The country of Qatar publicly refuted claims from Iraq that it was funding terrorists groups that are currently fighting in Baghdad. In a swipe against the unstable condition that Iraq currently finds itself in, the government of Qatar stated that it was not appropriate for countries that failed to preserve national unity to accuse other Arab states of funding dangerous insurgents.
The comments came from Qatar's emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, making it the first official response from the country after Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki accused the government of funding insurgencies not only in Iraq but around the entire Middle Eastern region. Though violence in Iraq has escalated over the past year, Qatar denies any financial involvement.
"It is about time for Iraq to get out of the cycle of rifts and violence and that cannot be achieved by sidelining segments of the population, or accusing it of terrorism, if they demanded equality and participation," Tamim said.
These comments come at a time when various Middle Eastern countries face increasing violence and devastation at the hands of terrorist groups. Several leaders of these countries are also facing corruption and money laundering charges, such as the Prime Minister of Turkey, which runs the risk of destabilizing the already fragile economy of the war-torn countries.
The accusations and response have worsened the already fraught relationship between the two countries. The United Arab Emirates called on its Iraqi ambassador to show support of the claims made against Qatar, while Saudi Arabia has already rejected the claims as being irresponsible. This fight is another layer of tension in an area that does not need it, whether or not the claims of Qatar funding terrorism are ever seriously investigated.