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Qatar must address Gulf concerns, says Gargash   

Khaleej Times - 12 August, 2017

Dr Anwar Gargash, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, has said the best route for Qatar to end the standoff in the region is to address the concerns of its neighbours about destabilising them as sovereign nations.

He was talking to a group of editors at the end of his two-day visit to India. Dr Gargash when asked about demands to close down Al Jazeera, said Al Jazeera's Arabic channel is a "pamphlet of the Muslim Brotherhood" and, therefore, a threat to peace.

Dr Gargash is the first high-level official to visit India from any of the four Arab countries which have taken a principled stand against terrorism funded and promoted by Qatar since their actions to restrain Doha began at the end of May.

The UAE minister assured Indian leaders and senior officials that recent developments in the region will have no adverse impact on Indian communities in the Gulf or on India's economic interests there. He also assured India that the four countries in question had no intention of escalating tensions in the region.

In an hour-long briefing on the extremist threat emanating from Qatar, Dr Gargash said it was not an instance of four states, some of them large, bullying a small state. "Qatar is a small, but wealthy, state using its financial means to support terrorism. This is not a matter of five Arab states in a feud."

Describing Qatar as a "financier of terror", Dr Gargash said the list of terrorists, who have found safe haven in Doha, include many who have been conclusively sanctioned by the United Nations or the United States of America.

"Today terrorism is a global issue. No city in India or the US or Europe or anywhere else is immune from the global threat of terror. We cannot tolerate the view that a little terrorism and a little extremism is acceptable," he explained as the rationale behind the standoff. "The grey areas surrounding terrorism and extremism have to be eliminated."

He said the Gulf Cooperation Council has proved valuable to all and the preference is for a reformed Qatar to be part of the GCC.
 
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