UAE min­is­ter de­nies any hack­ing of Qatar

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - WORLD -

LON­DON — The United Arab Emi­rates was not re­spon­si­ble for an al­leged hack of Qatari web­sites which helped spark a month­long diplo­matic rift with Doha, the UAE’s min­is­ter of state for for­eign af­fairs said on Mon­day.

An­war Gar­gash de­nied as false a Sun­day re­port by The Wash­ing­ton Post that cited US of­fi­cials say­ing the UAE had or­ches­trated the hack of Qatar’s state news agency.

“The Wash­ing­ton Post story to­day that we ac­tu­ally hacked the Qataris is also not true,” he said.

The Emi­rati em­bassy in Wash­ing­ton also re­leased a state­ment, call­ing the Post re­port “false” and in­sist­ing that the UAE “had no role what­so­ever” in the al­leged hack­ing.

“What is true is Qatar’s be­hav­ior. Fund­ing, sup­port­ing, and en­abling ex­trem­ists from the Tal­iban to Ha­mas ... Incit­ing vi­o­lence, en­cour­ag­ing rad­i­cal­iza­tion, and un­der­min­ing the sta­bil­ity of its neigh­bors,” the state­ment said.

The re­port quotes un­named in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cials of the United States as say­ing that se­nior mem­bers of the UAE gov­ern­ment dis­cussed the plan on May 23.

On the fol­low­ing day, a story ap­peared on the Qatari News Agency’s web­site quot- ing a speech by Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Ha­mad al-Thani, in which he al­legedly praised Iran and said Qatar has a good re­la­tion­ship with Is­rael. Similarly in­cen­di­ary state­ments ap­peared on the news agency’s Twit­ter feed.

The agency quickly claimed it was hacked and re­moved the ar­ti­cle. But Saudi Ara­bia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt all blocked Qatari me­dia and later sev­ered diplo­matic ties.

The US State De­part­ment de­clined to com­ment. The FBI was pre­vi­ously known to be work­ing with Qatar to probe the hack­ing.

The cri­sis has threat­ened to com­pli­cate the US-led coali- tion’s fight against the Is­lamic State group as all par­tic­i­pants are US al­lies and mem­bers of the anti-IS coali­tion. Qatar is home to 10,000 US troops.

US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump has sided strongly with Saudi Ara­bia and the UAE in the dis­pute, pub­licly back­ing their con­tention that Doha is a sup­porter of ex­trem­ist groups and a desta­bi­liz­ing force in the Mid­dle East.

US Sec­re­tary of State Rex Tiller­son con­cluded sev­eral days of shut­tle diplo­macy in the Gulf last week, but he de­parted the re­gion with­out any pub­lic signs of a res­o­lu­tion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.