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Fact Sheet – Qatars History of Funding Terrorism and Extremism

Saudi Foreign Minister: Demands on Qatar to Stop Funding Terrorism are Non-Negotiable

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir called on Qatar to end its support for terrorism and extremism in the Middle East.

“This idea that you can fund extremist groups, that you can pay ransom to terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda and ISIS, that you can send $300 million to the Shi’ite militias in Iraq with most of it ending up with the Quds Force in Iran, is not acceptable,” he said in a press briefing at the Saudi Embassy in Washington on 27 June. “I think most countries in the world would agree with the demand to stop this.”

“We hope that reason will prevail and that our brothers in Qatar will do the right thing and respond to the demands of the international community to cease these activities. Because we think we can’t be on both sides of this issue. You cannot fight against ISIS, you cannot commit to participate in the global center against extremism, you cannot commit to participate in a financial center to combat terror financing and at the same time allow these things to go on,” he said.

Minister Al-Jubeir said that Saudi Arabia has expressed its grievances and it is now up to Qatar to make amends, and he said Saudi Arabia’s demands are non-negotiable. Specifically, Saudi Arabia has demanded that Qatar end its practice of harboring known terrorists, prohibit funding from within its borders to Al-Qaeda and Daesh (ISIS), and shut down its news network, Al-Jazeera, which has been inciting violence throughout the region.

“It’s very simple. We made our point. We took our steps. And it’s up to [Qatar] to amend [its] behavior. And once they do, then things will be worked out. But if they don’t, they will remain isolated,” said Minister Al-Jubeir. “If Qatar wants to come back into the GCC pool, they know what they have to do.”

The Foreign Minister reiterated that the decision to cut off diplomatic ties with Qatar was made after taking into account the history of its behavior, including harboring known terrorists and funding extremist groups throughout the region.

“It was an issue that has been building up, and then a decision was made that enough is enough. Zero tolerance,” he said.

 

Saudi Arabia has condemned in the strongest terms the brutal terrorist attack on Stockholm of 7 April 2017. On Friday, an official source at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed the Kingdom’s strong condemnation of the truck attack that occurred in the centre of the Swedish and led to the death and injury of a number of people. The ministry source offered condolences to the families of the victims and to the people and government of Sweden, to whom he expressed the kingdom’s solidarity.

The Kingdom’s sentiments were mirrored by member of the Gulf Cooperation Council for Arab States. The GCC Secretary General Dr Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani, described the attack as a heinous terrorist crime that is contrary to moral and humanitarian values, stressing the GCC’s solidarity with the Kingdom of Sweden.

The atrocities were also denounced by the Muslims World league’s Secretary General Sheikh Dr Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Isa, who underlined the organisation’s firm stance against terrorism: “Such acts targeting innocent people and the stability and security of safe societies have nothing to do with Islam as they contradict all human and international values and principles.” He offered condolence to the families of the victims, as well as the government and people of Sweden, wishing the injured a quick recovery. Dr Al-Isa called on all world leaders to stand united in confrontation of terrorism and tackle the reasons of such acts which attempt to destabilize the world’s security and stability.

The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation too deplored the attacks, with the OIC Secretary General Dr Yusuf Ahmed Al-Othaimeen expressing the Organisation’s solidarity and support for the Swedish government and people, and stressing that the criminals behind this heinous crime are the most dangerous enemies of humanity.

 

On 25 August 2016, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia hosted a series of constructive discussions about the situation in Yemen, including a meeting between the GCC foreign ministers, US Secretary of State John Kerry, UK Minister for the Middle East and Africa Tobias Ellwood and the UN’s Special Envoy for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed. The participants developed a framework for a peaceful solution in Yemen based on the GCC Initiative, the outcomes of the National Dialogue Conference and UN Resolution 2216. The participating parties offered full support for this roadmap, which would end the war in Yemen and transform the country from war and destruction to reconstruction and stability. The UN special envoy is charged with discussing this framework with the Yemeni parties.

 

The plan as it stands calls for the following measures to be taken: the swift formation of a new national unity government with power shared among the parties; the withdrawal of forces from Sana’a and other key areas; the transfer of all heavy weapons, including ballistic missiles and launchers, from the Houthis and forces allied with them, to a third party and for the new unity government to respect the security, the integrity, and the sanctity of international borders, prohibiting the deployment of weapons from Yemeni territory that threatened international waterways or the security of Yemen’s neighbours.

 

At a press conference following the meeting, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir explained the rationale behind the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen. “We have responded out of necessity. We responded to remove a threat. We responded to protect the legitimate government. We responded under authority of UN resolution. That’s what we did in order to protect Yemen and in order to protect ourselves and our borders.” He underlined that Saudi Arabia has no interest in extending its borders and has no claims on Yemen: “We want a stable, prosperous, secure, peaceful Yemen.”

 

US Secretary of State John Kerry reaffirmed his country’s commitment to the security of Saudi Arabia and reiterated Riyadh’s right to defend against infractions of its border. “We were deeply troubled by the attacks on Saudi territory. We were deeply troubled by the photographs […] showing missiles that had come from Iran that were being positioned on the Saudi border. And we are deeply concerned about missile attacks that have taken place on border towns.” Secretary Kerry explained that Saudi Arabia must be allowed to defend itself against breaches of international law “The threat additionally posed by the shipment of missiles and other sophisticated weapons into Yemen from Iran extends well beyond Yemen. It is not a threat just to Saudi Arabia; it is a threat to the region, it is a threat to the United States, and it cannot continue.”

 

This respect for international law and the significance of international border is at the heart of the plan for a political solution to the conflict. “The agreement would require the new unity government [of Yemen] to respect the security, the integrity, and the sanctity of international borders, and it would prohibit the deployment of weapons from Yemeni territory that threatened international waterways or the security of Yemen’s neighbors,” Secretary Kerry stated.

 

Minister Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir insisted that Saudi-led forces were doing everything within their power to avoid civilian casualities: “Where there have been reports of such casualties, we have a mechanism to investigate. We review our operations; we review our procedures in order to ensure that civilian casualties are minimized. That’s what the international community and law requires, and that’s what we go by. We have no interest in creating animosity with the Yemeni people.”

 

Both Mr Al-Jubeir and Secretary Kerry agreed on the need to bring the war to an end in a way that protects the rights and the sovereignty of Saudi Arabia and the surrounding region and does not require a compromise on any country’s security.

 

  • September 2, 2016

The 25th session of the Joint Council and Ministerial Meeting of the European Union (EU) and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) took place yesterday evening in Brussels. Following the fruitful exchange between the ministers, Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs H.E. Adel Al-Jubeir and the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini expressed “a firm determination to expand and strengthen bilateral political, economic, cultural and social cooperation and relations” between the two blocs at a joint press conference.

In a statement published by the EU-GCC co-chairs, both parties agreed that cooperation serves as ”a solid and effective foundation for sustainable regional and international stability and security,” and pledged to “further enhance their political dialogue and cooperation.”

On the conflict in Yemen, all parties welcomed the resumption of the UN-mediated Yemen peace talks in Kuwait on 16 July and reiterated their support to the UN Special Envoy for Yemen in facilitating a comprehensive and lasting settlement between Yemeni parties to restore peace and resume the transition in Yemen.

Federica Mogherini stressed the need “to work together to help the parties find common ground. There one area where convergence was complete between us and among the respective parties. We agreed there is only a political solution to the conflicts in Yemen and we’re trying to join forces to facilitate this process.” Mirroring these sentiments, Mr, Al-Jubeir added that “a political settlement in Yemen has to be based on three basic principles: the GCC initiative, the outcome of the Yemeni national dialogue and the UN Security Council resolution 2216.”

Al-Jubeir, speaking as the head of the rotating GCC presidency, said Saudi Arabia and its partners are working “to encourage the parties [in Yemen] to sign agreements and implement measures so that we can move Yemen from a state of war to a state of development, reconstruction and prosperity.”

During the meeting, ministers also reaffirmed their determination to counter terrorism and terrorism financing, and to defeat Da’esh and other terrorist organizations. They stressed the need to reach a solution to the Syrian crisis. They called for immediate country-wide humanitarian access allowing the delivery of aid to all besieged areas, emphasizing the importance of full and strict adherence to the cessation of hostilities arrangements.

EU and GCC Ministers also reviewed progress in the EU-GCC strategic relationship and “expressed their willingness to address together common political, social, economic, and security challenges, as well as macroeconomic stability and support for diversification strategies,” such as Saudi Arabia’s National Transformation Plan, Vision 2030, noting that two-way trade between the blocs represented more than €155 billion in 2015, an increase of 55% since 2010.

 

His Excellency the Minister of Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir will address the Royal Institute for International Relations – Egmont on July 19th 2016.

The event, will focus on the challenges and perspectives faced by Saudi Arabia and the wider region.

To attend the event, please register on the Egmont website.

The conference takes place between 13:00-14:30 at the Egmont Palace in Brussels

PROGRAMME

12.30 Registration

13.00 Welcome address by Marc Otte, Director General, Egmont

13.10 Intervention by His Excellency Mr. Adel Al-Jubeir, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

14.10 Questions and answers

Foreign ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states held talks with visiting United Kingdom’s Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond and the accompanying delegation.
At the outset of the meeting, Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir, Minister of Foreign Affairs, confirmed that the GCC member countries and Britain share deep-rooted relations and that cooperation between the GCC and Britain is constructive in economic, security, military, educational and medical fields.
He said today’s meeting comes to enhance the historic ties binding the United Kingdom and GCC countries, particularly in the political, security, military , economic, scientific and educational fields, looking forward to a fruitful meeting to the best service of the peoples of the two countries.
For his part, the British foreign secretary lauded the historic relations which go deep for hundreds of years, expressing pride of the joint ventures implemented between the two sides and looking forward to see the distinguished partnership extend to face the challenges engulfing the region in all security, economic and political fields.

The fourth round of the Strategic Dialogue between Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the GCC member states and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation took place in Moscow on May 26, 2016.

The meeting was co-chaired by Adel bin Ahmad AL-Jubeir, Minister of Foreign Affairs, who is also chairman of the current GCC Presidency (for the GCC side) and Sergei Lavrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation (for the Russian side), with participation of the Foreign Ministers of the GCC States and Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani, GCC Secretary General.

The Ministers reaffirmed their shared intention to strengthen and develop friendship and collaboration between the two parties in various fields and commended the established mechanism for cooperation within the strategic dialogue between Russia and the GCC in this regard.

The Ministers agreed to continue their work in the current format for further coordination of approaches to topical aspects of mutual interest on the international and regional agendas and enhanced practical bilateral business and humanitarian cooperation.

Regional and international challenges

The Ministers reaffirmed that relations between states should be based on the principles of good-neighborliness and full respect for sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and interests of each of them, in accordance with International Law and the United Nations Charter. The resolution of persistent challenges and crises should be reached through peaceful means within the framework of a wide national dialogue.

The Ministers agreed to combat terrorism and to work together to prevent and suppress terrorist acts through increased international cooperation, in full recognition of the UN’s central role and in accordance with UN Charter as well as through the full implementation of the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions, in particular 2170 (2014), 2178 (2014), 2199 (2015) and 2253 (2015) and UN Global Counter Terrorism Strategy, supported the efforts of the UN Counter-Terrorism Center and the UN Counter-Terrorism Committee [CTC], and adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism [CCIT], at the earliest.

The Ministers condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, reaffirming that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable regardless of their motivations, and rejected associating terrorism with any religion, culture or ethnic group, emphasized the need for concerted regional and international efforts to combat terrorism and to address factors conductive to its spread, eliminate the sources and any kind of support for terrorism and violent extremism including its funding, as well as combating organized cross-border crime.

The Ministers welcomed the initiative put forward by the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin to establish a large-scale anti-terrorist front based on international legal standards and the UN Charter and operating with the consent and in close coordination with regional states that bear the brunt of burden in resisting terrorists and extremists.
The Ministers welcomed the establishment of the Islamic Military Alliance to Fight Terrorism and supported cooperation between the Russian Federation and the USA-led International Coalition against ISIS.

The Ministers took note of counter-terrorism efforts undertaken by various international fore, including the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Global Counter Terrorism Forum (GCTF) under the auspices of the UN.

The Ministers commended the outcome of the consultations between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation and the General Secretariat of the OIC held in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in January 2016 on the issue of combating terrorism, extremism and organized crime.

The Ministers welcomed the beginning on the 16th of January, 2016 of practical implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) concluded on the 14th of July, 2015 in Vienna and aimed at final settlement of the Iranian nuclear issue. They urged all parties concerned to faithfully implement their respective commitments to ensure sustainability of the JCPOA and called upon all countries to support its implementation.

  • May 27, 2016