LTE to Financial Times: Qatar has been hindered in its fight against terrorism

30 April 2018

I write in response to the recent fallacy filled letter (“Qatar must act to improve relations with neighbours”, April 24) from the ambassadors of the four nations currently illegally blockading Qatar. From the beginning of the Gulf crisis, the blockading states have been aggressive to Qatar and insincere to the public. They claimed that Qatar does not “adhere to international norms in the fight against terrorism”. Qatar has actually done more than all four nations to combat terrorism and the financing of terror. Qatar hopes those four blockading nations catch up and join the international allies, like the UK, the US, France and Qatar, which are committed to combating terrorism in all its forms. Qatar hosts the heart of the international coalition against terror on its shores at Al-Udeid air base, and the illegal blockade has hindered Qatar and its allies in the fight against terrorism. Illegally blocking airspace to Qatar also harms our allies’ ability to carry out counter-terrorism missions from and with Qatar, including by RAF aircraft taking part in the UK’s Operation Shader against Isis in Iraq and Syria.

Qatar and its allies believe in wiping terrorism from the map; shutting down their propaganda machinery that encourages a warped jihadist ideology; and providing hope for a better future for young people in the Middle East and throughout the world.

The FT’s original leading article of April 20 (“The continuing blockade of Qatar makes no sense”) provided a roadmap to normalised relations — including accepting President Trump’s offer of mediation. Rather than dismissing it, I urge the signatories to stop harming the fight against terrorism and focus on shouldering their responsibility to bring this crisis to a close.

Thamer al-Thani
Media Attache to the UK,
Government Communications Office of the State of Qatar

To read the letter on the Financial Times’ website