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.

In this Monday, Aug. 7, 2017 photo released by Kuwait News Agency, KUNA, Retired US General Anthony Zinni, centre left, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Timothy Lenderking met with Kuwaiti Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled al Jarallah, centre right, in Kuwait.
In this Monday, Aug. 7, 2017 photo released by Kuwait News Agency, KUNA, Retired US General Anthony Zinni, centre left, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Timothy Lenderking met with Kuwaiti Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled al Jarallah, centre right, in Kuwait. (AP)

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:

Monday, August 28

Russia's FM visiting Gulf Arab states over Qatar crisis

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is in Kuwait at the start of a three-nation tour of Gulf Arab states over the ongoing Qatar diplomatic crisis.

Lavrov's visit to Kuwait City marks the first high-level diplomatic visit by Russia over the crisis.

He also will visit Qatar and the UAE on his trip.

Kuwait's ruler has tried to mediate an end to a boycott by four Arab nations against Qatar, as have the United States, France and other world powers.

Monday, August 28

Fitch downgrades Qatar to 'AA-'

Fitch lowered Qatar’s Long-Term Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) to ’AA-’ from ’AA’ with a negative outlook. 

That brought it into line with the other two major rating agencies, Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s, which assess Qatar at the same level and also have negative outlooks for it.

Qatar’s government may reduce its capital spending on economic projects and infrastructure if damage to its economy from sanctions intensifies, Fitch Ratings said on Monday.

Fitch noted that even before the sanctions, Qatar had shrunk its capital spending plans for 2014-2024 to $130 billion from $180 billion in response to low oil and gas prices.

“The government has prepared scenarios for further cuts to capital spending in case oil prices fall again or in case pressures from the embargo intensify,” it said.

For more on earlier developments click here.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies