UAE’s Gargash says Qatar isolation could last for years

Anwar Gargash, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs talks to The Associated Press about relations with Qatar in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Wednesday, June 9, 2017. (AP)
Updated 19 June 2017
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UAE’s Gargash says Qatar isolation could last for years

PARIS: A senior United Arab Emirates (UAE) official said on Monday Qatar’s powerful Arab neighbors could continue to isolate it “for years” if it did not change course in its policy of supporting extremists and jihadist groups.
Speaking to a small group of reporters in Paris, Anwar Gargash, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, said a list of grievances Arab nations had with Qatar would be completed in the next few days,and that Doha needed to move beyond its state of “denial.”
“The Kuwaiti mediation will be very useful and there will be demands coming. Qatar will realize that this is a new state of affairs and isolation can last years,” Gargash said.
“If they want to be isolated because of their perverted view of what their political role is then let them be isolated.”
Qatar denies fomenting instability in the Middle East and funding terrorism.
Gargash also urged Turkey, which has been supportive of Qatar, to remain balanced in the crisis and understand that it was in its interest to support Arab efforts.


HRW slams Morocco over journalist’s 3-year jail term

Updated 11 min 47 sec ago
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HRW slams Morocco over journalist’s 3-year jail term

  • Hamid el Mahdaoui was sentenced in June for "not denouncing" attempts to harm state security
  • Well known for criticising the Moroccan government on social media, Mahdaoui is already serving a one-year sentence

TUNIS: Human Rights Watch (HRW) criticised a Morocco court on Wednesday for sentencing a prominent journalist to three years in prison on a "dubious charge" relating to a northern protest movement.
Hamid el Mahdaoui was sentenced in June for "not denouncing" attempts to harm state security after he received a call from a man who said he planned to create armed strife in Morocco.
The court had rejected Mahdaoui's defence that as a journalist he often receives calls from strangers and that he felt the man's claims were "idle chatter", HRW said.
Well known for criticising the Moroccan government on social media, Mahdaoui is already serving a one-year sentence for inciting protests.
He received the call during the thousands-strong Al-Hirak al-Shaabi (Popular Movement) demonstrations that rocked the Rif region in 2016 and 2017.
HRW's Middle East director Sarah Leah Whitson said the charges against him "reek of an arbitrary use of the law on an outspoken journalist by authorities who have been radically reducing the space for critical reporting and commentary."