Qatari FM to visit Moscow amid crisis

Qatari FM to visit Moscow amid crisis
Qatari foreign minister Sheik Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani speaks during a press conference in Belgrade, Serbia in this Jan. 30, 217 file photo. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic, File)
Updated 10 June 2017

Qatari FM to visit Moscow amid crisis

Qatari FM to visit Moscow amid crisis

DUBAI: The Qatari foreign minister will visit Moscow for talks with his Russian counterpart amid a diplomatic crisis between the Gulf nation and other Arab countries, said Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency Thursday.
RIA Novosti said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will meet with Qatari counterpart Mohammed Al-Thani on Saturday. It quoted Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying that President Vladimir Putin was not scheduled to meet with Al-Thani.
Putin had a telephone conversation with Qatar Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani Tuesday, urging dialogue. Moscow rejected allegations that Russian hackers breached Qatar’s state news agency and planted a fake news story that led to a split between Qatar and the other Arab nations.
Moscow dismissed the allegation on Wednesday. “It’s a stale claim and, as ever, there is zero evidence,” said Andrei Krutskikh, a Kremlin adviser on cyber security.
Meanwhile, Qatari investigators have said that the cyber attack which saw the publication of explosive fake news last month that helped trigger a crisis with Gulf neighbors was prepared in April.
In a preliminary report published late on Wednesday, the investigators did not say who they held responsible for the hack but said that both Britain and the US were helping with their inquiry.
The comments attributed to Qatari emir on incendiary issues such as Israel, Iran and Palestinian group Hamas were one of the reasons cited by Saudi Arabia and its allies on Monday for imposing a diplomatic and economic blockade on Qatar.
“The investigation team confirmed that the hack was carried out using innovative technological methods by exploiting an electronic gap on the website of the Qatar News Agency,” the report said.
“The team confirmed that the hacked file was installed last April, which was later exploited in the publication of the fabricated news on 24/5/2017, at 12:13 a.m. (2113 GMT May 23).”
CNN reported on Tuesday that US officials believed Russian hackers were behind the planting of the fake news.
Qatar says it intends to take legal action against those responsible.