Qatar Faulted for Hosting Taliban, But UAE Also Wanted Them

Blockading State Fought Hard to Land Taliban 'Embassy'

Amid the blockade of the state of Qatar, the four nations that have targeted them have complained bitterly of Qatar “hosting extremists,” with one of the most common examples cited the 2013 opening of the Taliban “embassy in exile” in Doha.

Newly leaked emails, however, show that one of the four blockading states, the United Arab Emirates, had actually fought quite seriously to host the Taliban themselves, and reacted quite bitterly when the Qatari capital beat them out as the host.

Though current officials did not comment on this, or the hypocritical position the UAE has subsequently taken on Qatar having the embassy, former US officials appeared to confirm he authenticity of the report, saying the UAE and Qatar had been the main players to host the Taliban, because both believes it would boost their status internationally.

Emirati Ambassador to the United States Yousef al-Otaiba reacted angrily back in 2013 to losing the embassy bid, saying Qatar wanted to be “in the middle of everything.” In interviews in recent weeks, Otaiba has angrily presented the mere presence of the embassy as proof Qatar is at odds with the whole region.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.