Posted November 15, 2018 02:27:06 Qatar’s government has no intention of cutting international aid, despite calls for its help to stabilise the country after years of conflict.
Key points:The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar signed a $1.2 billion aid deal to ease the humanitarian crisis in the country’s capital DohaTwo ministers in the UAE, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani and Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, said they were confident the $1bn aid deal would help stabilize the capitalQatar, an Emirati ally, says it has no plans to cut aid to neighbouring Saudi ArabiaThe UAE and Qatar have been partners since the 1979 revolution, and their relationship has improved dramatically since the war.
They signed a deal on Monday to boost Qatar’s economy by $1 billion in 2022, and announced that it would provide $1 trillion in aid to stabilize Doha after the collapse of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in response to the Arab Spring uprisings.
But the UAE and the Qatar government have been at loggerheads over Qatar’s role in the conflict in Yemen, which has killed more than 10,000 people and displaced millions more.
The deal has also sparked criticism in the Gulf, with the UAE saying it has not agreed to any specific plan to help the capital Dohar and other neighbouring countries.
“The agreement does not represent any decision on Qatar’s foreign policy or its relationship with the Gulf,” said Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thian, Emirati minister of foreign affairs.
“I am confident that it will provide a safe and secure environment for Qatar to live and work,” he said.’
Doha has no interest in helping’The UAE has already made an aid deal with neighbouring Saudi Arabia in January 2020, and in April 2017 it announced it would give $1,600 million to help Yemen’s economy, in addition to a $2 billion development aid package.
But Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Tamimi Al Thantu told a news conference on Tuesday that the UAE’s aid deal did not represent a change in policy towards the Gulf.
“Qatar is not in favour of helping the other GCC states,” he told reporters.
“We are not interested in helping them, but in supporting the Emiratis and the Saudi princes and their allies, who are not doing anything, we do not have any intention to cut any aid.”
The UAE says the aid will help to alleviate the crisis and restore stability in Doha, while Qatar insists that the funds will not help.
But Qatar has also been criticised by other Gulf countries over its support to the Saudis in Yemen.
A United Nations report said that more than 1,400 people were killed and more than 2.2 million displaced in Yemen during the conflict.
The UAE said on Monday that it was working with the United Nations to investigate the report, and said it had not received a formal response from the organisation.
“There is no need to be surprised that the UN is still investigating the facts of the conflict and we expect it to provide the necessary information for a fair investigation,” the statement said.
“In line with its stated policy, the UAE has no desire to cut its aid to Qatar and is ready to cooperate with the UN investigation.”
A report by Amnesty International said Qatar was funding “a vast network of armed groups in Yemen” to overthrow the government of the internationally recognised government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.
“This conflict has caused the deaths of millions and left millions without a livelihood, and has led to hundreds of thousands of displaced persons living in overcrowded camps and under appalling living conditions,” the report said.
Qatar has said that it does not recognise the UN report and does not support its conclusions.
“Our main priority is humanitarian assistance to the people of Yemen,” a statement said, adding that Qatar had provided “financial, technical, humanitarian and medical support” to Yemen’s armed groups.
The United States has also called for Qatar and the UAE to withdraw their aid, which it said was contributing to the ongoing “humanitarian crisis” in the Arab country.
“Doha’s actions and funding of armed factions in Yemen undermine our commitment to a peaceful, democratic and prosperous region, undermine the credibility of our global partners and undermine the security of Qatar’s neighbours,” the US State Department said in a statement.
“Any further aid or assistance that Qatar provides to armed groups operating in Yemen will only further isolate the United States from its closest allies and undermine its ability to provide support to Yemen and other Gulf Arab states.”