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United Arab Emirates Denies Washington Post Report That It Orchestrated Qatar Hack

The United Arab Emirates has denied a Washington Post report that claims the country orchestrated a hack of Qatari state news and social media websites in May, an incident that triggered the region’s worst diplomatic crisis in decades.

Saudi Arabia and its allies — the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt — accused Qatar of supporting terrorism and led a group of Muslim-majority nations to cut ties with Doha. That came after Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad al-Thani, was quoted online calling Iran — a key rival to Saudi Arabia — an Islamic power and describing Qatari relations with Israel as good.

Qatar has maintained its emir never made the remarks and that the quotes were planted by hackers.

UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash said Monday that the Washington Post report was false.

“The Washington Post story is not true, purely not true,” he said responding to a question after a speech at Chatham House in London. He said that the story “will die” in the next few days.

The UAE embassy in Washington on Monday sent a series of tweets quoting its ambassador, Yousef Al Otaiba, denying the Washington Post report, which was published Sunday and, according to the paper, was based on information provided by unnamed US intelligence officials.

“The @washingtonpost story is false. UAE had no role whatsoever in the alleged hacking described in the article,” Al Otaiba was quoted as saying in the tweet.

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SOURCE: CNN, Tamara Qiblawi and Angela Dewan