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.

Turkey and Iran have stepped in to provide fresh produce, poultry and dairy products to Qatar instead of Saudi Arabia and the UAE, with Oman providing alternative ports to those in the UAE.
Turkey and Iran have stepped in to provide fresh produce, poultry and dairy products to Qatar instead of Saudi Arabia and the UAE, with Oman providing alternative ports to those in the UAE.

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 with 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 31, Monday

Qatar files WTO complaint against trade boycott by Gulf countries

Qatar filed a wide-ranging legal complaint at the World Trade Organization on Monday to challenge a trade boycott by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and United Arab Emirates, Qatar's WTO representative Ali Alwaleed al Thani said.

By formally "requesting consultations" with the three countries, the first step in a trade dispute, Qatar triggered a 60 day deadline for them to settle the complaint or face litigation at the WTO and potential retaliatory trade sanctions.

Saudi Arabia says demand to internationalise holy sites "a declaration of war"

Saudi Arabia's foreign minister called what he said was Qatar's demand for an internationalisation of the Muslim hajj pilgrimage a declaration of war against the kingdom, Saudi-owned Al Arabiya television said on Sunday, but Doha said it never made such a call.

"Qatar's demands to internationalise the holy sites is aggressive and a declaration of war against the kingdom," Adel al-Jubeir was quoted saying on Al Arabiya's website.

"We reserve the right to respond to anyone who is working on the internationalization of the holy sites," he said.

Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al Thani said no official from his country had made such a call.

"We are tired of responding to false information and stories invented from nothing," Sheikh Mohammed told Al Jazeera TV.

Four Arab states double down on Qatar boycott

The four Arab states boycotting Qatar said on Sunday they would make no compromises in their demand that Doha change its policies, as a political crisis that has split the Gulf approaches its third month.

The foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt, who met in the Bahraini capital on Sunday, said they were open to talks with Qatar on condition it "stops its support and financing of terrorism."

"We reiterate the importance of Qatar's compliance with the 13 demands outlined by the four states," said a joint statement released on Sunday.

For more on earlier developments click here.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies