Qatar crisis: current developments

Led by Saudi Arabia, several Arab states have severed diplomatic ties with Qatar since Monday, accusing it of supporting terrorism and for its ties with Iran. Follow are the latest developments in the rift.

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

The threat of food shortages because of border closures prompted queues at supermarkets in Doha, Qatar on Monday, June 5, 2017.

Saudi Arabia, along with the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Egypt and several other Sunni-majority countries have cut ties with Qatar since Monday, accusing the gas-rich Gulf State country of supporting terrorism because of its links with Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood and of helping Iran's agenda. Qatar has denied the accusations and called the collective decision "unjustified."

Here are the latest developments in the crisis:

- The UAE and Saudi Arabia are seeking a "change of policy, not regime" in Qatar, and Emirati minister said on Wednesday.

 

- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will visit Turkey on Wednesday, Turkish foreign ministry sources said, as the dispute between Gulf powers and Qatar escalates.

- UAE official said no one rejects the idea of talks, but first Qatar must make iron-clad commitment to change policies. Another official says more curbs on business remain on the table in this dispute.

- Etihad Airways says Qatari nationals will not be allowed to board flights to Dubai or Abu Dhabi because the UAE has banned them from passing through its airports 

- The UAE banned people from publishing expressions of sympathy towards Qatar and will punish offenders with 15 years in jail, the UAE-based newspaper Gulf News and pan-Arab channel Al-Arabiya reported early on Wednesday. 

- Qatari nationals will not be allowed to board flights of Australia's national carrier Qantas to Dubai because the UAE has banned them from passing through its airports, an executive at the airline said.

- US President Donald Trump spoke by phone with Saudi King Salman late on Tuesday US time and stressed the need for Gulf unity, a senior White House official said.

- The Pentagon on Tuesday renewed praise of Qatar for hosting a vital US air base and for its "enduring commitment to regional security," sticking to a message of reassurance even as Trump, via Twitter, applauded Arab nations' decision to cut ties. 

- Gaza's ruling Hamas says it is shocked by Saudi Arabia's call on Qatar to stop supporting the group. Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al Jubeir told reporters in Paris on Tuesday that Qatar must sever ties with Hamas and its historic parent, the pan-Arab Muslim Brotherhood.

- Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged compromise in the dispute between Qatar and Saudi Arabia and its allies in the rift.

"It will not contribute to solving any problem to try and isolate in this way Qatar, which we know for sure has fought very effectively against terrorist groups," Erdogan said on Tuesday evening.

- Kuwait's emir left Saudi Arabia after what state news agency KUNA described as a "brotherly visit" but there was no word on the outcome of the talks with King Salman bin Abdulaziz on the rift. The Saudi state news agency had earlier reported that King Salman and Sheikh Sabah had discussed the "development of events in the region," but gave no details.

- Iraq is not taking sides in the dispute that pits Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries against Qatar, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al Abadi told a news conference on Tuesday in Baghdad.

- Jordan announced it is scaling back its diplomatic ties with Qatar and that it will close the local office of the Gulf nation's Al-Jazeera TV channel. Jordanian government spokesman Mohammed Momani said the decision was made to "end the crises in our region."

- The Kremlin said Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke by phone with the ruler of Qatar, urging dialogue amid a split between the Gulf state and other Arab countries.

- Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit says he regrets the split between Arab countries.

- Egypt's Al Azhar, the Sunni Muslim world's foremost Islamic institution, has commended the joint move of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain to isolate their Arab neighbour.

- The Philippines temporarily suspended the deployment of Filipino workers to Qatar, fearing food riots and other potential problems amid the diplomatic crisis gripping the energy-rich Gulf nation.

Source: 
TRTWorld and agencies