Qatar Today - - AFFAIRS > LOCAL -

Ger­many's De­vel­op­ment Aid Min­is­ter Gerd Mueller sin­gled out Qatar in a tele­vised in­ter­view, claim­ing it was “arm­ing and fi­nanc­ing ISIS troops”.

Qatar's For­eign Min­is­ter HE Khalid bin Mo­hammed Al At­tiyah de­nied the ac­cu­sa­tion through a state­ment which read: “Qatar does not support ex­trem­ist groups, in­clud­ing ISIS, in any way. We are re­pelled by their views, their vi­o­lent meth­ods and their am­bi­tions. The vi­sion of ex­trem­ist groups for the re­gion is one that we have not, nor will ever, support in any way.” Michael Stephens, Deputy Di­rec­tor Royal United Ser­vices In­sti­tute in Qatar, weighed in on the Ger­man min­is­ter's state­ment on Twit­ter, say­ing: “I don't think that's strictly true, I have not ob­served a di­rect pol­icy by Qatar to fund ISIS. How­ever, that doesn't mean in­di­vid­u­als who re­ceived fund­ing from Qatar who fought for other groups then de­fected to ISIS don't ex­ist. They do.”

The min­is­ter, while speak­ing about the his­tory of the con­flict in­volv­ing Is­lamic State and who were arm­ing and fi­nanc­ing the troops, said the “key­word there is Qatar – and how do we deal with th­ese peo­ple and states po­lit­i­cally?” while not giv­ing any ev­i­dence of the al­leged links. Within 24 hours the Ger­man For­eign Min­istry re­leased a state­ment ex­press­ing “re­gret over the mis­un­der­stand­ings caused” by the min­is­ter's in­ter­view. A spokes­woman for Mueller's min­istry chipped in, say­ing he had merely “ref­er­enced press re­ports” and had made “no con­crete al­le­ga­tions”.

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