Qatar vows no surrender in Gulf crisis as US, Kuwait seek solution


Ticket holders for Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE can also rebook to fly to nearby destinations in Kuwait or Oman, while passengers holding tickets to Egypt can choose flights to Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon or Oman.

But there have been few signs of progress as officials from Qatar and its Arab neighbors in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) pursue shuttle diplomacy. Sheikh Hamad took over as Qatar's emir in 1995 and expanded his nation's presence on the global scene through negotiating hostage releases, briefly flirting with diplomatic ties to Israel, hosting a Taliban office and creating Al-Jazeera.

Amman has also withdrawn the licenses for a bureau of the Doha-based TV news channel Al-Jazeera.

"The nation of Qatar, unfortunately, has historically been a funder of terrorism at a very high level", Trump said, echoing an allegation the Saudi-led group has used to justify cutting diplomatic ties to the tiny gas-rich kingdom.

The worldwide community has been striving to mediate the crisis among the countries concerned since the escalating tensions between Qatar and its fellow Arab nations culminated when Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt, Libya and Yemen abruptly announced to sever diplomatic ties with the Gulf gas-rich state, accusing it of supporting terrorism and interfering with internal affairs. The Arab countries have blocked Qatari vessels from entering their airspace, as well as using their seaports, and Saudi Arabia has closed off its land border.

But UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash told Reuters in an interview that addressing financing for terrorist groups was the prime motive.

CNN reported on Tuesday that U.S. intelligence officials believe Russian hackers planted a false news story that led Saudi Arabia and several allies to sever relations with Qatar.

Names involving Libya include militia commanders and the Benghazi Defense Brigade, which is battling forces commanded by Gen. Khalifa Hifter, who has the backing of Egypt and the UAE amid that country's chaos.

While some observers contend that Al Jazeera's Arabic news service has on occasion manifested a pro-Islamist bent and shown sympathy for the Muslim Brotherhood, the journalistic integrity of its separately run English-language counterpart, which is aired in more than 100 countries, has rarely come into question.

He said more steps against Qatar, including further curbs on business, remain on the table.

Among others joining them are Yemen's internationally backed government, which has lost the capital and large portions of the war-torn country.

Gargash said the scope of Qatar's sheltering of extremists has widened since 2014, when concern was largely focused on Sheikh Youssef al-Qaradawi, a senior Egyptian cleric viewed as the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The ramifications of the move are diplomatic and logistical in nature.

Ghassan Khatib, an expert in Palestinian politics, said on Tuesday that the rupture in relations between Qatar and its Arab neighbors could hurt Hamas's standing.

With Qatar's only land border now shut, food prices are likely to shoot up. He said families were being separated, children removed from school and Qataris forced to deal with food shortages.

A joint statement by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the U.A.E. late on Thursday accused 59 individuals and 12 charity organizations in Qatar of being "linked to terror", local media reported.

"After considering the reasons for the crisis between Egypt, the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the UAE and the kingdom of Bahrain and Qatar, the government has made a decision to lower its diplomatic representation with Qatar and cancel the licenses of Al Jazeera's bureau in the kingdom".



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