UAE envoy on Qatar: No military component to anything we are doing

The United Arab Emirates Ambassador to the United States Yousef Al Otaiba. (File photo, AP)

The United Arab Emirates ambassador to Washington Yousef Al Otaiba said on Tuesday that there was no military action taken against Qatar despite accusations against the country for upporting terrorism.

“There is absolutely no military component to anything that we are doing,” the UAE Ambassador told reporters in Washington.

“I have talked to US Defense Secretary James Mattis four times during last week and we have given full assurance that the steps we have taken will in no way affect the Al Udeid Air Base or any operations that support or relate to al-Qaeda,” he said.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut ties with Qatar last week and imposed economic sanctions.

These countries have also listed dozens of people linked to Qatar as terrorists. In addition to twelve entities that have also been placed on a list of terrorist-related organizations.

When asked if more steps would be taken against Qatar, Otaiba said: “We’ve designated 59 people and 12 entities. It’s likely that you could see designations of their bank accounts and perhaps of the banks themselves. And so there’ll be an escalation of economic pressure, again, short of a policy shift or negotiations that lead to a policy shift.”

Otaiba said the four countries have a list of demands for Qatar which is soon to compile in a unified one to be delivered to the United States very soon.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:54 - GMT 06:54