The United Arab Emirates and Qatar are locked in a war of words as the diplomatic crisis between Qatar and its Sunni Arab neighbors enters its third week.
“Emiratis, not Qataris, were among the hijackers who flew planes into the Twin Towers,’’ Sheikh Meshal bin Hamad Al Thani, Qatar’s ambassador to the U.S., declared in an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal Sunday. “The UAE was singled out in the 9/11 Commission’s report for its role in laundering money to terrorists.”
The UAE shot back warning Qatar on Monday that sanctions imposed by several of its neighbours could last for years unless Doha accepts demands which Arab powers plan to reveal in coming days.
This statement comes a day after Qatar announced it will not cut off gas to the UAE despite the diplomatic dispute and a "force majeure" clause in its contract, the chief executive of Qatar Petroleum told Al Jazeera network, three weeks after some Gulf Arab states severed ties with Doha.
CEO Saad al-Kaabi said that although there was a "force majeure" clause in the agreement on the Dolphin gas pipeline, which links Qatar's giant North Field with the UAE, Qatar would not stop supplies for other reasons.
Qatar, which denies accusations by its neighbours that it funds terrorism and foments regional instability, held wargames with Turkish troops, showing off one of its few remaining strong alliances after two weeks of unprecedented isolation.
The Gulf diplomatic dispute has opened a rift between some of the main U.S. allies in the Middle East, after Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain cut off tiny-but-wealthy Qatar from trade, travel and diplomacy two weeks ago.
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