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Qatar rejects Saudi-led bloc's 'terror' list

شعار Al Jazeera Al Jazeera 09/06/2017
Qatar considers the pressure being applied to change its independent foreign policy as a violation of its sovereignty [Reuters] © Provided by Al Jazeera Qatar considers the pressure being applied to change its independent foreign policy as a violation of its sovereignty [Reuters]

Qatar on Friday rejected allegations of supporting individuals and groups blacklisted as "terrorists" by a bloc of Arab neighbours that has imposed an economic blockade on it amid a major diplomatic fallout.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt published a list of 59 people and 12 groups with links to Qatar late on Thursday, alleging that they have ties to "terrorism".

"The recent joint statement issued by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the UAE [United Arab Emirates] regarding a 'terror finance watch list' once again reinforces baseless allegations that hold no foundation in fact," the Qatari government said in response.

The list included Yusuf al-Qaradawi, one of the most prominent Muslim religious leaders in the Middle East, as well as Qatari-funded charitable organisations.

READ MORE: Qatar-Gulf crisis - Who are the 'terrorists'?

Its release was just the latest escalation in the bloc's efforts to isolate Qatar, as allegations that it interferes in the affairs of its neighbours by supporting and financing Islamist groups continue to be levied against it.

Qatar has vehemently denied the charges.

In its statement, the Qatari government said it has been leading the region in attacking what it called the roots of "terrorism", including giving young people hope through jobs, educating hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees and funding community programmes to challenge agendas of armed groups.

"Our position on countering terrorism is stronger than many of the signatories of the joint statement - a fact that has been conveniently ignored by the authors," the government said.

READ MORE: Five days on, five things to know about Qatar-Gulf rift

In an interview with Al Jazeera on Thursday, Qatar's Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said that the country would not bow to the pressure being applied by Saudi, the UAE and their allies to change its foreign policy - a move Qatar considers a violation of its sovereignty. 

"We are not ready to surrender, and will never be ready to surrender, the independence of our foreign policy," Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman said.

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