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Turkey Arrests Five Suspects in Connection with Hacking QNA | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr.Anwar Gargash. Reuters

Dammam- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is set to start his Gulf tour on Sunday, while UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr. Anwar Gargash said that Qatar’s decision to return its ambassador to Tehran is accompanied by a large and confusing justification campaign, pointing out that this is the case of the change in stances exercised by Doha in its position towards Yemen and Iran.

Qatar’s “sovereign decision should not be shy or confused, but it’s arrogance and adolescent behavior makes it so”, Gargash tweeted.

He also criticized Qatar’s mismanagement of the crisis and said its approach mainly focused on making media gains, lacked a strategic dimension and did not look after the interest of the country and its people.

“It’s justification is not convincing,” he stated.

He also said that Qatar refers to UAE restoring trade with Iran to justify its decision, ignoring that Iran’s main interests in the Gulf are in the gas fields of Qatar.

“Qatar is managing the crisis in an adolescent way,” the UAE FM said, adding the ambassador’s return to Tehran lays bare its true policy and embarrasses Doha.

On the other hand, five suspected computer hackers have reportedly been arrested in Turkey in connection with a cyberattack on the state Qatar News Agency (QNA) in April.

Qatari officials suggested that the QNA website was hacked and inflammatory comments attributed to Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad al-Thani were broadcast on news stations in the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

Qatar got help from the FBI in investigating the crime, and in July they made their findings public and accused the UAE of carefully orchestrating the hack of QNA.

“Our friends in Turkey answered us a short time ago. Five people were arrested and they are being investigated,” said Qatar’s General Prosecutor Ali al-Marri on Friday, following his meeting with Turkish Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul in Ankara.

“Prosecutors in Qatar are working with the Turkish authorities to follow up with this case,” al-Marri added.

Regarding Lavrov’s Gulf tour, the Russian Minister is seeking to exert more international efforts to find solutions to the Qatari crisis.

The head of Russian diplomacy takes the opportunity to establish trade partnerships, increase investment exchange and develop cooperation in the fields of energy, industry, agriculture, infrastructure and others. However, the Syrian file will head the topics that will be addressed by Lavrov in his Gulf tour, which will include Kuwait, the UAE and Qatar.

Thu Russian Foreign Ministry said that Moscow intends to inform its Arab partners on “the efforts exerted by Russia to settle the crisis in Syria in the framework of Astana talks.”

“Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov will be in Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar on August 27-30 to discuss the crisis between Gulf countries and the conflict in Syria,” Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova said in a news conference on Thursday.

Zakharova said that “Russia has been consistently calling on the interested states to abandon confrontational rhetoric, discuss the accumulated matters in dispute at the negotiating table and reach a compromise.”

In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters on Thursday that the US remains “very deeply concerned with the status of the dispute” between Qatar and the Arab quartet, adding that “It’s gone on for far too long. It really has”.