Qatar confirms arrest of 2 natives in UAE as spies

Qatar confirms arrest of 2 natives in UAE as spies
Thu Jul 10, 2014 18:07:36

Qatari authorities have confirmed the arrest of two of their citizens in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) who have been referred to as “spies” by the UAE’s state media outlets, fueling further tensions between the two Persian Gulf neighbors.

A Qatari foreign ministry spokesman announced in a Wednesday statement that Hamad Ali al-Hamadi and Yousef Abdelsamad al-Mulla were arrested on June 27 at the Ghweifat border crossing between Saudi Arabia and the UAE, the official QNA news agency reported.

According to the report, their families had reported their arrests to Qatari authorities as the UAE had not officially informed Doha.

Qatar's ambassador to the UAE has been tasked with investigating the fate of the pair, the spokesman said, without further elaboration.

Citing UAE sources, the UAE’s Al-Khaleej newspaper reported Wednesday that authorities had arrested Qatari "spies," but gave the number as three.

They were "Qatari intelligence elements operating on UAE soil," Al-Khaleej wrote on its front page. "They were arrested and are being questioned."

This is while Qatar's Al-Arab daily had reported earlier that three Qataris had been subjected to "arrest and torture" in the UAE capital Abu Dhabi.

Relations between Qatar and its Gulf neighbors Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain deteriorated to a new low in March when the three governments recalled their ambassadors from Doha.

They accused Qatar of meddling in their internal affairs and supporting the Muslim Brotherhood, designated as a “terrorist group” by Egypt’s military-installed government in December after the nation’s army ousted democratically-elected President Mohamed Morsi, in a move mirrored by the Egyptian army's Saudi backers.

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