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Ex-Iraq official: Al Jazeera is cause of siege on Qatar

August 8, 2017 at 9:01 pm

Former Iraqi Ambassador to the United Nations, Salah Omar Al-Ali [Al Jazeera]

Qatar has been “treated unfairly” and the reason behind the Arab country’s siege on it is not its alleged support for terrorism, but Al Jazeera, the former Iraqi Ambassador to the United Nations, Salah Omar Al-Ali, has said.

“The State of Qatar was treated unfairly in recent times, and the fundamental reason for its  siege is Al Jazeera and not terrorism,” Al-Ali explained in an interview with Quds Press today.

“When we look at the details of the recent Gulf crisis, we find that Qatar is oppressed, because the countries that are accused of terrorism are Saudi Arabia in the first place, then the UAE, starting with the September events in the United States, up to the JASTA law,” Al-Ali said.

There has been an attack on Qatar by accusing it of terrorism, while the main reason is Al Jazeera which disregarded the prohibitions and thought in the Arab media, and every other reason is just a formality.

Al-Ali pointed out that “Al Jazeera is the main Arab channel that most talked about the Palestinian cause and that calls the Palestinian dead ‘martyrs’, while the rest of the Arab Gulf media, specifically Saudi, describe the martyrs of Palestine as ‘dead’. While the Saudi media attempted recently to stigmatise Hamas as terrorists, Al Jazeera describes Palestinian factions as resistance.”

Read: End of Al Jazeera, a dark day for the Middle East

“The State of Qatar contributed to the reconstruction of Lebanon after the 2006 war, and has contributed and is still in the reconstruction of Gaza. While other countries support the coup in Egypt, Qatar stands sharply against it, and this makes us sure that the reason for the siege of Qatar is only Al Jazeera.”

Al-Ali ruled out any potential connection between Saudi Arabia’s recent interest in Iraq and the Gulf crisis, and stressed that all Gulf States contributed to the destruction of Iraq.

“There is no accurate information about the immediate causes of Saudi Arabia’s interest in Iraq. It may be part of a US project and an implementation of Trump’s ideas during his visit to Saudi Arabia and of the idea of reducing Iran’s influence in Iraq since it is a source of terrorism.”

Saudi Arabia has hosted a number of Iraqi political figures, starting with the current Prime Minister, Haider Al-Abadi, the Minister of Interior, Qasim Al-Araji, and the leader of the Sadrist movement Muqtada Al-Sadr.

Read more: Saudi Arabia in Iraq… What has changed?

There are also reports which confirm that Saudi Arabia is preparing to receive other Iraqi political leaders from the Shia parties, including Ammar Al-Hakim.

On 5 June, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt announced that they would sever their diplomatic relations with Qatar and close their air and sea ports with it, thus imposing a siege on Doha. The countries accused Qatar of “supporting terrorism”. Doha vehemently denies the accusations.