Qatar FM: GCC Blockade violates international law

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Cii Radio| Ayesha Ismail| 09 June 2017| 14 Ramadaan 1438

Qatar’s Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said a blockade of his country is in violation of international law.

He made the comments while on a recent trip to Germany, and in the wake of a major diplomatic rift that saw Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt lead attempts to isolate Qatar. The minister’s German counterpart, Sigmur Gabriel, reiterated his support for Doha by calling for increased diplomatic efforts to lift sanctions.

Qatar rejects Saudi-led bloc’s ‘terror’ list
Qatar on Friday rejected allegations of supporting individuals and groups blacklisted as “terrorists” by four Arab countries which cut ties with it this week amid a major diplomatic fallout.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Egypt published a list of 59 people and 12 groups with links to Qatar late on Thursday, alleging that they have ties to “terrorism”.

“The recent joint statement issued by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the UAE regarding a ‘terror finance watch list’ once again reinforces baseless allegations that hold no foundation in fact,” the Qatari government said in response.

The list included Yusuf al-Qaradawi, one of the most prominent Muslim religious leaders in the Middle East, as well as Qatari-funded charitable organisations.

Mahjoob Zweiri, a professor at Qatar University, said that the release of this list was “part of the demonisation [campaign] against Qatar”.

“They are demonising Qatar, in saying that they are not helping fight ‘terrorism’ and trying to use this list as evidence,” Zweiri told Al Jazeera.

He said the claims of the list are dubious because “there’s a body within Qatar’s Ministry of Social Affairs, which looks at all the charities and monitors every penny they receive and send”.

Zweiri added that these charities cooperate with international aid agencies, including the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the UK-based Oxfam, in conflict zones such as Syria and Iraq.

“By saying that those specific [Qatari] charities [are engaged in ‘terrorism’], they are questioning the work of the international aid agencies cooperating with them as well.”

In London, the independent UK-based Arab Organisation for Human Rights (AOHR) released a statement condemning the Saudi bloc’s list as “arbitrary”.

“The list was clearly made up arbitrarily, to serve political agendas, without relying on any evidence or an impartial judicial authority,” the group wrote.

Source – Al Jazeera