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French academic says Qatari newspaper misrepresented his views on GCC

Dr. Stephane La Croix said his views on the GCC nations were "altered and misrepresented" in Qatari newspaper Al Sharq. (Supplied)
LONDON: A leading French academic said that a widely circulated Qatari newspaper article in which he appeared to be taking sides against Saudi Arabia and the UAE was inaccurate.
Speaking exclusively with Arab News, Dr Stephane La Croix, a specialist on Islam and the Gulf countries, confirmed the alteration and misrepresentation of his views.
“There were many mistakes. They (Al Sharq) acknowledged them and published a more accurate version, and I don’t want to make further comment,” he said.
Dr. La Croix said that the newspaper has agreed to correct the story and rectify what it has previously published.
The widely circulated article first appeared on Feb. 13 and originally contained some inaccurate comments about Saudi-UAE relations and the role both countries played in the region. The interview reappeared on Tuesday with a new headline and an apology.
The newspaper claimed that the mistakes were of a technical nature, and related to the misuse of terminology with the newspaper’s translation of Dr. La Croix’s interview.
In a published statement, Orient XXI criticized the unprofessionalism displayed by Al Sharq and decided to publish its own translation of the interview it conducted with Dr. La Croix, this can be read in full here
Dr. La Croix teaches political science at Sciences Po, a leading university in Paris, and is the author of several books on the Middle East.
Qatar is in dispute with several Arab countries. Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt severed ties last April and imposed a boycott because of Doha’s links with terrorism and its media’s incitement of extremism.
One such example happened last month when Qatar signed a security agreement with the NATO alliance.
Qatari media and its allies in the Middle East region exaggerated the deal but stopped short from claiming that Doha took a full role in the transatlantic alliance.

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