190516 anwar gargash
Dr. Anwar Gargash Image Credit:

Dubai : Dr. Anwar Gargash, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, said the New York Times’ recording of a call between a mediator and Qatar’s ambassador to Somalia proves Doha’s ties to terrorism.

In an audio recording obtained by The New York Times of a cellphone call with the Qatari ambassador, a businessman close to the emir of Qatar said the militants who had carried out the attack in Bosaso in May had intended to advance Doha’s interests, by trying to driving out the UAE. DP World manages the port in Bosaso. “The bombings and killings, we know who are behind them,” the businessman, Khalifa Kayed Al Muhanadi, said in the call May 18, about a week after the attack.

The violence was “intended to make Dubai people run away from there,” he said. “Let them kick out the Emiratis, so they don’t renew the contracts with them, and I will bring the contract here to Doha.”

Regarding Qatar’s crisis with its neighbours, the New York Times report on the businessman and the Qatari ambassador in Somalia proves Doha’s relationship with extremism and terrorism. “The recording is dangerous and cannot be denied by an urgent statement that was not accompanied by an investigation,” Gargash tweeted.

“Resorting to terrorism against the UAE is a regrettable escalation and affirms the correctness of the actions of the four countries,” Gargash said

Two years ago, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and other allied states cut off commercial and diplomatic ties with Qatar for its support of militant groups in the region.

Asked by the New York Times about the cellphone conversation, neither Al Muhanadi nor the government of Qatar disputed the authenticity of the recording, but both said that he was speaking as a private citizen and was not a government official. However in the recording of the phone call, the ambassador expressed no protest or displeasure at the idea that Qataris had played a role in the bombings.

“So that’s why they are having attacks there, to make them run away,” the ambassador, Hassan Bin Hamza Hashem, replied.

“Our friends were behind the last bombings,” Al Muhanadi, the businessman, assured the ambassador.