Qatar: request to NY Times on controversial Somalia recording rejected

Prince Tamim bin Hamad of Qatar

Baghdad ( Qatar has said that a request for the New York Times for a copy of a recording that suggested the Gulf kingdom was promoting terrorism in Somalia was turned down.

Qatar News Agency quoted the government’s liaision office saying that it had requested a copy of the recordings published by the U.S. newspaper to support its own investigation around the incident, but noted that the request was turned down.

The Qatari government body said it respects the NYTimes editorial policy and that it would not repeat its demand, and stressed it continues to support the government of Somalia to maintain stability in the country.

A recording published by the newspaper purported to show Khalifa al-Muhannadi, whom it said was close to the Emir of Qatar, speaking to Qatari ambassador Hassan bin Hamza, telling him that recent explosions in the coastal Somali region of Bosaso were perpetrated by “friends” of Qatar to advance the kingdom’s maritime interests there against those of United Arab Emirates, now an arch adversary of Qatar.

NYTImes had said the recording was presented by the intelligence service of a country opposed to Qatar.

Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt had cut ties with Qatar in 2017, accusing Qatar of interfering in their domestic affairs and supporting entities deemed terrorist by those countries, most notably the Muslim Brotherhood. They accuse Qatar of stoking turmoil in Syria and Libya.

Doha denies the accusations.

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