On Sunday, a diplomat at Qatar’s European Union’s mission told Doha News that the information leaked to the media was inaccurate.
Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani stressed Doha’s “rejection” of misleading media leaks amid the European Parliament scandal.
The remarks came in a meeting on Tuesday with the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell, in Jordan.
The meeting took place on the sidelines of the Baghdad Conference for Cooperation and Partnership, held in Amman and attended by regional officials.
In a statement, Qatar’s foreign ministry said that Sheikh Mohammed and Borrell discussed the ongoing corruption investigations in the European Parliament.
It added that the senior Qatari diplomat underlined “the need to respect the judicial procedures and not to anticipate the results of the investigations.”
This came amid circulating accusations from Western media outlets that had pointed to Qatar’s alleged involvement in the scandal, which Doha has since vehemently denied.
Sheikh Mohammed also stressed “Qatar’s rejection of the misleading media leaks that drag its name in this matter” during his meeting with Borrell.
The scandal had rocked the European Parliament earlier this month, involving bribes attempting to influence its policies.
Authorities in Brussels arrested six people and seized at least €600,000 in cash on Friday as Belgian authorities said they were probing corruption and money laundering, per a previous Reuters report.
The Belgian federal prosecutor’s office sent a media statement at the beginning of the scandal, saying the police “suspected a Gulf country of influencing economic and political decisions of the European Parliament.”
On Sunday, a diplomat at Qatar’s EU mission told Doha News that the information leaked to the media was inaccurate.
The official added that “it is deeply concerning for those responsible for the leaks have neglected their commitment to justice and truth in pursuit of self-serving objectives.”
Last week, members of the European Parliament voted to suspend Qatari representatives’ access to its premises, Euronews reported. The Doha diplomat added that the decision will negatively affect regional and global security cooperation with the bloc.
“The decision to impose such a discriminatory restriction that limits dialogue and cooperation on Qatar before the legal process has ended, will negatively effect regional and global security cooperation, as well as ongoing discussions around global energy poverty and security,” the diplomat said.
The diplomat also highlighted Qatar and Belgium’s close ties, including where the Gulf state stepped in to help during the Covid-19 outbreak and the energy crisis. Doha is a key supplier to Belgium with liquified natural gas (LNG).
Last year, Doha also helped evacuate Belgians from Afghanistan amid the Taliban’s takeover. The Gulf state had carried out history’s largest airlift of people and was praised globally, further proving its role as a reliable partner.
“It is deeply disappointing that the Belgian government made no effort to engage with our government to establish the facts once they became aware of the allegations,” the diplomat said.
Qatar and the EU also enjoy strong ties with the bloc recently opening a mission in the Gulf state.
“We extend our gratitude to those who have demonstrated their commitment to these relationships during this current wave of attacks against our country,” the diplomat stated.