Qatar claims it is victim of terror smear ‘campaign’

This photo taken on Nov. 7, 2014 shows the Qatar skyline in the background, in Doha, Qatar. (AP)
Updated 20 May 2017

Qatar claims it is victim of terror smear ‘campaign’

DOHA: Qatar said Saturday it was the victim of an orchestrated smear campaign in sections of the media over its alleged “support” for terrorism, a claim Doha denounced as a “lie.”
In a strongly worded statement from Doha’s government communications office, Qatar said it had been deliberately targeted ahead of US President Donald Trump’s visit to the region, which began on Saturday.
“In the run-up to Donald Trump’s trip to the Middle East, an orchestrated barrage of opinion pieces by anti-Qatar organizations in a variety of mainstream and online publications has alleged that Qatar is sympathetic to, or turns a blind eye toward the actions of terrorist groups in the Middle East,” read the statement.
“This is absolutely and unequivocally false.”
The statement added that any “allegation that Qatar supports terrorism is a lie.”
It gave no examples of any articles it was referring to, nor any of the “anti-Qatar organizations.”
But the statement said, however, that one day those responsible for the “anti-Qatar” campaign might be unmasked.
“When that happens we will, perhaps, learn the true motive behind their efforts to damage Qatar’s good name.”
Doha has long faced accusations that it is a state sponsor of terror.
It has faced criticism in some quarters for its support of rebel groups fighting Syrian President Bashar Assad, and Qatari individuals have also been sanctioned by the US Treasury for terror-funding activities.
In recent weeks, Qatar has been accused outright of terror funding in articles which have appeared in the American media.
It was also criticized for providing a sanctuary to former Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal, who earlier this month used his Doha base, where he has lived in exile for several years, to launch a new policy document.
The Afghan Taliban also opened an office in Doha in 2013.
Qatar, which will host the 2022 football World Cup, is a member of the US-led coalition to defeat the Daesh group.
And the country is also home to the Al-Udeid airbase, where the US conducts all coalition air operations for the region.

Arab anger over ‘theft of occupied Golan Heights’

Updated 26 March 2019

Arab anger over ‘theft of occupied Golan Heights’

  • Israel seized part of the Golan during the 1967 Six-Day War, subsequently annexing it in 1981
  • US President Trump officially recognized Israel's sovereignty of the Golan Heights on March 25, 2019

JEDDAH: Arab states on Monday condemned US President Donald Trump’s recognition of the occupied Golan Heights as Israeli territory.

The decision “does not change the area’s status” as illegally occupied territory, Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit said.

Breaking decades of international consensus, Trump signed a proclamation at the White House on Monday recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the border area that Israel seized from Syria in 1967. 

Syria said the decision was a blatant attack on its sovereignty. 

“Trump does not have the right or the legal authority to legitimize the occupation,” a Foreign Ministry spokesman said.

Opposition chief Nasr Al-Hariri said Trump’s decision would “lead to more violence and instability, and it will have negative effects on efforts to engineer peace in the region.”

Lebanon said the move “violates all the rules of international law” and “undermines any effort to reach a just peace.”

“The Golan Heights are Syrian Arab land, no decision can change this, and no country can revisit history by transferring ownership of land from one country to another,” the Foreign Ministry said.