Qatar crisis: the 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: AFP (Archive)
Photo by: AFP (Archive)

In a statement, the African Union Commission's Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat appealed for calm as tensions soared between Djibouti and Eritrea following withdrawal of Qatari forces from the region/

Updated Jun 19, 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 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 (Read more here). Al Jazeera on June 8 reported a massive cross-platform cyberattack.

Here are the latest developments in the crisis:

June 18, Sunday

Qatar won't cut gas to UAE despite blockade

Qatar will not cut off gas to the United Arab Emirates despite a diplomatic dispute, the chief executive of Qatar Petroleum told Al Jazeera network on Sunday.

"If we cut the gas, it does great harm to the UAE and the people of the UAE, who are considered like brothers ... we decided not to cut the gas now," CEO Saad al-Kaabi said.

June 17, Saturday

Iraq VP accuses Qatar of having tried to split his country

Iraqi Vice President Iyad Allawi said on Saturday Qatar promoted a plan to split Iraq along sectarian lines, voicing support for the isolation of Doha by some Arab states.

"In Iraq, Qatar adopted a project similar to that of Iran; to split Iraq into a Sunni region in exchange for a Shia region," Allawi told a news conference in Cairo. "Unfortunately, some Arab states were silent when it came to Qatar."

African Union urges restraint in Djibouti-Eritrea border spat

The African Union urged Djibouti and Eritrea to remain calm and exercise restraint on Saturday after Djibouti accused its neighbour of occupying disputed territory along their border following the withdrawal of Qatari peacekeepers.

Qatari peacekeepers were previously deployed along the frontier. Doha announced on June 14 that it had pulled its contingent out, days after the East African countries sided with Saudi Arabia and its allies in their standoff with Qatar.

In a statement, the African Union Commission's Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat appealed for calm.

Al Jazeera Arabic Twitter account restored after temporary suspension

Qatar's state broadcaster says the account was "suspended due to what seems to be an organised campaign." Al Jazeera had recently said that it was combating a large-scale cyber attack.

June 16, Friday

Turkey's FM holds meeting with Saudi King Salman 

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu held with King Salman in Riyadh, continuing efforts to resolve the Gulf's biggest diplomatic crisis in years.

Diplomatic sources told AFP that "the meeting was positive", but there were no specifics.

Erdogan discusses Gulf crisis with leaders of Qatar, France

Turkish President Erdogan discussed the recent gulf crisis with his his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron and Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim Al-Thani on Friday.

Speaking via teleconference, the three leaders agreed stay in close cooperation, and keep the dialogue to end the current crisis.

The three exchanged views on the Qatar crisis with a view to immediately ease tension in the region.

For more on Friday's developments click here.

Source: 
TRTWorld and agencies