Qatar leadership responsible for its isolation: UAE official

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Dubai, June 19 (IANS) A senior United Arab Emirates (UAE) official on Tuesday blamed the Qatari leadership for its own isolation.

UAE Minister of State Anwar Gargash said through his Twitter account that Qatar’s proximity to Iran, the normalisation of ties with Israel and its relations with Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah were isolating its people from surroundings.

“The leadership’s ambiguous political orientations were responsible” for Qatar’s being isolated, reported pan-Arab TV news channel Al Arabiya, citing Gargash’s tweets.

Gargash also claimed that the Qatari government under its ruler Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani was not representing the people of Qatar, Xinhua news agency reported.

“I do not imagine that Qatari citizens are satisfied with his government’s support for Houthi or his country’s close ties with Tehran, nor did they previously accept the normalization of the country with Israel or its relations with Hezbollah,” he tweeted.

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The UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and several other countries severed diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar on June 5, 2017, accusing Doha of aligning with non-Arab Gulf state Iran and the Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen against pan-Arab interests.

The Arab Quartet also accused Qatar of supporting “extremism and terrorism”, charges which the Al Thani government has denied.

Qatar has increased trade relations with Iran and Turkey since then in order to mitigate losses triggered by the boycott.

In another tweet, Gargash said “he does not think the Qatari government was accurately providing the real communication activities between its emir and the Iranian President.

–IANS

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