Qatar must shun ‘extremism’ to host World Cup, says Gargash

Anwar Gargash, UAE minister of state for foreign affairs.
Updated 10 October 2017

Qatar must shun ‘extremism’ to host World Cup, says Gargash

DUBAI: Anwar Gargash, the UAE’s minister of state for foreign affairs, said Qatar’s hosting of the 2022 World Cup should depend on it rejecting “extremism and terrorism.”
The Anti-Terror Quartet (ATQ) — comprising Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the UAE — severed diplomatic, trade and travel ties with Qatar in June, accusing it of sponsoring extremist groups.
“Qatar’s hosting of World Cup 2022 should include a repudiation of policies supporting extremism and terrorism. Doha should review its record,” Anwar Gargash, UAE minister of state for foreign affairs, wrote on Twitter.
“Hosting World Cup 2022 should not be tainted by support of extremist individuals and (organizations)/terrorist figures, review of Qatar’s policies a must,” he added.
The World Cup is the centerpiece of a carefully crafted strategy to project Qatar onto the global stage via sport. In the run-up, Qatar is scheduled to host events across different sports aimed at improving infrastructure and expertise.
Egypt is the top-ranked soccer team in Africa, and Saudi Arabia and the UAE are both in Asia’s top eight.
Last month officials from the ATQ did not turn up to the draw for a Middle East soccer tournament in Doha and said they wanted to postpone the competition that could be an early test for the World Cup hosts.
Qatari officials could not be immediately reached for comment on Gargash’s remarks.
Qatar has previously said that the rift has not affected its preparations to host the tournament and that alternative sources for construction materials had been secured.
Soccer’s governing body FIFA has said it has been in regular contact with Qatar since the row erupted.
Gargash made his comments after a former Dubai police chief wrote on Twitter this week that the Gulf crisis could end if Doha forfeited hosting the World Cup.
Gargash said the official, Dhahi Khalfan, had been misunderstood in media coverage.


Turkey says ready to send troops to back Libya unity govt

Updated 53 min 47 sec ago

Turkey says ready to send troops to back Libya unity govt

ANKARA: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday he was ready to send troops to Libya if requested by the internationally recognised government in Tripoli.
"On the issue of sending soldiers... If Libya makes such a request from us, we can send our personnel there, especially after striking the military security agreement," he said in a televised appearance.
Turkey signed a military agreement last month with Libya's Government of National Accord, led by Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj.
It came after media reports that Russia had sent 200 mercenaries to support Libya's military strongman Khalifa Haftar, who is seeking to unseat the Tripoli-based government.
Russia has denied the reports, but Erdogan said: "There is a security company from Russia (in Libya) called Wagner. This company sent its security staff there."
The Wagner Group is a shadowy private security firm and thousands of its security contractors are believed to be in foreign conflicts from Syria to Ukraine to the Central African Republic.
At the same time as the military deal, Turkey also signed a controversial maritime jurisdiction agreement with Sarraj, giving sweeping rights for Turkey to explore for oil in the Mediterranean.
"With the new line drawn (by the maritime agreement), we will take steps to protect the interests of Libya, Turkey and the TRNC (Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus). This is in line with international law," he said.
The deal has been staunchly opposed by Greece, Cyprus and their European partners which says it violates the islands' maritime rights.