The missions of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain to the United Nations in Geneva strongly condemned the results of a report by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), whose members visited Qatar in November 2017, regarding the effects of the diplomatic rift, between Qatar and the four countries, on Doha.
In a joint statement issued on Tuesday, the quartet described the findings of the OHCHR report as “misleading”, “inaccurate”, and based on unfounded allegations. They also said that the reason behind the crisis is “Qatar’s support for terror groups and individuals.”
The four countries said that Qatar’s support for terrorism comes against UN rules and international law, adding that boycotting Qatar is an act of practicing a sovereign right in defending national security, according to the statement.
The statement affirmed that the measures taken against Doha are not aimed at the people of Qatar, “with whom we have ties of brotherhood, closeness, and conciliation, and even a tribal extension to some of our countries.”
The statement said the report “reflects a clear bias towards one of the parties of the political crisis, as it adopted the same Qatari story based on false claims that the government of Qatar is seeking to promote regionally and globally.”
They also registered their reservation regarding the manner and timing of the leaking of the content of the report by the Qatari National Human Rights Committee, during its press conference held in Doha on 8 January, saying that the OHCHR did not provide the missions of the four countries with the report until after it was published on Monday 8 January.
The four countries denounced the “persistence of the Qatari policies based on lack of credibility and lack of goodwill in their use of the United Nations and its specialised international agencies and international reports.”
They also called upon the commission to “address the methodological and procedural errors of the report,” which the statement described as not in conformity with international standards and the terms of reference of the OHCHR.
The four countries accused Doha of disregarding any serious initiatives to resolve the crisis and misleading the international community on the main causes of the crisis through the accusations against the four countries at international organisations, despite the “considerable and valued efforts” of Kuwaiti Emir Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah to end the rift.
On 5 June, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Yemen, and Libya’s eastern-based government, in addition to Maldives, cut their ties with the state of Qatar. The six Arab governments accused Qatar of supporting terrorism, disturbing security and stability in the region, and supporting Iran. Doha has denied the accusations.