Agencies (Qasioun) - In their long-running rivalry, the United Arab Emirates has often accused its neighbor Qatar of abetting Islamist militants, citing as one prime example the 2013 opening of a Taliban embassy in the Qatari capital, Doha.
Now it turns out that the Emiratis tried to get the Taliban to open an embassy in their own country instead. The Emirati ambassador to Washington, Yousef al-Otaiba, even received “an angry phone call” from the foreign minister at the time complaining that the Taliban had ended up in Qatar and not the U.A.E., according to leaked emails from the ambassador’s account.
The leaks are the latest salvo in a two-month-old feud among the Arabic Gulf neighbors that has divided Washington’s allies in the fights against the Islamic State and Iran. In June, the U.A.E., Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt cut off trade and diplomatic relations with Qatar as punishment for what they said was its support of Islamist extremism. Qatar, the site of the largest American air base in the region, charged that Saudi Arabia and the Emirates were inventing a pretext to bully their neighbor.
Over the weekend, The Times obtained an email dated Sept. 12, 2011, in which an Emirati diplomat questioned the United States’ position on where the Taliban embassy should be located.
In a separate email dated Jan. 28, 2012, Ambassador Otaiba himself wrote to another American official about similar complaints from Mr. bin Zayed.
Three former American officials, however, confirmed this week that the U.A.E. had initially sought the Taliban embassy.
Source: New York Times