Tuesday 27 October 2020

Qatar must walk-the-talk on terror, says UAE minister

ABU DHABI, July 15, 2017

The UAE's Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan has welcomed Qatar's recent signing of an anti-terrorism agreement with the US, but expressed concern that the nation might not follow through with it, said a report.

"Qatar signed two agreements with the GCC countries, but it did not abide by them, state news agency Wam quoted him as saying.

The country needs to do more to improve confidence in what it signs and what it actually implements, he stated.

"We of course welcome Qatar's signing of this agreement, but Qatar must also double its efforts to change the impression of many countries over its harbouring, supporting, and funding of terrorism, as well as for voicing extremist views, inciting violence and hatred," said Sheikh Abdullah.

"Our countries wish to achieve this, but only if Qatar is committed to changing this path," he stated.

"We in the region have decided not to allow any kind of tolerance towards extremist groups, terrorist groups and hate groups," he added.

He pointed out that the region had suffered enough and hence this tough decision. With nations like Saudi Arabia and Egypt having decided to do that, we are optimistic," said the Emirati minister.

"If Qatar wants to be a member of this alliance then they are more than welcome but if it wants to be on the other side, then as we say in Arabic, its time to bid 'good bye'," he stated in a veiled warning to the neighbouring state.

"We believe that there are two ways of dealing with things, one is to try and ease tension and the other to address a problem," Sheikh Abdullah said in response to a question about what his expectations were from the meeting that US Secretary of State with the foreign ministers of the four countries.

"We do not believe that an attempt to ease the tension will address the matter, but will lead to delaying the problem, which will lead to a doubling of the situation in the future," he was quoted as saying in the Wam.

Sheikh Abdullah admitted that mistakes had indeed been committed in the past by everyone and it was time to rectify them.

"All of us - the United States and even Europe committed these mistakes - when we decided one day to support the so-called Mujahideen in Afghanistan and then the matter was not resolved and Afghanistan suffered a civil war," he stated.

"The same thing happened in Somalia and Iraq, and today we see it happening in Syria and Libya, and I think if we start to blame, and blame certain issues, it will not be ended," he pointed out.

Slamming Qatar for its support to terror groups, Sheikh Abdullah said: "The difference between our countries and Qatar is this: our countries are working with care and attention to confront and deter terrorism and extremism."

"It is true that our systems may not be the best possible situation, but the development of our systems, laws and structures significantly helps in countering these issues. However, the Qatari state is funding extremism, terrorism and fueling hatred, which provides these terrorists with shelter and a platform," he stated.

"Of course we have to work better to counter extremism and terrorism and we need more allies and friends to face it," said the top Emirati minister.

"It is not fair to see that some countries want to fight and face extremism and terrorism, while others do not. What we are asking today from Qatar is what we ask of ourselves. We will not ask Qatar to take any action or steps we do not ask of, or commit to, ourselves as nations," he added.

Urging Qatar to join the fight against terror, Sheikh Abdullah said: "Let us try to work together as the issue of extremism and terrorism is a long process and needs a real effort from all countries, including Europe, which unfortunately also allowed an environment that led to the growth of extremism and terrorism by not putting in place the appropriate laws and regulations to confront them, including the growing Yemeni extremist voices."

"We believe that everyone has a great responsibility to work together to combat extremism and terrorism. I talk about extremism and terrorism together because we cannot fight terrorism if we do not fight extremism," he added.

Tags: Qatar | UAE | minister | Terror | Sheikh Abdullah |

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