Al-Bashir to tour Gulf countries over crisis with Qatar
17 July 2017, 01:52 | Todd Saunders
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Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt all blocked Qatari media and later severed diplomatic ties.
Qatar's foreign minister welcomed France's support for mediation aimed at finding a solution "based on constructive dialogue ... and respect of state sovereignty and global law".
While the six countries are unlikely to be under the illusion that Federation Internationale de Football Association will simply accept their demand, tabling it allows the Saudi-UAE-led alliance to assert that it is not backing down in the Gulf crisis and is increasing pressure on Qatar. Those leagues stand to lose millions of dollars in profits if the pro teams have to suspend play while their best players play for their home countries in Qatar.
Immediately after the move, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt rushed to ban all Qatari media.
"This is the first time that these commodities will be processed in Qatar", al-Sulaiti said. This was after U.S. president, Donald Trump completed a back to back meetings with the leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), including the Emir of Qatar.
The crisis is developing at an accelerated rate, but everyone wants to avoid military action unless Qatar makes a catastrophic strategic error, such as threatening Gulf regional security with Iran's help, which is considered a red line for the Gulf states.
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On a possible exclusion of Qatar from the six member states forming Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the UAE minister pointed out that "Although we may lose the confused and awkward neighbour. we gain clarity and transparency".
The fabricated stories were all attributed to Qatar's Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson met with his counterpart and the emir, and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson came twice as part of a shuttle diplomacy that included meetings in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia in an effort to resolve the crisis.
"The nation of Qatar has, unfortunately, been a funder of terrorism, and at a very high level", Trump said.
The deadline was extended by 48 hours on Sunday at the request of Kuwait, which is mediating in the crisis, and Qatar handed in the response on Monday.
He said Malaysia should not turn a blind eye on the issue but instead propose hope for reconciliation among the groups embroiled in the diplomatic crisis.
"For public consumption at least, the US State Department is trying to send out a signal that it has worked hard with its three allies - Saudi, UAE, Qatar - to try to find a mutually agreeable solution", Christopher Davidson, an expert on Middle East politics at Britain's Durham University, told AFP.
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