Qatar’s ambassador to the US has fired back at the UAE and Saudi Arabia with an op-ed piece highlighting the role of Emiratis and Saudis in the 9/11 Twin Tower attacks in 2001.
The article, published in the Wall Street Journal, followed another op-ed published last week in which the UAE’s ambassador to Washington, Yousef Al Otaiba, argued Qatar should be forced to halt its alleged links to terrorism before being allowed to invest in more Western landmarks like London’s Shard.
“Emiratis, not Qataris, were among the hijackers who flew planes into the Twin Towers,’’ Sheikh Meshal bin Hamad Al Thani, who became Qatar’s ambassador to Washington in April, said.
He added that the UAE had also been singled out by the 9/11 commission for its role in “laundering money for terrorists”.
Of the 19 hijackers who flew passenger jets into the World Trade Centre towers, two were Emirati, 15 were Saudi and two were Lebanese and Egyptian.
Qatar has been isolated for more than two weeks by its Gulf neighbours Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain, who allege it is funding terrorist groups and encouraging regional instability.
The dispute showed no signs of ending this week with Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister stating on Friday that the kingdom and its allies were working on a list of “grievances” against Qatar.
US secretary of state Rex Tillerson has cancelled a trip to Mexico to try and resolve the crisis as Kuwait continues its mediation efforts.
In a speech marking Ramadan on Sunday , Kuwait’s ruler Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah said he hoped the remaining days of the Muslim holy month would create “the atmosphere for resolving unfortunate differences and ending the rift through dialogue and communication” in the Gulf.