Conflicts & War

UAE accuses Qatari media of “undermining” reconciliation efforts

Dubai, Dec 22 (efe-epa).- The United Arab Emirates Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash on Tuesday accused Qatari media of “undermining” efforts to end a regional fallout between Doha and other Gulf countries.

The accusation follows a claim by the Qatari al-Jazeera TV channel that both UAE and Saudi Arabia have been spying on its journalists.

“Regarding the Qatari media platforms, it seems that they insist on undermining any agreement,” Gargash said on his Twitter account without explicitly mentioning the allegations made by al-Jazeera and other pro-Qatari media.

The Gulf countries “aspire to end the crisis with Qatar and to find the best way to ensure Doha’s commitment to any agreement that does good for the region,” he added.

UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt severed ties with Qatar mid-2017 blaming Doha for supporting terrorism, mainly the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood group.

Al-Jazeera on Monday claimed that Saudi Arabia and UAE have been spying on at least 36 journalists of the Qatar-based channel with an Israeli program, citing a study by Toronto University.

The Israeli NSO Group’s Pegasus software was used to hack the phones of al-Jazeera’s journalists, producers, anchors and executives, according to the study published on Sunday.

The channel tasked the university to carry out the investigation after journalist Tamer al-Misshal reported receiving death threats on a phone he used to call the UAE government for a report, he said.

“They threatened to make me the new Jamal Khashoggi,” al-Misshal said according to the al-Jazeera website, referring to the Saudi journalist who was assassinated in his country’s consulate in Istanbul in October 2018.

The results of the investigation came amid talks between Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain on one hand and Qatar to solve the crisis.

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