Qatari Foreign Ministry: News Agency Was Hacked. Gulf Region Still Troubled.

Doha, Qatar.–On Wednesday June 7 2017, Qatar’s foreign ministry explained that recent accusations of Qatar by neighboring Gulf states have no factual base; that the country’s state news agency was hacked by unidentified entities, leading others to campaign in ostracizing Qatar.

The investigation led by Qatar’s foreign ministry was conducted with the aid of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation and the British National Crime Agency, to which details were not disclosed. Qatar’s foreign ministry stated:

“The ministry said the investigation team confirmed that the piracy process had used high techniques and innovative methods by exploiting an electronic gap on the website of the Qatar News Agency.” 

The alleged hackers have not been named nor have they been associated with any political party.

As for the Gulf region’s affairs, Al-Qabas, a Kuwaiti news agency, stated that the Emir of Kuwait, had returned to Kuwait after scurrying across the Gulf states to enforce a swift resolution. The Emir, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, had visited the United Arab Emirates and later, the Kingdom of Saudia Arabia before returning to Kuwait.

Information about the visits and the discussions concerning the Qatari seclusion dilemma have yet to be disclosed.

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(Left; Sheikh Mohammed Al-Thani, Qatari Minister of Foreign Affairs. Right; Former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.)

Peter Salisbury, a political analyst with a focus on the Middle East, recently wrote an opinion article on the Guardian explaining what the recent Qatari dilemma means to the West. Salisbury states that Qatar’s relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood and, its often controversially critical of neighboring Gulf states, Al-Jazeera news agency, are the main reasons other Gulf countries are troubled by it. Salisbury also connects a considerably troubling factor to neighboring countries as Qatar possesses a relatively more open relation with Iran, a country which is now dealing with a terrorist attack.

The opinion piece offers insight to Qatar’s economic ventures and partnerships internationally, along with open ties with Israel, as indicators of competitiveness and borderline defiance to Gulf juggernaut Saudia Arabia.

Salisbury connects Qatar’s nature to punch over its weight in relation to its Gulf partners, and the rift that has created, to the problematic position of the West in the near future. As many western power houses such as the U.S., UK and France have high investments and economic ties with Qatar in the gas and oil energy market.

The resolution of the current GCC rift and Qatar’s ostracized position does seem to be currently uncertain. The U.A.E. and the Kingdom of Saudia Arabia have already enacted certain laws that prohibit the public’s interaction with the current happenings on social media; those who either participate in agreement or opposition, let alone publicly share their analysis, are to expect jail time and/or a fine.

 

 

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