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.

The four GCC countries have sent Doha a list of 13 demands, including closing the state-funded Al Jazeera television station, and  given them 10 days to comply.
The four GCC countries have sent Doha a list of 13 demands, including closing the state-funded Al Jazeera television station, and given them 10 days to comply.

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:

June 30, Friday

Demand for Qatar to close down Al-Jazeera "unacceptable" - UN

A demand by Saudi Arabia and three other Arab nations for Qatar to close down its Al-Jazeera TV channel is an "unacceptable attack" on the right to freedoms of expression and opinion, the United Nations human rights chief said on Friday.

UN High Commissioner Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein is "extremely concerned by the demand that Qatar close down the Al Jazeera network, as well as other affiliated media outlets", his spokesman Rupert Colville told a news briefing.

"Whether or not you watch it, like it, or agree with its editorial standpoints, Al Jazeera's Arabic and English channels are legitimate, and have many millions of viewers," Colville said.

June 29, Thursday

Qatari rights body to hire Swiss firm to seek damages against Gulf states

A Qatari human rights group is hiring a Swiss law firm to help seek compensation for citizens affected by sanctions imposed by Saudi Arabia and other Arab states, two sources familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

Lalive, a law firm with offices in Geneva, Zurich and Doha, is finalising an agreement with Qatar's government-appointed National Human Rights Commission (QNHRC) that will be announced on Saturday, the sources said.

"The plan is to help Qataris pursue legal action against Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, which cut ties with Qatar this month," said one of the sources, declining to be named under briefing rules.

Representatives of the Qatari, Saudi, UAE and Bahraini governments could not immediately be reached for comment.

Qatar working with US, Kuwaitis on response to Gulf demands

Qatar said it was working with the United States and Kuwait to respond to a list of demands presented by Arab states

The four countries have sent Doha a list of 13 demands, including closing the state-funded Al Jazeera television station and reducing ties to Iran, an official of one of the four countries said.

They gave Doha 10 days to comply. The deadline is expected to expire on Sunday.

Kuwait, which has retained ties with Qatar, is trying to mediate in the dispute with the support of the United States.

For more on previous developments click here.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies