Emiratis 'planted fake news to trigger Qatar crisis'

Bruno Cirelli
Luglio 19, 2017

The Post report yesterday was quickly decried as "false" by the Emirati Embassy in Washington.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) led an attempt to hack the social media and government news websites in Qatar, although it is not known if they had a direct connection to the hacks or if outside help was used, The Washington Post reported Sunday.

Le Drian spoke to reporters Saturday in Qatar alongside Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, who said he welcomed mediation efforts and possible negotiations built on respect of "sovereignty".

"This criminal act represents a clear violation and breach of worldwide law and of the bilateral and collective agreements signed between the member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council, as well as collective agreements with the Arab League, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and the United Nations", he said. But Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt all blocked Qatari media and later severed diplomatic ties.

The hacks took place almost two weeks earlier on May 24, one day after senior Emirati officials allegedly discussed the plan.

Speaking at the Chatham House worldwide affairs think tank in London, Mr Gargash repeated claims - denied by Qatar - that the country funds extremists.

Qatar maintained from the beginning that the quotes attributed to its ruler were the result of a hacking.

Le Drian said France counted on "reinforcing cooperation with Qatar in the fight against terrorism, particularly in combatting terrorism financing".

Saif said a Qatari government investigation into the hacking is ongoing and that prosecutors will "take all necessary legal measures to bring to justice the perpetrators and instigators of this crime".

The United Arab Emirates' Minister of State for Foreign Relations Anwar al-Gargash said the countries "are heading toward a long estrangement" and that crisis is "far from a political solution". "We are after a change of behaviour", Mr Gargash said.

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