Led by Saudi Arabia, several states in the Middle East and Africa severed ties with Qatar on June 5, accusing the gas-rich Gulf state of supporting terrorism and Iran.

A money exchange office in Doha, Qatar, June 11, 2017.
A money exchange office in Doha, Qatar, June 11, 2017.

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 air space 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 12, Monday

"Gulf Arab measures against Qatari air traffic illegal"

The UN should declare Gulf Arab measures against Qatari air traffic illegal, the chief executive of Qatar Airways said in comments to CNN.

Akbar al Baker criticised Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain for closing their airspace to Qatari flights.

He appealed to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), a UN agency which administers the Chicago convention that guarantees civil overflights.

"We have legal channels to object to this," he said. "ICAO, should heavily get involved, put their weight behind this to declare this an illegal act."

The UAE and Bahrain have signed the convention. Saudi Arabia is not a signatory

Qatar says diplomatic overtures unreturned

"We're ready to discuss any requests that are made, but we have not received any reply," Al Jazeera quoted Qatar's foreign minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al Thani as saying.

"Diplomatic dialogue is the solution but it requires a foundation that is not yet available. We're focused on solving humanitarian problems resulting from the illegal blockade."

Qatari-Emirati couples to remain in UAE

A week after severing ties with Doha and giving Qataris 14 days to leave, Abu Dhabi-based newspaper The National reported the UAE will not deport Qataris who are married to Emirati nationals.

The move appears to be part of recent efforts to lessen the human toll of the cold war. On Sunday authorities in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain said they were setting up hotlines to help families with Qatari members.

Qatar can defend economy and currency: finance minister

Qatar's finance minister Ali Sherif al Emadi told CNBC on Monday the countries which had imposed sanctions would lose money because of the damage to business in the region. "A lot of people think we're the only ones to lose in this ... If we're going to lose a dollar, they will lose a dollar also."

"Policy of domination"

Mutlaq al Qahtani, a senior counterterrorism adviser to Qatar's foreign minister, said the decision to sever ties would not prove successful.

"I think this is not about counterterrorism, it's not about terror financing, it is an orchestrated campaign against my country to pressure my country to change its active, independent foreign policy," he said.

June 11, Sunday

Bahrain orders freeze of Qatar-linked assets

Bahrain's central bank ordered banks operating in the kingdom to freeze assets and bank accounts of the 59 individuals and 12 entities — Qatar-linked — that a group of Saudi-led countries have accused of links to terrorism.

2022 World Cup not under threat: FIFA

FIFA President Gianni Infantino does not believe that the crisis will threaten the 2022 World Cup which Qatar will host.

"The essential role of FIFA, as I understand it, is to deal with football and not to interfere in geopolitics," he said.

"We are indeed facing a diplomatic crisis. But on the other hand, I am confident that the region will return to a normalised situation."

Guinea offers to mediate

"I would like to affirm my readiness, as current president of the African Union and of a Muslim country and as a founding member of the OCI (Organization of Islamic Cooperation), to mediate and to work tirelessly with goodwill to find a peaceful and rapid solution to this ill-timed crisis between friendly brothers," Guinean President Alpha Conde wrote to Saudi King Salman on Sunday.

Qatar willing to listen to Gulf concerns

"[Kuwait] affirms the readiness of the brothers in Qatar to understand the reality of the qualms and concerns of their brothers and to heed the noble endeavours to enhance security and stability," state news agency KUNA quoted Kuwait's foreign minister Sheikh Sabah al Khalid al Sabah as saying.

Kuwait says it wants to resolve the dispute "within the unified Gulf house."

Morocco offers to mediate

Morocco, a close ally of the Gulf countries, said on Sunday it would remain neutral and offered to facilitate dialogue, according to a statement from the country's foreign ministry.

Iran air lifts food to Qatar

Iran sent four cargo planes of food to Qatar and plans to provide 100 tonnes of fruit and vegetables every day, Iranian officials said.

"Following the sanctions ... on Qatar, IranAir has so far transported food and vegetables to this country via four flights," Shahrokh Noushabadi, the head of public relations at Iran's national airline, told Fars news agency.

Iran, long at odds with Saudi Arabia, has called for the two sides to overcome their differences.

Dollar shortages hit Qatar exchange houses

US dollar shortages hit currency exchange houses in Qatar, making it hard for foreign workers to send money home.

"We have no dollars because there is no shipment or transportation from the United Arab Emirates. There is no stock," a dealer at the Qatar-UAE Exchange House in Doha's City Center mall said.

"The shipment is blocked from the UAE," he said.

Citizens from estranged countries free to remain in Qatar

People from countries which cut ties with Qatar are free to remain in the Gulf state in line with existing regulations, according to a statement carried by Qatar state news agency QNA on Saturday.

The statement, attributed to the ministry of interior, said there was no change in policy toward the nationals of "brotherly and friendly countries which cut or reduced diplomatic relations following the malicious and hostile campaigns against Qatar."

Source: TRTWorld and agencies