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The New Arab

Qatar investigation into claims UAE tried to rig the riyal

Doha believes the UAE tried to rig the Qatari riyal [AFP]

Date of publication: 13 November, 2017

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Doha said it is looking into claims that the UAE attempted to sabotage the Qatari riyal and take the World Cup from the Gulf state.
Qatar says it is looking into claims that Gulf rival the UAE tried to rig the country's currency, a government spokesperson said on Sunday.

Doha will lead an investigation into allegations that the UAE sought to devalue the Qatari riyal during the early stages of a crisis between the two countries.

"The Qatari government, through its various entities, including the central bank, is working on confirming and identifying these reports," Sheikh Saif bin Ahmed al-Thani, director of the government communications office, told AFP.

It follows a report from The Intercept claiming that an email obtained by UAE Ambassador to the US Yousef-al-Otaiba showed that Abu Dhabi was trying to wreck Qatar's economy.

The Qatari communications head said that the country has been aware of allegations the UAE sought to devalue the riyal in July and that they are investigating whether the claims are true.

"If this financial warfare is true, it is disgraceful and dangerous not only to Qatar's economy, but the global economy," Thani said.

He added that a financial institution had stopped trading in the riyal for several days until Doha reached out to them.

The email also claims that the UAE is attempting to steal the 2022 World Cup from Qatar.

The UAE has made several attempts to discredit Qatar's hosting of the World Cup, media have reported, with claims that Abu Dhabi is looking to host the football tournament itself.

Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash has also said Qatar must end its alleged ties with extremist groups if it wants to host the World Cup.

The UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt cut ties with Qatar in June following claims Doha supports "terrorist" groups and being too close to Iran.

A blockade was enforced on Qatar by Gulf states, which has been condemned by human rights groups.

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