United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Anwar Gargash on Monday said the isolation of Qatar by Gulf nations could go on for years, Al Jazeera reported. The UAE minister accused the nation of “supporting jihadists” and insisted that to broker peace, Qatar must end its support “to extremist Islamists”.
His statement came a day after the deadline set for Qataris to leave three Arab Gulf countries - UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain - expired. “The Kuwaiti mediation will be very useful and there will be demands coming,” Reuters quoted Gargash as saying. “Qatar will realise that this is a new state of affairs and isolation can last years.” Kuwait has been attempting to mediate the diplomatic stand-off and had earlier said that the unity among the Gulf nations was “paramount”.
Gargash said Turkey has been trying to remain balanced between “ideological zeal” and its national interests in dealing with the Gulf crisis. “We are still in the phase and let’s hope they [Ankara] is wise and understand that it’s in its best interest...what we are doing,” he said.
Gargash also said that the UAE and its allies did not trust Qatar at all. “There is zero trust, but we need a monitoring system and we need our western friends to play a role in this,” he said, according to The Guardian. The UAE official said that they had identified 59 individuals who had been identified as terrorists or financiers of terrorism, but were free in Doha. “In 2014 we tried to do things diplomatically and we failed. The Emir of Qatar (pictured above) did not stick to his word so this time we are saying we will ostracise you,” he added.
On June 5, eight Gulf countries, including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE and Egypt, cut off diplomatic ties with Qatar alleging the country had been facilitating terrorism in the region. On Friday, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt and Bahrain had published a list of individuals and entities who allegedly had links with Qatar over “terrorism”. The four countries had added that the list revealed Qatar’s “support to different terrorist organisations”. Maldives, Libya and Yemen also severed ties with Qatar.