Separation will continue until Qatar changes its course: UAE

GARF files appeal with UN on workers rights

CAIRO 7 July 2017: On Wednesday, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has said that the current state of separation from Qatar will continue until the latter changes its course.

Sheikh Abdullah made the remarks during a press joint press conference he held in Cairo on Wednesday, along with the Foreign Ministers: Adel Al Jubair of Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa of Bahrain and Sameh Shoukry of Egypt.

Sheikh Abdullah indicated that despite the four countries’ patience, Qatar had not shown any interest in its brothers or surroundings.

“Doha has no interest in its brethren, nor its surroundings. It is interested in extremism, instigation, subversion and terrorism,”he added.

He noted that the goal of all countries of the world is to provided better opportunities to their respective peoples to grow, prosper and to lead a stable and secure life.

He regretted the fact that for the past two decades, Doha took the path of destruction and chaos.

He said the four countries will remain separated from Qatar until it changes its course from destruction to construction.

Confront Terrorism

He continued by saying: “We will make every possible effort to confront terrorism in the region. The region has suffered a lot of chaos and destruction and we have high hopes for a better future to our children. We are sovereign countries and will protect ourselves against terrorism and extremism in line with the international law.”

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said the four countries reiterated the necessity to combat terrorism and to dry up its sources. He stressed that there will be a zero tolerance with the Qatari role in supporting extremism and terrorism.

Saudi Foreign Minister said the measures taken against Doha were due to its support for terrorism, interference in other countries’ affairs and spreading hate.

Al Jubair also said it was no surprise that Qatar was trying to build closer ties with Iran, the world’s number one state sponsor of terrorism.

On the position of Turkey, Al Jubair said: “Ankara informed us that they are neutral and we hope they stick to that position.”

He also noted that this issue is of concern to the whole world since it is related to funding of terrorism.

He added that there will be no leniency with Qatari support for terrorism.

Terrorists + US Base in Qatar

“It is strange that Qatar harbours terrorists despite hosting a US base that is active in fighting Al Qaeda.”

Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa said the principles agreed by the four countries are the same that are embraced by the whole world.

“Our role is to stand in the face of Daesh terrorism, as well as the terrorism that comes from Iran,”he said.

On the Muslim Brotherhood, he said the group is involved in harming Egypt and shedding blood of its people and other peoples.

“Therefore, we consider them a terrorist organisation and every one belonging to them or showing sympathy with them, will be tried for that.”

Asked about the possibility of discontinuing Qatar’s membership in the Gulf Cooperation Council, Sheikh Khalid said: “This is for the GCC to discuss. Today’s meeting is about coordinating stances following the negative Qatari reply. We do not want to take hasty decisions, because such decisions are important and will impact the current situation.”


UAE, Saudi, Bahraini and Egyptian FMs meet in Cairo, issue statement

The Foreign Ministers of the United Arab Emirates, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Kingdom of Bahrain and the Arab Republic of Egypt issued a joint statement following their meeting in Cairo today.

Following is the text of the statement: The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of United Arab Emirates, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kingdom of Bahrain and Arab Republic of Egypt met in Cairo on Wednesday, the 5th of July 2017 to consult on the ongoing efforts to stop the State of Qatar’s support for extremism and terrorism and its interference in the internal affairs of Arab countries and the threats against Arab national security and international peace and security due to Qatar’s policies.

It was stressed that the position of the four countries is based on the importance of adherence to international conventions, charters and resolutions as well as the principles stipulated in the charters of the United Nations, the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in addition to the conventions on combating international terrorism with emphasis on the following principles: – Commitment to combat extremism and terrorism in all its forms and to prevent their financing or the provision of safe havens.

– Prohibiting all acts of incitement and all forms of expression which spread, incite, promote or justify hatred and violence.

– Full commitment to Riyadh Agreement 2013 and the supplementary agreement and its executive mechanism for 2014 within the framework of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) for Arab States.

– Commitment to all the outcomes of the Arab-Islamic-US Summit held in Riyadh in May 2017.

– Refrain from interfering in the internal affairs of States and from supporting illegal entities.

– The responsibility of all States of international community to confront all forms of extremism and terrorism as a threat to international peace and security.

The four countries affirmed that supporting extremism, terrorism and interfering in the internal affairs of the Arab countries is a matter that cannot be tolerated or procrastinated and that the list of demands made to the State of Qatar came within the framework of ensuring adherence to the six principles outlined above, protecting Arab national security, maintaining international peace and security, combating extremism and terrorism and providing appropriate circumstances to reach a political settlement of the region’s crises where it is no longer possible to tolerate the destructive role being played by the State of Qatar.

“The four Arab countries stressed that the measures taken and sustained by them are the result of the violation by the State of Qatar of its obligations and commitments under international law and its continued interference in the affairs of the Arab States and its support for extremism and terrorism and the consequent threats to the security of the region,”

The four countries expressed their thanks and appreciation to His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, Amir of the State of Kuwait, for his efforts and endeavor to resolve the crisis with the State of Qatar and expressed sorrow over negligence, lack of seriousness and the negative response received by the State of Qatar to deal with the roots of the problem and not ready to reconsider its policies and practices, reflecting a lack of understanding of the gravity of the situation.

The four countries stressed their keenness on the importance of the relationship between the Arab peoples and the deep appreciation to the Qatari people, expressing the hope that wisdom would prevail and the State of Qatar may make the right decision.

The four countries stressed that the time has come for the international community to shoulder its responsibility to put an end to the support of extremism and terrorism and that there is no room for any entity or party involved in practicing, supporting or financing of extremism and terrorism in the international community or to be as a partner in the efforts of peaceful settlement of political crises in the region.

In this context, the four countries expressed their appreciation for the decisive position adopted by President Donald Trump of the United States of America on the need for an immediate end to the support and elimination of extremism and terrorism and the intolerability of any violations by any party in this regard.

The ministers agreed to follow up the situation and hold their next meeting in Manama.

KUWAIT:  The United Nations has been urged to intervene urgently regarding the grave violation which the Qatari government is currently committing against its citizens and the approximately 2.2 million expatriate workers there, a majority of whom are from Asian countries.

The appeal was made by Gulf Association for Rights and Freedoms (GARF) to the offices of both the Director-General of the International Labour Organisation, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva, said Wam.

According to the association’s spokesman, Mohammed Hayef, the Qatari government has enforced a ban on its citizens and expatriate workers from taking their annual leave, and canceled all leave requests which, he said, is likely cause a great danger to the working conditions of migrant workers.

Hayef said that by preventing people from taking their annual leave, rates of serious and fatal work accidents could increase, “due to depriving workers and placing them under harsh working conditions and physical, psychological and social pressures,” he said.

He added that this is especially true for workers in companies that oversee the construction projects for the 2022 Fifa World Cup.

The urgent appeal called for the intervention of the International Labour organisation and the Human Rights High Commission to condemn Qatar’s decision which “contradicts the conventions of the International Labour Organisation and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and violates the basic human right to enjoy annual leave,” Hayef said.

An excerpt of the International Labour Organisation constitution, of which Qatar is a member state, states the following: “Whereas universal and lasting peace can be established only if it is based upon social justice, and whereas conditions of labour exist involving such injustice, hardship and privation to large numbers of people as to produce unrest so great that the peace and harmony of the world are imperiled.”

“By this unjust decision, Qatar has violated the most important universal and humanitarian provision in the International Labour Organisation’s constitution,” Hayef added.

By Rajive Singh