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ANALYSIS: UAE envoy’s hacked emails and Qatar’s escalating Gulf rift

Otaiba’s e-mails reveal widely-known Emirati stances regarding Qatar’s power ambitions against its Gulf neighbors. (Photo courtesy: UAE embassy in Washington)

Qatari media outlets this week circulated US reports of hacked e-mails allegedly belonging to the UAE ambassador to the US, Yousef Al-Otaiba.

Arab observers speaking to Al Arabiya have blasted this as a Qatari attempt to increase tensions in the region following last month’s rift between Gulf states.

Qatari media outlets, citing The Intercept, reported Otaiba’s e-mail inbox as being hacked, and published the e-mails.

The report said that the hackers provided The Intercept, the Huffington Post – whom Qatar funds its Arabic version – and the Daily Beast with the content of the e-mails.

Qatari media outlets this week circulated US reports of hacked e-mails allegedly belonging to the UAE ambassador to the US, Yousef Al-Otaiba. (Photo courtesy: UAE embassy in Washington)

Qatari media outlets cited The Intercept in their reports and did not cite the other two websites.

Otaiba’s e-mails reveal widely-known Emirati stances regarding Qatar’s power ambitions against its Gulf neighbors, particularly the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

They also show widely-known Emirati positions towards Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood and towards Qatar’s pivotal role in using the two groups’ organizational tools.

Many observers of the news believe that Qatari media outlets employed these hacked e-mails to publish reports that aim to harm relations between Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Screenshot of The Intercept news story on the hacked emails.

They believe that Qatari reports twisted phrases about the Emirati envoy’s relations a think-tank, the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), which were made to look detrimental to diplomacy and national security interests.

The observers noted that Qatari media outlets insisted on accusing FDD of working for foreign interests although, unlike many other think tanks, FDD takes no money from foreign governments as it is ‎non-partisan. They said that Qatar has hired around 65 lobbies, most of whom work for Israel, and it pays them massive annual funds to defend its interests.

They also said that the e-mails do not indicate there is any Emirati conspiracy against Saudi Arabia, adding that the hacked e-mails prove the validity of complaints from Qatar’s neighbors about the Gulf state’s policies in destabilizing the situation in the region.

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Last Update: Tuesday, 6 June 2017 KSA 22:34 - GMT 19:34
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