London: Minister of Information Affairs Ali bin Mohammed Al Romaihi said that Qatari media, led by Al Jazeera Channel, are attempting to distort the image of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and to push for a popular movement to call for a withdrawal from the six-country alliance.
The GCC, established in May 1981, is made up of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
“The current Qatari media policy deliberately concocts claims and fabricates historical and political fallacies in order to build up resentment among Qataris against the GCC and reduce its stature,” Al Romaihi said in remarks carried by Al Sharq Al Awsat. “The media wants the Qatari citizen to believe that the measures taken against Qatar’s negative policies are in fact directed at him.”
Following its attempts throughout the current crisis to distort the image of the GCC countries, the Qatari media is now twisting the image of the entire alliance through baseless allegations, he added.
“We find it highly deplorable that the Qatari media is working on mobilising the street through blatant lies and outrageous deceptions and on involving people in a political crisis to which they were not party,” Al Romaihi said.
The minister said that the attempts by the Qatari media in this regard were started when Al Jazeera was launched and that they have been incorporated in several programmes, news and reports under various appellations that have been broadcast on the satellite station.
“Al Jazeera has never been an advocate of Gulf unity or of Gulf integration. Since its launch, Al Jazeera has broadcast news programmes and reports questioning the significance of establishing the GCC, and has allowed guests on talk shows to attack the Council and its leaders,” Al Romaihi said.
“The campaign orchestrated by Al Jazeera and promoted through social media is trying to show that there is a popular movement in Qatar calling for withdrawal from the GCC. It is highly regrettable that some Iranian media are involved in this dubious campaign. These media have been highlighting the gains that Qatar will make by pulling out of the GCC and have been pushing for the formation of a Qatari-Iranian-Syrian axis. One Iranian official even suggested calling on other countries to withdraw from the Council,” the minister said.
Al Romaihi stressed that the GCC leaders were keen on the unity and cohesion of the Council within its original frameworks and constants, mainly security, stability, the non-interference in the domestic affairs of other countries and the non-involvement of people in political differences.
Source: Bahrain News Agency