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: AP
Photo by: AP

A Qatari SUV drives past a billboard featuring the Qatari flag and the slogan "God, Nation, Emir" in Doha, Qatar, on Monday, July 3, 2017.

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 5, Wednesday

Saudi Arabia receives Qatar's response

Saudi Arabia and its allies said on Wednesday that it had received Qatar's response to the list of demands and that they would respond "at the right time".

The four Arab nations that have cut ties with Qatar will hold talks in Egypt on Wednesday on the Gulf diplomatic crisis, after Doha said their demands were impossible to meet.

July 4, Tuesday

Meeting in Egypt

The heads of intelligence from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain held a meeting in Cairo on Tuesday, Egyptian state news agency MENA said.

MENA, citing "informed sources", did not provide details of the meeting, which took place one day before foreign ministers from the four countries were due to meet to decide whether to continue sanctions they imposed on Qatar over accusations it was aiding terrorism and courting regional rival Iran.

Germany praises Qatar's "restraint"

Qatar has shown restraint in responding to the diplomatic and economic blockade it has faced from Arab neighbours in recent weeks, and its neighbours should respond in a similar spirit, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said on Tuesday.

Concluding his whistle-stop tour of the Gulf region, Gabriel said Germany and Europe were prepared to help set up the kinds of international resolution mechanisms that were needed to foster dialogue since Germany had a strong interest in the region and wanted to see its supply chains protected.

Qatar's response to Arab demands in line with state sovereignty: Foreign Minister

The Qatari foreign minister said on Tuesday that his country's response to Arab demands handed to mediator Kuwait came in the context of respecting state sovereignty and that Doha had shown good faith and good initiative.

Speaking at a joint news conference with his German counterpart, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani also called Arab sanctions imposed on his country illegal and told the UAE to stop trying to smear Qatar's reputation.

Gulf stand-off as chance to tackle terror finance: German FM

The diplomatic stand-off in the Gulf region between Qatar and its neighbours gives the entire region an opportunity to move together to step up its fight against terrorism financing, Gabriel said on Tuesday.

Speaking in Abu Dhabi on the second day of a regional tour, Gabriel said he had agreed with his UAE counterpart Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahayan that harbouring of terrorists or their financing must end.

For more on previous developments click here.

Source: 
TRTWorld and agencies