UAE summons Qatar envoy over ‘insults’ by Yusuf Qaradawi

Updated 15 May 2014

UAE summons Qatar envoy over ‘insults’ by Yusuf Qaradawi

ABU DHABI: The UAE summoned the Qatari ambassador on Sunday to protest against remarks made by a Muslim Brotherhood-linked cleric who slammed the Emirates for jailing hardliners, the Foreign Ministry said.
The summons was the first of its kind by a GCC state against another GCC state since the bloc’s formation in 1981.
Qatar’s ambassador to the UAE, Fares Al-Nuaimi, was summoned to the Foreign Ministry in Abu Dhabi and handed “an official letter of protest” over “insults” by cleric Yusuf Qaradawi, WAM reported.
Qaradawi, an Egyptian-born Muslim scholar, wields huge influence through his regular appearances on Al-Jazeera television from his base in exile in Qatar, where he has lived for decades.
He is a staunch backer of Egypt’s deposed President Muhammad Mursi, unlike the UAE which supports the interim government installed in Cairo by the military that overthrew Mursi last July 3.
In a weekly Friday prayers sermon in Doha last month, Qaradawi lashed out at the UAE, accusing it of “standing against Islamic government, punishing its leaders and putting them in jail.”
On Saturday, Qatari Foreign Minister Khaled Al-Attiyah disavowed Qaradawi’s remarks, saying “they do not reflect Qatari foreign policy” and insisting that ties between the two nations are “strategic in all aspects.”
But the UAE Foreign Ministry said that response “did not reflect a decisive stance rejecting Qaradawi’s speech,” and therefore Abu Dhabi had to take “an unprecedented measure” and summon Doha’s envoy.


Iraq reports 24-hour virus toll record of over 3,800

Updated 6 sec ago

Iraq reports 24-hour virus toll record of over 3,800

BAGHDAD: Iraq’s health ministry Thursday reported 3,841 new COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours, a record since the first infection was registered in February.
The latest count raises total confirmed cases in Iraq to 164,277, including 5,641 deaths, according to the ministry.
The novel coronavirus has brought Iraq’s fragile economy to its knees and overwhelmed hospitals already stretched by decades of conflict and a lack of investment.
Iraq reopened to commercial flights in late July after four months of lockdown. Earlier that month it had lifted other restrictions and reopened malls and shops.
But the number of confirmed virus cases had risen steadily until Thursday’s record tally.
It made Iraq one of the worst hit countries in the Middle East, but still far behind neighboring Iran where total confirmed cases since February are over 300,000.