The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has denied that it was responsible for an alleged hacking of the Qatari state news agency and websites earlier this year.
Qatar said those reports were fabricated and posted by hackers, though it hasn’t identified the source.
A report by The Washington Post on Sunday cited unnamed United States intelligence officials as saying that senior Emirati government officials discussed the plan on May 23.
Later that same day, a story surfaced o the official Qatar News Agency, quoting Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, being highly critical of USA “hostility” toward Iran, whom he referred to in the story as “an Islamic power that can not be ignored”.
Responding to the allegations yesterday, the UAE ambassador to the US Yousef Al Otaiba dismissed the report as “false“.
Earlier on Monday, the UAE’s foreign minister Anwar Gargash told an audience at London think tank Chatham House there was no truth to the allegations made by both Qatar and The Washington Post, which cited information newly analysed by USA intelligence services.
“The UAE had no role whatsoever in the alleged hacking described in the article …”
The four countries – the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bahrain – imposed sanctions on Qatar on June 5, cutting diplomatic and transport ties with it, after accusing Doha of financing militant groups.
But these problems are small compared to the 800 lb gorrilla in the room; Qatar is a well known financier of extremist Islamist groups.
Le Drian, who is due in the United Arab Emirates Sunday night, stopped in Qatar and Saudi Arabia at the start of his two-day Gulf tour on Saturday.
He said: “The Washington Post story is not true”.
A European news website has denied publishing an article saying six Arab nations had written a letter to Federation Internationale de Football Association demanding that Qatar is stripped of its World Cup.
The U.S. agencies have not made any public comments on the information they accessed.
The reports suggested Federation Internationale de Football Association president Gianni Infantino had told the Swiss website The Local that Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Mauritania, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain had made the requests citing Article 85 of the Federation Internationale de Football Association statutes which concerns emergency action. After a long delay, the bloc presented its list of demands to Qatar on June 22 and gave the country just ten days to comply.
The refinancing of a $1 billion loan by Doha Festival City, a retail and hospitality complex in Qatar, has been indefinitely postponed as a diplomatic crisis deters regional banks from doing new Qatari business, bankers said.
The top French diplomat also said his respective country “should be a facilitator in the mediation” led by Kuwait, a key mediator in the crisis.