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Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Silence from GCC countries on Bin Laden’s demise

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While the world reacts to news of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden’s death, Arab Gulf countries, including Saudi Arabia, where he was born, remain mostly silent.

Qatar has yet to issue an official statement, and its state news agency website makes no mention of bin Laden’s death.

Here’s what Al Jazeera English has reported on its live blog:

By mid-afternoon, the only official comment from the Arabian Peninsula came from Yemen, bin Laden’s ancestral homeland, where an official speaking on condition of anonymity hoped the killing would “root out terrorism throughout the world”.

Saudi Arabia’s official news agency merely noted that the United States and Pakistan had announced bin Laden had been killed in a US military operation in Pakistan but gave no clue to Riyadh’s thinking.

The foreign ministers of Bahrain, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, attending a meeting of Gulf foreign ministers in the UAE capital Abu Dhabi, all declined to comment on bin Laden’s death.

We’ll update this space as we hear more. And as always, we would love to hear your thoughts!

UPDATE: 

  • Saudi Arabia said it hopes Bin Laden’s killing will help the international fight against terrorism and stamp out the “misguided thought” behind it, according to the state news agency.
  • Expect retribution from al Qaeda members, UAE Interior Ministry Undersecretary Gen Seif al Shaafar said, according to the National. ”Terrorism will not end with the murder of bin Laden or al Zawaheri,” he said. “Al Qa’eda has built wide networks that will continue to operate.” He added that the GCC countries are safe.
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