Qatar Says New Blacklist a ‘Disappointing Surprise’

Qatar Says New Blacklist a ‘Disappointing Surprise’Qatar Says New Blacklist a ‘Disappointing Surprise’

Qatar has described a new blacklist released by Saudi Arabia and its allies as a “disappointing surprise”, saying it was doing all it could to fight extremism.

Sheikh Saif bin Ahmed Al Thani, Qatar’s communications director, said the decision by the four Arab states to add 18 groups and individuals allegedly linked to Doha to their “terrorist” list has no basis in fact, Al Jazeera reported.

“It comes as a disappointing surprise that the blockading countries are still pursuing this story as part of their smear campaign against Qatar,” he said in a statement on Wednesday.

The move by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain on Tuesday came despite mounting international pressure to compromise in their weeks-old boycott of their fellow US ally.

The new names include nine entities in Yemen and Libya, and add to a previous blacklist of 59 individuals and 12 groups issued by the four states last month.

Sheikh Saif said: “This latest list provides further evidence that the blockading countries are not committed to the fight against terrorism.

“All individuals with links to terrorism in Qatar have been prosecuted. We encourage the blockading countries to spend less time on drafting these fabricated lists and more time on implementing measures to counter the threat of extremism in their own countries.”

Saudi Arabia and its allies have been boycotting Qatar since June 5 in the region’s worst diplomatic crisis in years.

Accusing Qatar of financing terrorism, they sealed the emirate’s only land border, ordered its citizens to leave and closed their airspace and waters to Qatari flights and shipping.

They want Qatar to cut back ties with Iran, close down a Turkish military base in Qatar and shut the Al Jazeera TV channel, which they view as critical of their governments.

Qatar has dismissed the demands as a violation of its sovereignty.


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