By Neil Halligan
Minister of State says story about meeting with Israeli minister was “fabricated”
UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dr Anwar Gargash, has called on the Qatari news network, Al Jazeera, to apologise for a story claiming the UAE foreign minister had meet with his Israeli counterpart and had allegedly offered to fund its Gaza offensive, the AFP newswire reported.
The Arabic version of Al Jazeera, Mubashar Misr, recently ran a story alleging that UAE Foreign Minister, Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, had recently met with the Israeli Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, in Paris and offered to fund the Israeli “aggression” against Gaza “on the condition that Hamas would be completely eliminated”.
The Al Jazeera story, and a subsequent article on The Peninsula Qatar newspaper, quoted Israel’s national TV station, Channel 2, which, according to reports in Emirati media, denied running the story.
Sheikh Abdullah, in a tweet in Arabic, said: “I pondered responding or let it pass, then convinced myself not to respond in those holy days”.
However, Dr Anwar Gargash, did respond and used Twitter to call on Al Jazeera to apologise for “fabricating” the story, according to Gulf News.
His tweet in Arabic translates as: “All the facts refutes the fabrications of the alleged meeting with Israeli FM Lieberman, professionalism requires professional apology. Is Al Jazeera and who are running it capable of acting professionally (professional apology)?”
The minister later added that the reports could lead to the targeting of Emirati aid workers operating in Gaza.
“The point is not fabrication of the news by Al Jazeera, but it is lying and falsification which target the UAE citizens who work dedicatedly in extending humanitarian relief in Gaza,” he said.