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

The chief executive of Qatar Petroleum, Saad al Kaabi has said Qatar will not cut off gas to the United Arab Emirates despite a diplomatic dispute.

Updated Jul 12, 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 11, Tuesday

Saudi-led bloc says Qatar-US terror accord 'insufficient'

An agreement between Qatar and the United States on combating terror funding is "insufficient", the four Arab states that imposed sanctions on the emirate said in a joint statement Tuesday.

The memorandum of understanding announced in Doha during a visit by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is "the result of pressure and repeated calls over the past years by the four states and their partners upon Qatar to stop supporting terrorism," said Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.

US, Qatar sign MOU on combating terrorism financing

The United States and Qatar signed an agreement on combating terrorism and its financing during a visit to Doha by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, his senior adviser RC Hammond said.

"Qatar and the United States have signed a memorandum of understanding between the two countries outlining future efforts Qatar can take to fortify its fight against terrorism and actively address terrorism funding issues," he said.

"This is a hopeful step forward," Hammond added.

Egypt says Arab foreign ministers boycotting Qatar to meet Tillerson on Wednesday

Foreign ministers from the four Arab states leading the boycott of Qatar will meet with Tillerson in the Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah on Wednesday to discuss the crisis, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.

"Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry received an invitation from his Saudi counterpart Adel al-Jubeir to attend a meeting of foreign ministers from the four Arab states boycotting Qatar with the US secretary of state in Jeddah tomorrow," the ministry said in a statement.

Visiting Doha, Tillerson calls Qatari position "reasonable"

Tillerson told reporters in the Qatari capital Doha on Tuesday it had "reasonable" views in the month-old diplomatic crisis with Arab neighbours.

"I think Qatar has been quite clear in its positions, and I think those have been very reasonable," Tillerson told reporters.

Arab states seek to step up pressure on Qatar over 2013 accord

Four Arab states on Monday sought to pile pressure on Qatar over charges it backs terrorism, saying the publication of a previously secret accord between Riyadh and Doha showed Qatar broke a promise not to meddle in the affairs of Gulf countries.

The text of the 2013 accord, whose existence was known but whose contents have never before been made public, was first published by CNN on Monday and later released on social media by Saudi officials.

In a joint statement, Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE said the publication of the accord, meant to settle a dispute between Qatar and its Gulf neighbours, "confirms beyond any doubt Qatar's failure to meet its commitments and its full violation of its pledges".

Qatar has rejected the charges and said the four countries are trying to impose their own views on its foreign policies.

US, UK and Kuwait call sides to swiftly end Qatar crisis

The United States, United Kingdom and Kuwait urged all parties to a Gulf Arab diplomatic row over Qatar to resolve their dispute as quickly as possible through dialogue, Kuwait state news agency Kuna reported on Tuesday.

The statement came as Tillerson and British National Security Advisor Mark Sedwill visited Kuwait, which is acting as a mediator, in order to resolve the row among the Western-allied countries.

On Tuesday, Tillerson is expected to visit Doha.

For more on previous developments click here.

Source: 
TRTWorld and agencies