Bahrain foreign minister says all options open on Qatar

Qatar Diplomatic Crisis Continues To Reverberate Across Middle East
US President Donald Trump offers to mediate Qatar crisis in call with emir
Author

23 June, 2017

While maintaining good relations with the Gulf states, Turkey has vowed to continue to back its close ties with Qatar, which Erdogan again defended on Friday.

President Donald Trump is bringing "reality to the situation" in the Middle East by backing a Saudi-led coalition's tough stance against neighboring Qatar, said Sadad al-Husseini, a former executive at Saudi Arabia's state oil company.

Following the initial reports of a cyber attack, some viewers in the region said they could no longer receive the broadcaster's reception.

Qatar hosts the Al-Udeid military base, the largest U.S. airbase in the Middle East.

The Qatar News Agency has been offline since the alleged hack occurred and it's not clear if there was only one fake story planted, multiple, or any at all.

For Riyadh, trouble was also evident elsewhere.

A separate SPA report on Saturday acknowledged Tillerson's call for Qatar to curtail support for terrorism, but did not mention his remarks that the crisis was hurting ordinary Qataris, impairing business dealings and harming the USA fight against the Islamic State militant group. "The Saudis had had it with Qatar".

The incident triggered a diplomatic row between Qatar and its neighbours. Qatar denies the allegations.

Qatar confirmed the call, saying Trump "expressed readiness to find a solution to the diplomatic crisis in the Gulf, and stressed his keenness that the Gulf remains stable".

President Donald Trump has spoken by phone with the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamin bin Hamad Al Thani.

"The nation of Qatar, unfortunately, has historically been a funder of terrorism at a very high level".

"Qatar needs to decide: Do you want to be in the pocket of Turkey, Iran and Islamic extremists They need to make a decision; they can't have it both ways", he said.

"The catalogue is so wide..."

"This will provide the necessary basis for any discussions", UAE ambassador to the United States Yousef Al Otaiba said in a statement on Friday.

There was not an immediate comment from Qatar about the "terror list".

In stressing the need to take action against Qatar, Trump appeared to undercut Tillerson, who had called on Qatar's neighbors to immediately ease their blockade. "Stop filling their minds with hate and intolerance", Trump said, adding, "I won't name other countries, but we are not done solving the problem".

Earlier on Wednesday, he met Dubai's ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum and other senior UAE officials in Dubai, after talks the day before with King Salman in Saudi Arabia. Not bad for the result of a little visit to Saudi Arabia and two tweets that an undergraduate would not have initiated.

At dawn on Monday, those governments and Bahrain made a series of rapid fire announcements, revealing the move's careful orchestration and pre-planning.

"This is well choreographed". They have imposed what Qatar said was a blockade of shipping and air traffic and closed Qatar's only land border, causing panic buying at supermarkets and provoking confusion and anxiety across the population. "Until today I have not witnessed Qatar give support to terror", Erdogan said in Istanbul. "We know the ABCs of dealing with terrorism". Ankara will also train the Qatari police force. A divided GCC (with two members, Oman and Kuwait, on the sideline); a Saudi-initiated blockade (with implicit USA support), which, again, is an act of war; the betrayal of an ally (Qatar); and the increased likelihood of armed conflict!


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