Coinciding with the summoning of the Ambassador, the UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr. Anwar Gargash issued a statement expressing the dismay of the UAE’s government and people at the insolent comments made by Qaradawi against the UAE through the official television of a “brotherly and neighbourly country.” “We have patiently waited for our brothers and neighbours to clearly denounce such insolence and to provide explicit clarification and guarantees that such distortion and instigation will not happen again. Notwithstanding its full respect for freedom of opinion and expression, the UAE rejects any seditious and hateful speeches. Yet, and despite well-intentioned dialogue and self-restraint, we have observed neither the will nor the response from our brothers in Qatar,” Gargash said.
He went on to say: “We have sought during the past few days to contain the issue through continuous top level contacts between the two countries, but to no avail, except for an official statement that did not include any decisive denunciation of the contents of Al Qaradawi’s speech. Nor did it offer any guarantees that this will never happen again.” Gargash said the UAE tried to contain the issue out of its keenness to maintain fraternal ties between the two countries and to avoid sedition and division which the individual concerned has sought to sow in the course of his campaign against the UAE.
“We, however, are obliged to take this unprecedented step in our intra-GCC relations due to the failure of our brothers in Qatar to stop using their religious and media platforms to insult a brotherly and neighbourly country. We do not accept, under any excuses, this insult against the dignity of the UAE, its leadership and its people, and against its path and traditions,” he added.