Four Arab states that cut ties with Qatar this week over its alleged support of terrorism today designated as terrorists dozens of people with alleged links to Qatar, intensifying a row that threatens the region’s stability.
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt and Bahrain branded as terrorists 59 people, including Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader Yousef Al-Qaradawi.
Their joint statement also listed 12 entities, among them Qatari-funded charities Qatar Charity and Eid Charity, as having terrorist links.
Qatar dismissed the latest move by its neighbours, saying it “reinforces baseless allegations that hold no foundation in fact”.
Our position on countering terrorism is stronger than many of the signatories of the joint statement – a fact that has been conveniently ignored by the authors
the Qatari government said in a statement.
Qatar said it leads the region in attacking what it called the roots of terrorism, giving young people hope through jobs, educating hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees and funding community programmes to challenge extremist agendas.
The four Arab states severed relations with Qatar on Monday, accusing it of supporting Islamist militants and their arch-adversary Iran – charges Qatar rejects. Several other countries later followed suit.
Trump initially took sides with the Saudi-led group before apparently being nudged into a more even-handed approach when US defence officials renewed praise of Doha. The United States has major military base in Qatar that serves, in part, as a launchpad for strikes on Daesh insurgents.
Qatar’s ambassador to Washington said on yesterday his government trusted in Trump’s ability to resolve the dispute.
“The most important engagement that happened so far from the US is by the president, which we highly appreciate,” Meshal Bin Hamad Al-Thani told the Financial Times.
“We truly believe that the involvement of the president and the US will bring this crisis to an end.”
The ambassador left open the prospect of compromise, saying “We are courageous enough to acknowledge if things need to be amended.”