UAE diplomat warns of 'long estrangement' in Qatar crisis


The Washington Post report accusing the United Arab Emirates of being behind the alleged hacking of Qatar's state media agency (QNA) is infallible proof of its responsibility for the attack, Qatari officials has said.

Qatar said the report "unequivocally proves that this hacking crime took place".

USA intelligence recently obtained information confirming that UAE government officials orchestrated a plan to post false quotes attributed to Qatar's emir, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad al-Thani, on Qatari websites, the Washington Post reported Sunday.

The Washington Post cited USA intelligence officials as saying the UAE had orchestrated the posting of incendiary quotes attributed to Qatar's emir that he insisted were fabricated.

The Qatari emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, had been falsely quoted in May as praising Hamas and saying that Iran was an "Islamic power", the Post reported. It remains unclear whether the UAE carried out the hacks itself or hired an outside contractor, USA intelligence officials told WaPo.

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The UAE embassy in the USA posted on Twitter, quoting Ambassador Yousef al-Otaiba, that the Washington Post story is "false".

The US intelligence community has not yet responded to the Washington Post article but the UAE's minister of state for foreign affairs, Anwar Gargash, called the allegations of his country's involvement in the Qatar hacking "untrue" in an interview with the BBC on Monday.

The six Arab countries who last month cut ties with Qatar are reported to have written to world soccer's governing body Federation Internationale de Football Association to demand it be stripped of hosting the 2022 World Cup because they consider the Gulf state to be a "base of terrorism".

"The Washington Post story is not true, simply not true", Gargash said.

Although Fifa has denied receiving any such letter, it is unlikely to prevent future speculation that Qatar will not be able to host football's flagship event in 2022.

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Federation Internationale de Football Association said its president "has never received such a letter and subsequently has not made any comment on that". "Qatar inciting violence, encouraging radicalization, and undermining the stability of its neighbors", the ambassador said in a statement.

The GCC is a six-member bloc that includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

In this context, Le Drian's visit to Jeddah resulted in a Saudi-French agreement on the necessity to fight all terrorist parties and commit to halt funding and supporting them.

U.S. intelligence agents have been helping Qatar uncover the parties behind the hack.

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. Previously, US media, citing the Federal Bureau of Investigation, blamed the attack on "Russian hackers".

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More than 10,000 US troops are based at Qatar's al-Udeid Air Base, the US Central Command's regional headquarters, and Bahrain is the home of the US Navy's 5th Fleet.