By Jamie Prentis.
Tunis, 8 June 2017:
The increasingly isolated Tripoli-based grand mufti, Sadek Al-Ghariani, insists that the real supporter of terrorism is not Qatar but instead the countries that are boycotting the Gulf state as of this week.
He said the countries breaking ties with Qatar and sanctioning it under the “pretext” the it backs terrorism are the same people who sell arms and give money to Khalifa Hafter, to allow him to “tamper” with Libya’s stability.
Ghariani described charges that Qatar supports the Palestinian terror group Hamas as lies. False comments such as these were made up as an excuse to damage Qatar.
The Beida-based interim government was one of a number of Arab states that decided to cut ties with Qatar this week, claiming it supported terrorist groups and the Muslim Brotherhood. Two of them, Egypt and the UAE, have long supported Hafter and his anti-Islamist approach.
Unsurprisingly, Ghariani’s message was echoed by the political mentor of the Libyan Muslim Brotherhood Ali Al-Salabi who has long been a resident in Qatar.
He said the “attempt to blockade (Qatar) politically and economically” would only serve to please countries intent on weakening Qatar’s influence.
He called on the Gulf States to reject the escalation and use dialogue to work their way through the problems..
While Ghariani’s and Salabi’s comments came as no shock given their pro-Islamist background, comments made by Libyan National Army (LNA) spokesman Colonel Ahmed Mismari were equally unsurprising.
He insisted Qatar backed an array of terrorist groups, including Hamas. Mismari claimed he had documents proving the presence of Qatari military figures operating in Libya against the LNA. The information suggested Qatar was involved in multiple assassinations, Mismari said.
Meanwhile, having cut ties, the Beida-based government has now called on the International Criminal Court to hold Qatar to account.