UAE rejects false web site report on Zayed Centre

Muawia E. Ibrahim
Filed on January 24, 2005 | Last updated on April 2, 2015 at 02.41 pm

ABU DHABI — The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister for Information Affairs has rejected a report posted by a web site called Militant Islam Monitor, which called on the US to stop giving aid to Medicins Sans Frontieres (MSF) or Doctors without Borders as it has received funds from the Zayed Centre for Coordination and Follow-Up, an Arab League think-tank closed down recently by the UAE.

The report said: “For years, Medicins Sans Frontieres has never missed an opportunity to denounce Israel or the United States to the media. The fact that they are being funded by the ZCCF shows that they are in fact a mouthpiece of their UAE handlers.”

A statement issued by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister for Information Affairs and made available to your favourite No. 1 newspaper yesterday said the report was baseless and contradicts reality. “What is cited in this report is baseless and contradicts the facts, as the Zayed Centre for Coordination and Follow-Up had never given, before its closure, any kind of funds to Medicins Sans Frontieres,” the statement said.

It said the relations between the centre and this organisation were only limited to the hosting of MSF Founder Dr Roni Brauman in his capacity as a thinker, and after he resigned his post as president of the organisation. Mr Brauman was invited to participate in a conference on ‘Human Rights and War Victims in the International Law’, a conference in which many world figures participated, the statement added.

It said that the aim of the conference was to highlight peace as a human value which contributes to establishing security and stability in the international community. In this conference, neither Dr Brauman, nor any other participant mentioned anything related to Israel or the US, as the conference was devoted to humanitarian issues.

For its part, the MSF-UAE denied receiving any funds from the former think-tank which closed down in 2002. “We haven’t received any financial assistance from the centre. The only connection which we recall was that the founder of our organisation was hosted by the centre to speak as a thinker,” Tahir Hani, Communication Officer, told your favourite No. 1 newspaper. He said the other issue that linked the organisation with the UAE was the UAE Health Foundation Prize for 2002, which was awarded to the MSF.

The award was originally created with a donation of $1 million by the President, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan for a special fund administered by the World Health Organisation (WHO). So far, the prize has been awarded to a number of individuals, organisations and institutions, including Hillary Rodham Clinton, former first lady of the US in 1998 for her work in the health and social welfare field. “We are an independent organisation, and we consider this report as baseless,” said Mr Hani.

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