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Allawi Accuses Qatar of Having Tried to Divide Iraq | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Iraq’s Vice President Iyad Allawi smiles during an interview with Reuters in Baghdad September 14, 2014. A REUTERS/Ahmed Saad

Cairo – Iraqi Vice President Iyad Allawi accused on Saturday Qatar of having previously backed a project, which he had strongly confronted, to divide Iraq.

During a press conference held in Cairo, Allawi said Qatar supported a project to split Iraq into a Sunni region in exchange for a Shi’ite region.

“I told the Qataris, I would not allow this,” he noted.

The Iraqi vice president said it was important to speak and make things clear to the Qataris about all their mistakes and violations. “Unfortunately, some Arab states were silent when it came to Qatar,” he said.

During his three-day visit to Cairo, Allawi met with Egyptian leaders, including President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

He also warned about the Iranian and Turkish interferences in the internal affairs of Arab states.

UAE Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Minister Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan held during his visit to Washington several meetings on Saturday with senior members of Congress, including Senator Chris Murphy, Representative Mark Meadows, Senator Chris Coons, Senator Michael Bennet, Senator Tim Kaine (Virginia) and Representative and House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer.

Sheikh Abdullah briefed them on the diplomatic and economic measures taken by his country and each of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt against Qatar, “in order to stop its financial support for extremist organizations and its interference in the affairs of other countries.”

Separately, Reuters quoted two informed sources saying that Qatar’s efforts to force its Gulf neighbors to reopen their airspace to its flights were left unresolved after Saudi Arabia argued the closure was part of a bigger political rift that could not be fixed by the United Nation’s aviation agency.

The news agency said that two days of technical talks involved transport ministers and aviation officials from several Gulf states and Egypt, along with senior officials from the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), a specialized agency of the UN that supports the development of global aviation.

It added that Qatar had asked the ICAO to intervene after its national carrier was denied access to its neighbors’ airspace as part of economic sanctions.