A bitter rift between the Gulf energy heavyweights will unlikely alter oil prices, but a prolonged crisis that disrupts Qatar's LNG supplies could send commodity prices soaring, analysts say. (February 1, 2006)
A bitter rift between the Gulf energy heavyweights will unlikely alter oil prices, but a prolonged crisis that disrupts Qatar's LNG supplies could send commodity prices soaring, analysts say. (February 1, 2006)

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

Here are the latest developments in the crisis:

June 20, Tuesday

Qatari FM to go to Washington

Qatar's foreign minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al Thani said he plans to travel to the United States next week to discuss the impact of a rift with Gulf Arab states on its economy and on the fight against terrorism.

Sheikh Mohammed also told journalists in Doha that Qatar was ready to engage in a dialogue with other Gulf parties to resolve the crisis based on clear principles and that Doha still believed a solution was possible through Kuwaiti mediation.

June 19, Monday

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al Sisi and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan discussed, in Cairo, the fight against terrorism, Sisi's office said in a statement.

"Both sides stressed the importance of all Arab states and the international community of fighting terrorism, especially stopping the funding of terrorist groups and providing political and media cover," the statement said.

The meeting, came hours after Qatar's Sheikh Mohammed said Doha had not received any demands from its Gulf neighbours and that Qatar's internal affairs are non-negotiable, including the future of Doha-based channel Al Jazeera.

For more on Monday's developments click here.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies