Qatar crisis: latest developments

Led by Saudi Arabia, several states in the Middle East and Africa have severed ties with Qatar since June 5, accusing the gas-rich Gulf state of supporting terrorism and Iran. Qatar denies the allegations.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Saudi Arabia and its three allies have extended Qatar’s deadline by 48 hours to comply with their demands or face further sanctions.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and several other Sunni-majority countries have severed relations with Qatar since June 5, accusing the Gulf state of supporting terrorism based on its ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and the Taliban.

Another point of departure is Qatar’s ties with Iran, with whom it shares one of the world’s biggest gas fields.

Qatar has denied the accusations and called the collective decision "unjustified." Kuwait, Turkey and the US have all urged a political solution as the bloc isolates Qatar using various ad hoc sanctions, including shutting down their airspace to Qataris and blocking import routes.

The dispute began in May when Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani was reported to have made statements on the state news agency supporting Iran. Doha said the statements were fabricated and disseminated via a hack.

Here are the latest developments in the crisis:

July 3, Monday

Qatar emir to travel to France

France said Qatar Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani would travel to France at the end of the summer, as the small Gulf country remains embroiled in a dispute with several other Arab states.

President Emmanuel Macron spoke to al Thani by telephone to discuss the situation in the region, the president's office said in a statement.

"During this telephone exchange, the Emir said that in view of the situation, he expected to come to France at the end of summer," the statement added.

Qatar hands official response to Saudi-led demands to Kuwait

Qatar on Monday handed its official response to a list of demands by Saudi Arabia and its allies to the emir of Kuwait, a Gulf official said.

 The response was delivered by Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani who made a short visit to Kuwait, which is acting as a mediator to resolve the diplomatic rift, the Gulf official said, requesting anonymity.

Qatar's foreign minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al Thani, arrived in Kuwait to personally deliver the response to Kuwait's Emir.

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates agreed to extend by 48 hours Sunday's deadline for Doha to comply with a list of 13 demands, including shutting down Al Jazeera and closing Turkey's army base there.

July 2, Sunday

Deadline extension

Saudi Arabia and its three allies have agreed to a request by Kuwait to extend by 48 hours Sunday's deadline for Doha to comply with a list of 13 demands presented 10 days ago.

Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani earlier said the demands were made to be rejected, adding that the Arab ultimatum was aimed not at tackling terrorism but at curtailing his country's sovereignty.

"This list of demands is made to be rejected. It's not meant to be accepted or ... to be negotiated," al Thani said.

"The state of Qatar instead of rejecting it as a principle, we are willing to engage in [dialogue], providing the proper conditions for further dialogue."

He added that no one had the right to issue an ultimatum to a sovereign country.

Qatar's State news agency QNA reported that he would inform the ruler of Kuwait, a neutral Gulf Arab country seeking to mediate in the spat, of Doha's response on Monday.

Trump discusses  Qatar dispute with Gulf, Arab states in calls

US President Donald Trump spoke separately to the leaders of Saudi Arabia, UAE and Qatar on Sunday to discuss his "concerns about the ongoing dispute" between Qatar and its Gulf and Arab neighbours, the White House said.

Trump, spoke to Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz, as well as Abu Dhabi's crown prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan, and Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad al Thani.

"He reiterated the importance of stopping terrorist financing and discrediting extremist ideology. The president also underscored that unity in the region is critical to accomplishing the Riyadh Summit's goals of defeating terrorism and promoting regional stability," the White House said.

For more of the latest developments click here.

TRTWorld and agencies