Thailand's junta needs to show greater flexibility in talks with Malay Muslim insurgents to bring on board the main rebel group that is still fighting and end decades of bloodshed, a senior group member told Reuters. (Reuters Photo/Goran Tomasevic)

Arab States Add 18 People, Groups to Terrorist Lists: Statement


JULY 26, 2017

Dubai. Four Arab countries have added 18 more groups and individuals that they say are linked to Qatar to their "terrorist" lists, Saudi state news agency SPA reported on Tuesday (25/07), further escalating a row with Doha that has stoked regional tensions.

The lists now include three Yemeni charities, three Libyan media outlets, two armed groups and a religious foundation, some of which are already subject to US sanctions.

"The terrorist activities of the aforementioned entities and individuals have direct and indirect ties with the Qatari authorities," a statement issued by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain said.

The four states cut ties with Qatar - a major global gas supplier and host to the biggest US military base in the Middle East - on June 5, accusing it of financing militant groups in Syria, and allying with Iran, their regional foe.

The row erupted following remarks attributed to Qatar's emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, in which he was quoted as praising Gaza's ruling Islamist Hamas movement and calling Iran an "Islamic power" on May 23. Qatar said the emir did not make the remarks and the agency's website had been hacked.

Qatar has not yet commented on Tuesday's updated list, but last month it denied the allegations and dismissed charges of support for Islamist militancy, calling them "baseless allegations that hold no foundation in fact".

Mediation efforts led by Kuwait and shuttle diplomacy by Western officials, including US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan have failed to end what has become the worst rift between Gulf Arab states in years.

Tuesday's statement accused Qatari, Kuwaiti and Yemeni nationals of helping to raise funds for Al Qaeda. The statement also said that two Libyan individuals and six groups were suspected of being affiliated with "terrorist groups in Libya".

The groups include two television stations, one of which is affiliated with the Qatar-based Al Jazeera television, a militia group based in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi and one of its senior commanders.

"They have received substantial financial support from the Qatari authorities and played an active role in spreading chaos and devastation in Libya," the statement said.