Bahrain and the UAE agree to open up flight corridors for Qatar's state-owned Qatar Airways.

Two US envoys will engage with the parties involved and support the government of Kuwait's mediation efforts.
Two US envoys will engage with the parties involved and support the government of Kuwait's mediation efforts. (Reuters)

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:

Tuesday, August 8

Bahrain, UAE open flight corridors for Qatar Airways

Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates have agreed to open flight corridors for Qatar's state-owned flag carrier Qatar Airways, the world aviation agency said on Tuesday.

The Montreal-based International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has been working with "various Middle Eastern states to ensure equitable access to airspace for Qatar-registered aircraft" since sanctions were announced by Arab countries on June 5, ICAO spokesman Anthony Philbin said.

"Some existing air route availability has been assured, and some new temporary or contingency routes have also been developed," including through Bahrain and UAE airspace, he said.

Two US envoys arrive in Gulf to help resolve crisis

Two US envoys have arrived in Kuwait as part of their Gulf tour to meet with officials to help resolve the ongoing diplomatic crisis, according to reports published on media outlets in the region on Tuesday.

Timothy Lenderking, the US deputy assistant secretary of state for Gulf affairs, and retired US Marine Corps General Anthony Zinni "are in the Gulf region this week to engage with the parties involved and support the Government of Kuwait's mediation efforts," a State Department official said on condition of anonymity.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, whose own trip to the Gulf in July resulted in a US-Qatari accord on combating terrorism financing but no major breakthrough in the dispute, announced Zinni and Lenderking's mission last week.

For more on earlier developments click here.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies