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.

Qatars Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali bin Abdullah bin Jassem al Thani (L) meets Vice Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud at the Peace Palace in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, August 17, 2017.
Qatars Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali bin Abdullah bin Jassem al Thani (L) meets Vice Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud at the Peace Palace in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, August 17, 2017. (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:

Thursday, August 24

Qatar orders closure of Chadian embassy

Qatar ordered the embassy of Chad to be closed and gave its diplomats 72 hours to leave, the Qatari foreign ministry said on Thursday, accusing the African country of joining a "campaign of blackmail" with its decision to shutter the Qatari embassy.

Chad said on Wednesday it was giving Qatari diplomats 10 days to leave the country, accusing Qatar of trying to destabilise the central African nation through its northern neighbour Libya.

The director of the Qatari foreign ministry's media department said the timing of the Chadian decision shows that it "comes within the campaign of political blackmail against the State of Qatar with the intention of joining the siege countries for very well known reasons."

Thursday, August 24

Qatar moves to better protect its foreign workers

Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani has promulgated a law, effective immediately, that gives broad protection to tens of thousands of foreigners working as maids, cooks, cleaners and nannies, addressing some concerns long highlighted by human rights groups.

Qatar has been under special scrutiny in the run-up to the 2022 soccer World Cup, which it will host.

Wednesday, August 23

Qatar ambassador to return to Iran: foreign ministry

Qatar said on Wednesday it has decided to return its ambassador to Tehran, more than 20 months after he was recalled in protest over the ransacking of Saudi Arabia's missions in Iran by demonstrators angry at Riyadh's execution of a Shia Muslim cleric.

"Qatar announced that its ambassador to Tehran will return to resume his diplomatic duties," the Qatari foreign ministry's information office said in a statement on its website. 

It added that Doha wanted to strengthen ties in all fields with Iran.

Chad shuts Qatari embassy, tells staff to leave

Chad announced it was closing Qatar's embassy in N'Djamena and giving its staff 10 days to leave, accusing Doha of seeking to destabilise the country via Libya.

"Given the continued involvement of the state of Qatar in the attempts at the destabilisation of Chad from Libya, the government has decided on the closure of the embassy and the departure of the ambassador and diplomatic personnel from national territory," the foreign ministry said in a statement.

It added that the decision was driven by the will to "safeguard peace and stability in the region."

Tuesday, August 22

Senegal reinstates Qatar ambassador, hopes for end to Gulf feud

Senegal has reinstated its ambassador to Qatar in a bid to encourage the resolution of a dispute between Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies and Doha, the foreign ministry said.

Senegal recalled its ambassador three months ago along with other African countries such as Chad and Niger who followed suit and also expressed solidarity with Saudi Arabia, whose charities funnel millions of dollars in aid money to the region.

"With this act, Senegal strongly encourages efforts to peacefully resolve the crisis between Qatar and neighbouring countries," said Foreign Minister Mankeur Ndiaye in a statement in French sent to journalists late on Monday.

For more on earlier developments click here.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies