Led by Saudi Arabia, several states in the Middle East and Africa have severed diplomatic ties with Qatar since Monday, accusing it of supporting terrorism and for its ties with Iran. TRT World has the latest developments on the Qatar crisis.

Qatar's Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani. (File photo)
Qatar's Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani. (File photo)

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:

- Bahrain bans people from publishing expressions of sympathy towards Qatar and will punish offenders with up to five years in prison and a fine, reported Al Jazeera.

"Any expression of sympathy with the government of Qatar or opposition to the measures taken by the government of Bahrain, whether through social media, Twitter or any other form of communication, is a criminal offence punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine," Bahrain's Information Affairs Ministry said in a statement.

- Qatar's foreign minister says that the Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) agreements signed with the UAE will be respected. He also mentions that Iran has pledged to help Qatar with food and three of Iran's ports will be designated for Qatar.

- Iran joins Turkey in helping Qatar ensure that trade disruptions do not create shortages.

- Qatari minister says that Doha rejects any intervention in foreign policy.

- Chad recalls ambassador from Qatar

-  Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al Thani will hold a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov during a visit to Moscow on June 10.

- Saudi Arabian ally Bahrain reiterates its demand for Doha to distance itself from Iran and stop support for "terrorist organisations."

- UAE's national postal service suspends all services to Qatar.

Wednesday

- Qatari investigators say that a cyberattack on the state news agency that helped trigger the crisis with its Gulf neighbours was prepared in April. In a preliminary report published late on Wednesday, the investigators did not say who they held responsible for the hack but said that both Britain and the US were helping with their inquiry.

- Qatar pulls out of Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen.

- Turkey's parliament approves two deals on Wednesday: on deploying troops in Qatar and on training the Gulf nation's gendarmarie forces.

- US President Donald Trump intervenes in the row for the second time in two days and urges action against terrorism in a call with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani. 

"The President offered to help the parties resolve their differences, including through a meeting at the White House if necessary," a White House statement said.

- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara on Wednesday, as the dispute between Gulf powers and Qatar escalates.

- In Berlin, foreign ministry spokesman Martin Schaefer says that while statements from the US Department of State were in line with Germany's position, "I can indeed see differences in some 140 character comments by the American president." Schaefer told reporters German diplomats were in touch with the state department and security council officials to clarify the US stance.

- Financial support for jihadists across the Middle East lies at the heart of Arab powers' row with neighbouring Qatar, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said on Wednesday. "This litany of subversive support, infringement, actions is huge but I would say the most serious is the extremists and terrorist angle," Gargash said.

- Iran's oil minister says Qatar's regional isolation will not affect Tehran's plans to develop its vast South Pars offshore gas field that it shares with the Arab Gulf country, Iranian state TV reported.

- Senegal announces a recall of its ambassador to Qatar and expresses its "active solidarity" with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries which have cut ties with Qatar.

- Kuwait's ruler Sheikh Sabah al Ahmad travels to Dubai as a part of the emir's effort to mediate the crisis, state news agency KUNA reported.

- Abu Dhabi port eases restrictions on oil tankers going to and from Qatar.

- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says reports linking Russian hackers to Qatar crisis are "mass disinformation."

- Turkish exporters are ready to meet demand for food and water from Qatar, the head of Turkey's main exporting trade body told Reuters.

- The Muslim Brotherhood rejected what it called false accusations of terrorism by Saudi Arabia.

- Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al Jubeir says Gulf states could resolve a row with Qatar amongst themselves without outside help.

- France is calling on Qatar to answer its Gulf neighbours' questions in order to find a solution to the current diplomatic crisis.

French government spokesman Christophe Castaner says on Wednesday in a news conference following the weekly Cabinet meeting that "Qatar must ensure transparency."

- Turkey's parliament is expected to fast-track a draft bill allowing its troops to be deployed to a Turkish military base in Qatar, officials from the governing AK Party and the nationalist opposition said.

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

A 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.

Tuesday

- 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 said on Tuesday 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