UAE strongly denies hacking Qatari sites

Although the countries have been at loggerheads on and off for years, the trigger for the latest row was a news report on a speech by Qatar's emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, which appeared on the state news agency's website.

However, Yousef al-Otaiba, the UAE ambassador to the USA, has rubbished the report as false, claiming that the UAE had no role in the hacking of Qatar websites.

Qatar said at the time that it had been hacked by unknown entities.

The United Arab Emirates was not responsible for an alleged hack of Qatari websites which helped spark a month-long diplomatic rift with Doha, the UAE's minister of state for foreign affairs said on Monday.

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UAE Foreign Minister Anwar Gargash said that the agreement signed by the USA and Qatar on the financing of terrorism was a positive development but did not live up to their expectations.

"The UAE had no role whatsoever in the alleged hacking described in the article", the statement said. Funding, supporting, and enabling extremists from the Taliban to Hamas and Qadafi. They pointed out that the decision was taken after the four states uncovered evidence about Qatar's sponsorship and funding of terrorist groups, which threaten the region's security and stability.

The objective of the hacking was to embed false news stories of an incendiary nature that led to the current Gulf crisis.

"You can not be both our friend and a friend of al-Qaeda".

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With US spy agencies now apparently briefing against them, Qatar's antagonists may conclude US sympathy for their position is rapidly dwindling. "They [the UAE] claim that basically their demands from Qatar are legitimate and they insist that they should be fulfilled nearly as a diktat instead of sitting at a table and negotiating some legitimate differences that they might have with Doha, and somehow, unfortunately, Saudi Arabia has followed suit", said Jahshan.

Instead, he said the quartet meant to put the issue on the back burner to focus on trying to resolve the crises in Libya and Yemen. "But the issue is that we are being hurt, and the world is being hurt, by a state that has $300bn (£230bn) and is the main sponsor of this jihadist agenda".

Commentators had expected further sanctions to be placed on Doha, however Mr Gargash has said that the UAE would not escalate its boycott by asking companies to choose between doing business with it or with Qatar.

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