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Archive for Qatar

Newsline: Qatari embassy accused of detaining Swaziland journalists

Staff at the Qatari embassy in Swaziland were accused of detaining two local journalists after they refused to sign an agreement not to publish a report about the acting ambassador. According to the Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa) NGO, the journalists were held for more than an hour at the Qatari embassy on October 5 as staff tried to prevent them from publishing an article about the diplomat’s alleged involvement in an assault. The two journalists, from the Times of Swaziland, were at the embassy to interview Qatar’s acting ambassador Yaqoub Al Mulla about an incident in which he allegedly pointed a firearm at a street vendor. Mr Al Mulla agreed to the interview but then tried to force the paper’s business editor Kwanele Dhladhla and investigative journalist Welcome Dlamini to sign the agreement, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

https://www.thenational.ae/world/gcc/qatari-embassy-held-swaziland-journalists-1.785567

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Newsline: US to appoint Qatar ambassador amid Gulf row

The United States has said it would appoint an ambassador to Qatar, after a 16-month gap during which Doha has been at the centre of a regional diplomatic crisis. The White House announced that US President Donald Trump intends to nominate Mary Phee, who previously served as US ambassador to Sudan, after Dana Shell Smith resigned last year. Smith – who has criticised Trump’s handling of the State Department – stepped down from her post just days after the diplomatic crisis erupted between Qatar and its neighbours. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt severed ties with Doha on June 5, 2017 over allegations it seeks closer ties with Saudi Arabia’s arch-rival Iran and supports radical Islamist groups.

https://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/news/2018/10/18/us-to-appoint-qatar-ambassador-amid-gulf-row

Newsline: Afghanistan’s Taliban sources confirm Qatar meeting with senior US diplomat

Taliban officials met secretly with a senior US diplomat in Qatar last week, sources in the group have told the BBC. The face-to-face talks in Doha with Alice Wells, a state department deputy assistant secretary, were “very important”, one Taliban official said. News of the meeting follows a directive from the Trump administration for US diplomats to talk directly with the Afghan militant group. The Taliban have long said that only with the US will they discuss peace. Direct talks with the militants, without Afghan officials present, marks a major turnaround in Washington’s policy as it seeks to end America’s longest war. It comes after an unprecedented three-day ceasefire during Eid celebrations in June that was largely respected by both sides. There have been attacks since, including one on army check points in Badghis province. The meeting was first reported by the Wall Street Journal. Two senior Taliban sources confirmed it to the BBC’s Mahfouz Zubaide, in Kabul. They said a six-member delegation was led by Abbas Stanikzai, who heads the group’s political office in Doha.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-45006643

Newsline: Palestinians Attack Qatari Ambassador in Gaza

Palestinians in Gaza Strip attacked the Qatari ambassador Mohammed al-Emadi after his press conference at Dar al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza to announce the details of the Emiri Qatari grant, and they forced him to leave under direct threat to his life. Sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that one of the cleaning workers in one of Gaza’s hospitals asked Emadi after the conference about the fate of their salaries given that they had not received any payment for the fifth month in a row. The ambassador told the striking workers, most of them hospital staff, that the Palestinian Authority was the only party authorized to discuss the issue of their unpaid salaries. He indicated that this is not an issue related to his country, adding: “This has nothing to do with the Qatari grant.” The ambassador’s response angered the workers who were hoping to receive help. They threw shoes at the ambassador before he was taken from the premises by security forces. Sources said that Emadi was not hit directly, but the workers tore pictures of the Emir of Qatar in the place, along with banners thanking Qatar for its financial aid to Gaza. Officials of the Ministry of Health in Gaza ordered the workers of the cleaning companies to attend the conference of Emadi, carrying the banners and pictures in an attempt to attract more support. The officials were also hoping to resolve the crisis that has been ongoing for more than two weeks, causing an environmental disaster in hospitals as a result of the accumulation of wastes. Asharq Al-Awsat learned that the ministry’s officials and a number of Hamas officially apologized to the Qatari ambassador.

https://aawsat.com/english/home/article/1181206/palestinians-attack-qatari-ambassador-gaza-hamas-apologizes

Newsline: Turkish ambassador denies Qatar deployment comments

Fikret Ozer, Turkey’s ambassador to Doha, has denied media reports that he had said Turkey was planning to deploy air and naval forces to Qatar. Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Ozer said that any deployment of Turkish military assets to Qatar would depend upon a bilateral agreement to this effect between the Turkish and Qatari militaries. According to the diplomat, a 2014 military cooperation agreement between Qatar and Turkey contained a provision for the deployment of Turkish forces to the Qatari capital. “Since then, however, no new articles have been attached to the agreement,” Ozer asserted. He went on to dismiss reports in certain media outlets that he had said Turkey was about to deploy forces to Qatar.

http://aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/turkish-ambassador-denies-qatar-deployment-comments/1052549

Newsline: Qatari ambassador resumes mission in Iran after 20-month hiatus

Qatar’s ambassador to Iran has officially resumed his diplomatic mission in the Islamic republic on Saturday, Tasnim news agency reported. Qatar’s ambassador to Iran Ali Bin Hamad al-Sulaiti returned to the Iranian capital Tehran on Friday after a 20-month hiatus. The Qatari Foreign Ministry said that it had decided to return its ambassador to Iran and expressed its aspiration to strengthen bilateral ties with Iran in all fields. Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qasemi welcomed Doha’s decision, saying that “the decision is a logical and positive move by Qatar.” Qatar has withdrawn its ambassador from Iran in January 2016, after Saudi Arabia cut ties with Iran, accusing the latter of failing to protect its embassy in Tehran and consulate in Mashhad against demonstrators who had ransacked them.

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2017-08/26/c_136557609.htm

Newsline: Qatar orders closure of Chadian embassy

Qatar ordered the embassy of Chad be closed and gave its diplomats 72 hours to leave, the Qatari foreign ministry said, accusing the African country of joining a “campaign of blackmail” with its decision to shutter the Qatari embassy. Qatar is involved in a row with four Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, over allegations that Doha supports terrorism. Qatar denies the charges. Chad said on Wednesday it was giving Qatari diplomats 10 days to leave the country, accusing Qatar of trying to destabilize the central African nation through its northern neighbor Libya. The director of the Qatari foreign ministry’s media department said the timing of the Chadian decision shows that it “comes within the campaign of political blackmail against the State of Qatar with the intention of joining the siege countries for very well known reasons”. Qatar refers to Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt as the “siege countries” for imposing sanctions on it. Senegal said this week it had returned its ambassador to Qatar after having recalled him three months ago, in a bid to encourage a peaceful resolution to the feud.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-gulf-qatar-chad-idUSKCN1B42FK?il=0