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emfizz.com June 26, 2017


Iran Provides Food for Qatar in the Midst of Diplomatic Crisis

20 June 2017, 10:30 | Terri Saunders

Image Credits- Twitter/@spectatorindex

Image Credits- Twitter/@spectatorindex

People gather outside a branch of Qatar Airways in Abu Dhabi on June 6, 2017.

"Strict and firm action will be taken against anyone who shows sympathy or any form of bias towards Qatar, or against anyone who objects to the position of the United Arab Emirates, whether it be through the means of social media, or any type of written, visual or verbal form", Gulf News quoted Shamsi as saying in the statement.

He said there had been a transportation crisis after Saudi Arabian authorities banned the operation of Qatar Airways and closed its land and sea borders with Qatar. Qatar has denied the charges.

Qatar has said it is open to talks to end the crisis but has also accused its neighbours of impinging on its sovereignty.

The Kuwaiti ruler played a pivotal role in mediating a compromise in a 2014 diplomatic dispute between Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other Gulf states.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday accused Qatar of being a "high level" sponsor of terrorism, potentially hindering the U.S. Department of State's efforts to ease heightening tensions and a blockade of the Gulf nation by Arab states and others. We have to stop the funding of terrorism. The State Department had said the US learned only at the last minute about the Arab nations' plan to cut ties. A leaked Clinton memo named Riyadh as a sponsor of radical Sunni militias alongside Doha, and this week reports emerged that a United Kingdom government report had identified Saudi Arabia as a key sponsor of groups involved in radicalising young Britons.

"The President offered to help the parties resolve their differences, including through a meeting at the White House if necessary", Trump's office said after the call.

The tweets, and Tillerson's response, highlighted what's become a hallmark of the administration, and one that diplomats and certainly USA allies had expected would fade over time: how to square Trump's actions - and online postings - with what his senior Cabinet secretaries tell them about US policy on trips overseas.

He said a Saudi friend of his living in Qatar had sent his child to Riyadh for a family visit before the embargo and now he does not know what to do.

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"We believe these are unintended consequences, especially during this Holy Month of Ramadan, but they can be addressed immediately", he said.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said Gulf countries still saw Qatar as a "brother state".

Captain Jeff Davis, a Defense Department spokesman, was asked to reconcile Trump's tweets with a statement from Central Command that the US was grateful to Qatar for its longstanding support. Davis said the diplomatic rift has not interrupted or curtailed operations at al-Udeid air base, a launching pad for USA military efforts in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan.

Still, the Pentagon has been developing contingency plans in case there's any interruption, defense officials said. Other U.S. officials have said Qatar has already taken some steps to reduce terror funding but that the steps are insufficient.

Doha Bank and QIB did not respond to requests for comment.

On the second day of the Gulf Crisis when Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, Nairobi chose to wait and see.

In this respect, the Syrian crisis will be particularly interesting to monitor as the Qatari quarantine has brought Egypt back into the fold after it made a decision to blatantly support Bashar al-Assad, who it saw as a strategic ally in its common fight against Islamic extremist groups, such as Al-Nusra in Syria and the Muslim Brotherhood, both in Egypt and overseas.

In an interview with BBC radio, UAE Ambassador to Russia Omar Saif Ghobash said Qatar had to choose between supporting extremism or supporting its neighbors. The country called the allegations "baseless".

Tillerson, speaking at the State Department, said the USA would help support efforts to mediate the crisis, along with Kuwait - another Gulf country that has stepped up to try to broker a resolution.



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