UAE envoy says Qatar should not be able to own Western landmarks while funding terror - Gulf Business
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UAE envoy says Qatar should not be able to own Western landmarks while funding terror

UAE envoy says Qatar should not be able to own Western landmarks while funding terror

Yousef Al Otaiba said Qatar should take “decisive action” to deal with its terror problem

Qatar cannot be allowed to own buildings and businesses in the US and Europe while using the proceeds to finance terror groups, the UAE’s ambassador to Washington has said.

In an op-ed published by the Wall Street Journal, Yousef Al Otaiba argued Qatar, which is currently subject to a blockade by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and other Arab nations should clean up its act before being allowed to invest in further landmarks.

“Qatar cannot own stakes in the Empire State Building and the London Shard and use the profits to write checks to affiliates of al Qaeda,” he said, adding that the country “must take decisive action” to deal with its “extremist problem”.

Read: Qater invests $622m in Empire State Building owner

The group of Arab nations shut land, sea and air links with Qatar and ended diplomatic relations after accusing the Gulf state of having links to terrorist groups.

The feud showed no sign of ending on Tuesday with aviation authorities in Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar announcing today that they had closed their airspace to Qatar to protect citizens amid complaints that they were breaching international civil aviation agreements by the CEO of Qatar Airways.

Read: Saudi, UAE, Bahrain say airspace closure due to threats after Qatar Airways comments

Qatar’s finance minister said yesterday that the country’s economy was operating as normal despite the blockade against it as shipping companies introduced new routes via Oman to supply food.

Read: Qatar’s economy operating ‘as normal’ – finance minister

In an interview with CNBC, Ali Sherif al-Emadi said the government was “extremely comfortable” with its positions, investments and liquidity and was not currently considering selling the assets of its sovereign wealth fund.

Qatar’s UK assets include department store Harrods and numerous other real estate investments in London including the Canary Wharf business district. It also revealed plans in March to invest a further GBP5bn ($6.27bn) in the country over the next three to five years.

Read: Qatar to invest $6.27bn in UK over the next five years

In the US, the Gulf state owns a stake in the owner of New York’s Empire State Building and has entered into a joint venture with a subsidiary of commercial real estate company Brookfield Property Partners for the $8.6bn Manhattan West development in the city.

It has pledged to invest $35bn in the US over the next five years.

Read: Qatar Investment Authority commits to $35bn US investment


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