse crisis

Image Credit: Agency
City Centre buildings and Corniche traffic, Doha, Qatar.
Gulf News

Dubai: The UAE on Friday said that the anti-terror Arab quartet was not “bullying” Qatar and did not wish to escalate tension in the region.

“Today terrorism is a global issue. No city in the world is immune from terror and we cannot tolerate the view that a little terrorism is acceptable,” Dr Anwar Mohammad Gargash, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, told a group of journalists during a visit to India. “Qatar is a small, but wealthy state, using its money to support terrorism,” he said.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt, the four Arab countries that cut ties with Qatar on June 5 over its financing of terrorist groups and support for the Muslim Brotherhood said that they remain committed to the demands announced in June and July to resolve the crisis, sources told Saudi daily Okaz.

Media reports circulating on Thursday suggested that US officials touring the Gulf were pushing for a new framework to settle the crisis. The US proposal reportedly included laying the grounds for direct negotiations based on an accord that resolved a previous dispute between the Gulf nations.

However, the quartet pointed out that Qatar had previously made pledges and signed agreements, but failed to honour them. They insisted that any new commitments should have full guarantees to ensure they are not violated.

Meanwhile, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) distanced itself from intervening in the crisis after Qatar filed a complaint that land and air boycott violated international aviation rules, a charge adamantly denied by Qatar’s neighbours.

The UAE applauded ICAO’s neutrality in the matter. “We value ICAO’s reluctance to be dragged a into political issues,” Saif Mohammad Al Suwaidi, director-general of the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), said.