Qatar-Gulf crisis: All the latest updates - Week 4

The latest news after some of the Gulf states and Egypt cut ties with Qatar and imposed a land, sea and air blockade.

    Fast Facts

    • Kuwait urges 'fair' solution
    • Al Jazeera will not shut down
    • New batch of Turkish troops arrives in Qatar
    • Media groups back Al Jazeera 

    Developments from Week 4 (June 26- July 2) since several countries, including Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt, cut ties with Qatar on June 5. (All times local Doha time) 

    Qatar-Gulf crisis: All the latest updates - Week 3 (June 19-25)

    Qatar-Gulf crisis: All the latest updates - Week 2 (June 12-18)

    Qatar-Gulf crisis: All the updates - Week 1 (June 5-11)

    11:48pm - Qatar's defence minister: We are ready to defend our country

    • The defence minister of Qatar says the country is ready to defend itself if necessary.

    • Khalid Al Attiyah made the comments in an interview with Sky News.

    • "Qatar is not an easy country to be swallowed by anyone. We are ready. We stand ready to defend our country," he said. 

    • "I hope that we don't come to a stage where, you know, a military intervention is made."

    11:11pm - Qatar will give Kuwait response to list of demands on Monday

    • Qatar's foreign minister will meet Kuwait's emir on Monday to give him Doha's response to a list of demands submitted to it, according to state-run media.

    • Qatar News Agency (QNA) said on Sunday that Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, the foreign minister of Qatar, will meet the Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah on Monday.

    • "[The foreign minister] will hand over a written message from HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. The message is about the reply prepared earlier by the State of Qatar on the list of collective demands submitted by the State of Kuwait at the end of last month," QNA said.

    • Kuwait has been leading mediation efforts to defuse the Gulf crisis that erupted on June 5 when a Saudi-led bloc of countries cut diplomatic and travel ties with Qatar and imposed an embargo against it.

    3:00pm - US envoy to Kuwait urges 'fair' solution to Gulf crisis 

    • The US ambassador to Kuwait has called for a "fair" solution to the Gulf dispute. 

    • In a statement on Sunday, Lawrence R Silverman reiterated the US support for Kuwaiti efforts to mediate a solution to the crisis.  

    8:30pm - Al Jazeera will not shut down

    • Giles Trendle, the acting managing director of Al Jazeera English, said on Saturday that the Doha-based media network would not be closing despite demands by Saudi Arabia and its allies.

    • "We stand strong and we will continue to do what we do, which is reporting the world frankly and fairly," he said.

    8pm - Qatar hires law firm to probe violations from blockade

    • The Qatari National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) and a Swiss law firm, Lalive, signed a contract in Geneva on Saturday to investigate thousands of cases of human rights violations from a Saudi-led blockade on Qatar and seek compensation.

    • Lalive, which specialises in mass claims, said it will pursue the cases in local and international tribunals.

    • "The sanctions imposed on Qatar go too far and are not in accordance with international law. Ordinary Qatari nationals and companies are not part of the State and cannot be targeted," Veijo Heiskanen, the lead lawyer on the case, told Al Jazeera.

    • "A political dispute between States does not justify sanctions against private citizens, companies and other private entities. The Qatar National Committee for Human Rights is therefore justified to pursue these claims," he said.

    6:55pm - Qatar's FM: A list of demands 'was meant to be rejected'

    • Qatar's Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said at the news conference in the Italian capital of Rome on Saturday that the list of demands issued by Saudi Arabia and its allies "was meant to be rejected".

    • "Everyone is aware that these demands are meant to infringe the sovereignty of the state of Qatar, shut the freedom of speech and impose an auditing and probation mechanism for Qatar," he said.

    • "The blockading countries have disrespected the international law, disrespected the world order."

    • "Qatar has dealt with this matter in a very mature and responsible way while the escalation has continued from the other countries."

    • He argued strongly for a dialogue and negotiations.

    6:16pm - Putin and Qatar's Emir hold phone conversation

    • Russian President Vladimir Putin has stressed the importance of diplomacy to end a dispute between Qatar and four other Arab states during a telephone call with the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Kremlin said on Saturday.

    • The Kremlin said in a statement the Russian and Qatari leaders also discussed cooperation between their countries in energy and investment.

    5:20pm - Putin discusses Gulf crisis with Bahrain's king

    • Vladimir Putin discussed the Gulf crisis with Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa in a telephone call, the Kremlin said on Saturday.

    • Putin stressed the need for direct dialogue between all governments involved in the dispute, which is exerting a negative influence on the Middle East, the Kremlin said.

    4:10pm - Erdogan meets Qatar's defence minister

    • Qatar's Defence Minister Khalid bin Mohammed al-Attiyah met with Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday in Ankara.

    • Erdogan has rejected the demand of Saudi Arabia and its allies for an end to Turkish troop presence in Doha, calling it "disrespectful" and saying that Turkey would not seek permission from others over its defence cooperation agreements.

    • Turkey says the Turkish troop deployment to Qatar aims to enhance regional security and is not aimed against any specific country.

    • "There are some indications that a solution is possible. This is our general impression. We need to continue efforts to take measures that go in the right direction," Turkey's presidential spokesman, Ibrahim Kalin, said after the meeting.

    2:54pm - Saudi Arabia says demands for Qatar 'non-negotiable'

    • Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubair said on Saturday that a 13-point list of demands given to Qatar to end the gulf rift were "non-negotiable". 

    • "Demands on Qatar to stop funding terrorism are non-negotiable," the Jubair said on the Saudi Foreign Ministry's official Twitter account.  "Restrictions on Qatar show zero tolerance for terrorism." 

    • The Saudi-led bloc of states gave Qatar 10 days to respond to the sweeping list of demands. The deadline is reportedly set to end at 21:00 GMT on Sunday. 

    9:33am - Qatar calls for UN Security Council help in Gulf row

    • Qatar's foreign minister has asked members of the United Nations Security Council to urge a Saudi-led bloc of states to lift their blockade on the Gulf country, nearly one month after it began.

    • Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani on Friday met with non-permanent members of the Security Council at the Qatari mission to the UN in the US state of New York, urging them to speak out publicly on his country's behalf.

    • Al Thani told Al Jazeera he gave them "updates on the situation" and urged "all of them to call for a lifting of the blockade on Qatar".

    • Qatar was "trying to encourage all the parties to enter a serious dialogue to try to put an end to this," the foreign minister said.

    11:50pm - Turkey urges 'respect of Qatar rights' to end Gulf rift

    • Turkey has said that the rights of Qatar should be respected in resolving an escalating dispute between Doha and its neighbours.

    • "The current issues between the [Gulf] countries, who are brothers, must be resolved soon on the basis of a sincere dialogue and respect for Qatar's rights," Turkish Defence Minister Fikri Isik said during a meeting with his Qatari counterpart Khaled bin Mohammed al-Attiyah in Ankara on Friday.

    6:50pm - Trump discusses Gulf crisis with Erdogan

    • The White House said in a statement on Friday that US President Donald Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan discussed ways to resolve the Gulf crisis "while ensuring that all countries work together to stop terrorist funding and to combat extremist ideology".

    5:30pm - Bahrain tells WTO anti-Qatar trade embargo justified

    • Trade restrictions imposed on Qatar by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE are justified by national security, Bahrain's representative told a World Trade Organisation meeting on Friday, a trade official who attended the meeting said.

    • Speaking on behalf of all three countries, the Bahraini diplomat at the WTO's Goods Council said the measures were "in accordance with Article XXI of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade", which allows the usual rules to be broken for national security reasons, the official said.

    • It is extremely rare, perhaps unprecedented, in the WTO's 22-year history for a country to explicitly and formally cite the "national security exemption" to pre-empt a potential trade dispute.

    5:15pm - Turkish, Qatari defence ministers meet

    • Qatar's Defence Minister Khalid bin Mohammed al-Attiyah held talks with his Turkish counterpart Fikri Isik on Friday in Turkey's capital Ankara.

    3:30pm - Several UK banks stop selling Qatar's riyals

    • A spokeswoman for Britain's Lloyds Banking Group said: "This currency is no longer available for sale or buy-back across our high-street banks including Lloyds Bank, Bank of Scotland and Halifax."

    • Tesco Bank said it had halted dealings in the riyal, while Barclays stopped trading riyals for retail customers but continued the service for corporate customers, a source said.

    • Royal Bank of Scotland said it had stopped trading riyals for retail customers.

    • A spokeswoman for HSBC said on Friday that the bank was still providing riyals for high street customers.

    2:45pm - Qatar's defence minister: Blockade is 'declaration of war'

    • Khaled al-Attiyah, Qatar's defence minister, told the London-based Al-Araby Al-Jadeed newspaper on Friday that a blockade imposed by Saudi Arabia and its allies on Doha was "a bloodless declaration of war".

    • He described the relationship with the US as "strategic" and discussed the status of the US airbase in Qatar.

    • "The closure of the Udeid Air Base in Qatar is absolutely out of the question," Al-Attiyah said.

    • He went on to dismiss all accusations about Qatar's support for terrorism, saying the claims aiming to "demonise Qatar".

    1:10pm - Demand to close down Al Jazeera 'unacceptable' - UN

    • A demand by Saudi Arabia and three other Arab nations for Qatar to close down Al Jazeera is an "unacceptable attack" on the right to freedom of expression and opinion, the United Nations human rights chief said on Friday.

    • UN High Commissioner Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein is "extremely concerned by the demand that Qatar close down the Al Jazeera network, as well as other affiliated media outlets", his spokesman Rupert Colville told a news briefing.

    • "Whether or not you watch it, like it, or agree with its editorial standpoints, Al Jazeera's Arabic and English channels are legitimate, and have many millions of viewers. The demand that they be summarily closed down is, in our view, an unacceptable attack on the right to freedom of expression and opinion," Colville said. 

    11:34am - New batch of Turkish troops arrives in Qatar

    • Qatar's ministry of defence has announced the arrival of a new group of Turkish armed forces to the military base where Turkey began its training mission last week.

    • The forces are set to take part in joint exercises within the framework of a defence agreement signed between Doha and Ankara aimed at raising Qatar's defence capabilities, supporting "counterterror" efforts, and maintaining security and stability in the region.

    • Khalid bin Mohammed al-Attiyah arrived on Thursday in Ankara where he is scheduled to meet with his Turkish counterpart Fikri Ishik as well as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

    11:20am - CPJ calls on Saudi-led bloc to drop Qatar media demands

    • The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) urges the Saudi-led bloc to drop its demand to shut media outlets funded by Qatar as a condition to lift the blockade against it.

    • In a letter directed to the leaders of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt, the CPJ stressed it was not taking sides in the diplomatic dispute in the Gulf.

    • The CPJ, an independent organisation that promotes press freedom worldwide, said the demand to close the outlets, including Al Jazeera, showed "clear contempt for the principle of press freedom".

    12:23am - QCB: Riyal's exchange rate absolutely stable against US dollar

    • Qatar Central Bank (QCB) says it will guarantee all exchange transactions for customers inside and outside the country without delay, adding that all banks and foreign exchange companies are committed to trading the riyal as usual.

    • The statement came after media reports said some exchange companies have stopped buying the Qatari riyal, which the central bank called "baseless".

    • "Qatari riyal's exchange rate is absolutely stable against the US dollar, and its exchange ability inside and outside Qatar is guaranteed at any time at the official price," QCB said.

    10:55pm - Doha 'ready to discuss, won't compromise sovereignty'

    • Qatar is willing to work together with other Gulf countries blockading it in order to reach a resolution to the Gulf dispute, its foreign minister has said, stressing, however, that his country will not discuss any measures that impinge on its sovereignty.

    • Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani made the comments on Washington, DC, on Thursday, the last day of a visit to the United States where he had been holding a series of key meetings aimed at resolving the crisis.

    • "The response of Qatar has been purposefully measured, yet unequivocal. We are willing to negotiate any legitimate grievances with our neighbours, but we will not compromise our sovereignty," he said, calling the "siege" on Qatar "a clear act of aggression" that violated international law.

    • He also hit back at comments made by Adel al-Jubeir, Saudi Arabia's foreign minister, who on Tuesday said that there would be no negotiations over a list of demands presented by the Saud-led bloc to end the crisis.

    • "Using the terminologies of demands and non-negotiable, I don't think this is a civilised way to engage in solving a crisis," Qatar's foreign minister said.

    10:40pm - Qatar considering WTO complaint against blockade

    • The representative of Qatar at the World Trade Organization (WTO) says his country is considering launching a complaint at the global trade body against the blockade imposed against it by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt.

    • "We are exploring all possible legal avenues, including, but not limited to, the (WTO) Dispute Settlement Body," Ali Alwaleed al-Thani, director of Qatar's WTO office, told the Reuters news agency.

    8:00pm - Qatari FM speaks on GCC crisis from Washington, DC

    • On the last day of a trip to the United States, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, Qatar's foreign minister, has spoken about the crisis in the Gulf. Here are some excerpts from his speech in the Arab Center in Washington, DC:

    • "Qatar has a good record of combating and countering terrorism."

    • "Qatar has taken steps against funds going to terrorist organisations."

    • "The US can verify that Qatar has not supported terrorism."

    • "Qatar's response has been measured but unequivocal."

    • "The demands are an effort to undermine our sovereignty."

    • "Siege is a violation of international law and against sovereignty."

    • "The GCC is supposed to provide safety and stability in the region."

    • "Al Jazeera's professionalism will not be compromised."

    • "Iran is our neighbour, must have constructive relationship."

    • "Qatar has respect for non-interference in other state affairs."

    6:11pm - NYT: Blocking arms sales a new tool to end Gulf impasse

    • A decision by influential US Senator Bob Corker to block the approval of future US arms sales to Gulf countries could give Washington "a new tool" for resolving a "dangerous dispute" between a Saudi-led bloc of countries and Qatar, the Editorial Board of the New York Times said on Wednesday.

    • As chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Corker plays a central role in allowing or withholding US weapons sales.

    • The Tennessee Republican on Monday said in a letter to US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that "recent disputes" among Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries undermine efforts "to fight" ISIL and "counter Iran". He said that approval of future arms sales would be held up until there is a clear path for settling the major diplomatic crisis in the Gulf.

    • "This would give Mr Tillerson a new tool for resolving the crisis, though the impact may not be immediate,” the Board wrote in an opinion piece titled "A Way out of the Qatar Mess".

    5:00 - Qatar Airways, Doha airport report high traffic despite Gulf restrictions

    • National carrier Qatar Airways and Hamad International Airport in the Qatari capital of Doha reported an exceptionally high volume of traffic during the Eid-al Fitr holiday period despite regional travel restrictions imposed by neighbouring countries amid the Gulf crisis.

    • "In the past seven days, 510,949 passengers have flown from Hamad International Airport on board more than 2,900 flights. During the peak Eid-al Fitr holiday period, June 22-24, 49,794 of those passengers were joining flights directly from Doha," said Qatar Airways boss Akbar Al Baker.

    • Hamad International Airport officials said the total number of passengers travelling on all airlines, including Qatar Airways, in June 19-25 reached 580,000.

    • Hamad International Airport recently reported that it served 19 million passengers from January to June 2017, 8 percent up compared with the same period in 2016.

    4:35pm - Turkish, Qatari defence ministers to meet in Ankara

    • The defence ministers of Turkey and Qatar will hold talks in the Turkish capital, Ankara, on Friday, according to a report by Turkey's Anadolu state-run news agency.

    • The meeting between Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Isik and his Qatari counterpart, Khalid bin Mohammed al-Attiyah, will take place in the defence ministry, sources who could not be identified due to restrictions on speaking to the media told Anadolu.

    2:30pm - US ambassador to UN: Gulf crisis 'opportunity' to influence Saudi Arabia and Qatar 

    • US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley has said that the Gulf crisis is "an opportunity" to influence both Qatar and Saudi Arabia. 

    • Haley was testifying before the House Foreign Affairs committee on Wednesday when she was asked about her take on the crisis in the Gulf amid conflicting statements made by members of the Trump administration.

    • She said it was a good time to tell Qatar to "quit funding Hamas ... but at the same time, go back to Saudi Arabia and say, look, you can talk to them [the Qataris] ... you got to cut this out, you've got to stop doing this."

    • Haley added that it was "an opportunity to sort of hit on both of them".

    8:00am - UAE's prime minister addresses Qatar in poem 

    • UAE's Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has urged Qatar to "return to the GCC fold" in a poem he published on his Instagram account.

    • "Now it is time to get united and be one heart and protect each other without grudges or hatred," he wrote in Arabic.

    • The poem stresses that the UAE is its neighbours' champion as they come "from one tribe and people ... We will keep advising Qatar openly in line with the instructions of Prophet Muhammad, who said: A wolf eats only sheep that leave the flock."

    2:42am - Japan's Shinzo Abe: Saudi-led bloc's demands are harsh

    • Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expressed concern about the repercussions of the Gulf crisis, noting that the demands of the four countries were harsh.

    • In a telephone conversaiton with Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Abe also stressed Japan's support for Kuwaiti mediation and diplomatic efforts to resolve the crisis. 

    9:44pm - Asian migrants 'stuck in Saudi' as Qatari bosses forced out

    • Migrants from countries such as Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Nepal employed to work as farmers and domestic staff in Saudi Arabia are stranded without shelter and access to money after a decision by the kingdom to expel their Qatari bosses, according to a human rights group.

    • "There are a lot of migrant workers affected by this decision," Ali Bin Smaikh al-Marri, chairman of Qatar's National Human Rights Committee, told a news conference in Qatar's capital, Doha.

    • Marri said that many of those affected were farmers who drive livestock between the two neighbouring countries.

    • "Usually the workers travel with Qataris - many Qataris employ farmers and travel with their domestic workers and drivers," he added. "The workers were not allowed to travel into Qatar and now they are living illegally in Saudi Arabia and do not have basic needs met. They have no shelter and cannot access money."

    8:24pm - Qatar to to hire Swiss lawyers to sue Gulf blockade states

    • Qatar's National Human Rights Commission says it will employ a Swiss law firm to seek compensation for those affected by a decision of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain to cut ties with Doha and impose a blockade against it.

    • "The three countries are responsible to compensate those affected," Marri told a news conference, adding that many Qataris qualified for compensation.

    • "Some cases will be filed in courts in those three countries and in some courts that have international jurisdictions, like in Europe, related to compensation."

    • Marri did not say which Swiss firm would be employed, but said a statement would be released in the near future.

    5:13pm - Tillerson calls Gulf sides to 'exercise restraint'

    • US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has issued a new call for a diplomatic resolution to the Gulf crisis after a meeting with Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah, Kuwait's minister of state for cabinet affairs and acting minister of information.

    • The US diplomat also renewed Washington's support for Kuwait's mediation efforts to defuse the crisis.

    • "During the meeting the leaders reaffirmed the need for all parties to exercise restraint to allow for productive diplomatic discussions.," read a statement issued by the US State Department after the talks in Washington, DC.

    • "Negotiations to resolve the current crisis in the Gulf is the best way to resolve the conflict," the statement added.

    3:00pm - UN rights expert: Demand to close Al Jazeera a 'threat to media freedom'

    • A United Nations media rights expert has rejected the demand of a Saudi-led group of countries to close Al Jazeera, saying it would be "a major blow to media pluralism".  

    • David Kaye, the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression, said in a statement that the demand "represents a serious threat to media freedom if states, under the pretext of a diplomatic crisis, take measures to force the dismantling of Al Jazeera". 

    • Kaye also called on "the international community to urge these governments not to pursue this demand against Qatar, to resist taking steps to censor media in their own territory and regionally, and to encourage support for independent media in the Middle East".

    8:05am - UAE envoy to Russia: 'We don't claim to have press freedom' 

    • Asked if he believed the closure of Al Jazeera was a "reasonable demand" by Saudi Arabia and its allies, the UAE's ambassador to Russia told The Guardian newspaper:  "We do not claim to have press freedom. We do not promote the idea of press freedom. What we talk about is responsibility in speech."

    • Omar Ghobash also said: "Freedom of speech has different constraints in different places. Speech in our part of the world has a particular context, and that context can go from peaceful to violent in no time simply because of worlds that are spoken.   

    7:55am - UAE ambassador to Russia says further sanctions against Qatar 'available' 

    • The UAE's ambassador to Russia has said expelling Qatar from the GCC is "not the only sanction available". 

    • Omar Ghobash, speaking to The Guardian newspaper, said there are "certain economic sanctions" the UAE and its allies can take which "are being considered right now".  He said among these was imposing "conditions on trade partners". 

    • He added: "If Qatar was not willing to accept the demands, it is a case of 'Goodbye, Qatar, we do not need you in our tent any more'." 

    1:45am - Saudi-led list unacceptable and not backed by proof, says Qatar's FM

    • The foreign minister of Qatar has rejected a list of demands submitted by four Arab countries as unacceptable and said that Doha agrees with the US that they should push for a "rational" solution to the crisis.

    • The comments on Tuesday by Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani came after a meeting with his US counterpart, Rex Tillerson, in Washington, DC.

    • "What has been presented by the countries of the blockade are merely claims that are not proved by evidence and are not demands," said Al Thani, adding: "The demands must be realistic and enforceable. Anything else is rejected."

    11:07pm - Saudi Arabia says Qatar demand list non-negotiable

    • Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir says there will be no negotiations over a list of demands the kingdom and its allies have submitted to Qatar to end the Gulf crisis.

    • Asked by reporters on a visit to the United States on Tuesday if the demands were non-negotiable, Jubeir said: "Yes".

    • "We made our point, we took our steps and it's up to the Qataris to amend their behaviour and once they do, things will be worked out, but if they don't they will remain isolated," Jubeir, who was in Washington, DC, said.

    10:40 - Media group backs Al Jazeera amid closure calls

    • A trade association representing more than 80 media companies has voiced its support for Al Jazeera amid a Saudi-led campaign to have the network shut down.

    • In a statement released on Monday, Digital Content Next joined a host of media outlets and organisations that have announced their support for Al Jazeera against calls for its closure.

    • "It is vital we value and protect the independence of media organisations and journalists around the world. Any effort to silence journalists or use news organisations as a bargaining chip is an affront to freedom," the statement said.

    • The Committee to Protect Journalists, Human Rights Watch, Reporters Without Borders, the New York Times editorial board and The Guardian have all condemned the efforts to pressure Qatar into shutting down Al Jazeera. 

    7:07pm - Germany, Iran call for solution to Gulf dispute

    • German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel urged all sides in the Gulf diplomatic crisis to hold direct talks to avoid a further escalation.

    • "The longer the crisis around Qatar continues, the deeper and stronger the lines of conflict will become," Gabriel told reporters after a 90-minute meeting with his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif.

    • Zarif said Iran was interested in working towards a political solution to the dispute, saying that "pressure and sanctions and blockades" were not the answer.

    5:20pm - Qatari riyal strengthens amid Gulf crisis

    • The Qatari riyal has strengthened against the US dollar in the forward market after two days of sharp falls caused by the continued diplomatic rift between Qatar and neighbouring Arab powers.

    • One-month riyal forwards showed the currency marked as firm as 3.751 per dollar, according to Reuters data, after hitting a low of 3.793 on Monday.

    • Three-month forwards also saw the riyal strengthening to 3.755 compared with the previous day's low of 3.796.

    • Qatari assets have come under pressure since Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt imposed a boycott on the Arab Gulf country three weeks ago.

    7:30am - Qatar's foreign minister to meet counterpart in Washington 

    • US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will meet with Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani in Washington on Tuesday.

    • The meeting at the State Department comes days after Doha dismissed a list of demands from Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

    • Tillerson has urged a diplomatic solution to the Gulf crisis, and Washington has been pushing for a clear list of grievances that are "reasonable and actionable".

    11:55pm - NHRC: Gulf blockade violates Qatari students' rights

    • Qatar's National Human Rights Committee says it has monitored several serious violations against Qatari students in three neighbouring counties amid a major regional fallout, according to a report on state media.

    • The report said Qatari students were not allowed to complete their exams at the end of the academic year and were refused certificates of graduation. Their educational accounts were also closed and their school registration were "arbitrarily" terminated without reason. 

    9:45pm - Iran urges Europe to help promote Gulf dialogue

    • Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran's foreign minister, has called on European countries to use their influence to defuse tensions between Saudi Arabia and its allies and Qatar. 

    • In a speech in Germany's capital, Berlin, Zarif said the Arab countries who blamed Iran or Qatar for "terrorism" were trying to avoid taking responsibility for their own failures in addressing the demands of their own people.

    • "When foreign policy becomes a commodity, then purchasing military equipment becomes your yardstick for measuring who is a terrorist or who isn't a terrorist," Zarif said.

    8:37pm - German FM: Demands made of Qatar 'very provocative'

    • A list of 13 demands issued by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt to Qatar as a condition to end a regional crisis is "very provocative", according to Sigmar Gabriel, Germany's foreign minister.

    • Speaking on Monday at an event hosted by the European Council on Foreign Relations in Germany's capital, Berlin, Gabriel also said it would be difficult for Doha to support all demands made of it.

    8:28pm - Senator to block US arms sales over GCC crisis

    • Republican Senator Bob Corker said he would withhold consent for US arms sales to members of the Gulf Cooperation Council until there is a path forward to resolving the region's diplomatic crisis.

    • "All countries in the region need to do more to combat terrorism, but recent disputes among the GCC countries only serve to hurt efforts to fight ISIS (ISIL) and counter Iran," Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, wrote in a letter to Rex Tillerson, US secretary of state.

    • Corker and Tillerson have a close relationship and speak frequently on foreign policy issues.

    7:50pm - Bahraini FM in U-turn over Turkish base in Qatar

    • Just over two weeks after stating that Turkey's military's presence in Qatar has no relation to an ongoing Gulf crisis, Bahrain's foreign minister appears to have performed a complete U-turn.

    • Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa on Monday accused Qatar of creating a "military escalation" in the regional diplomatic dispute, in an apparent reference to the long-planned deployment of Turkish troops in Qatar's capital, Doha, in recent days.

    • "The disagreement with Qatar is a political and security dispute and has never been military," Khalid bin Ahmed said on Twitter.

    • "But the deployment of foreign troops with their armoured vehicles is a military escalation for which Qatar will bear the consequences."

    • Yet, these remarks contradicted previous statements made by Khalid bin Ahmed during a visit to Turkey in June 10, when he said: "This base has been established … to protect the countries in the region from threats that might emerge. It has nothing to do what is going on between us and Qatar."

    4:55pm - An Open Letter from Al Jazeera

    • "The attempt to silence Al Jazeera is an attempt to silence independent journalism in the region, and to challenge everyone's freedom to be heard and to be informed. This must not be allowed to happen," the Doha-based media network said in an open letter.

    • We are deeply proud of our journalism. We respect - and give thanks to - everyone we report about, and everyone we inform.

    • We remain resolute in carrying out our responsibility of providing reliable information, and giving those we cover a voice.

    • We are unwavering in our resolve to continue doing so, and we will proceed to tell the stories of the world from Kabul to Caracas and from Mosul to Sydney.

    • We will continue to do our job with integrity. We will continue to be courageous in the pursuit of the truth. And we will continue to respect people’s rights to be heard.

    • Read the full letter here.

    2:15am - 'We are more united': Qataris mark Eid amid blockade

    • Qatari citizens express unity and sadness as the crisis casts a shadow over Islam's most important holiday.

    • "There are a lot of families ..., a lot of people who have suffered from this blockade," said Qatari citizen Ali Al Merri - whose children have Bahraini passports. "Politicians must keep this between the governments and not involve the citizens."

    • Khaled Al Hajiri, another Qatari citizen, said the decision by Saudi Arabia and its allies came as a "shock" to him and his family: "For me personally, it is breaking my heart that I cannot see my cousins in Abu Dhabi. Most of my friends also have relatives there."

    8:45pm - Iran's Rouhani: Qatar siege not acceptable

    • Iran's President Hassan Rouhani and Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani have held a telephone conversation, according to the office of the presidency's website.

    • The Sunday report quotes Rouhani as telling the Emir of Qatar that the "siege of Qatar is not acceptable for us", adding that "Tehran will stand by Qatar's government".

    • "Iran's air space, ground and sea will be always be open to Qatar as a ... friendly nation," said Rouhani, and that the two countries' cooperation will remain "continuous".

    • Iran's president added that "pressure, threats and sanctions" are not solutions for resolving rifts.

    • Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani extended wishes for the Eid al-Fitr festival, and said: "Qatar has open arms for interaction and cooperation."

    7:04pm - Tillerson: Some demands on Qatar very difficult to meet

    • US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says some demands on Qatar by a group of Arab countries that have imposed a blockade against it "will be very difficult to meet".

    • In a statement issued on Sunday, the US diplomat added, however, that the list submitted by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt includes "significant areas which provide a basis for ongoing dialogue leading to a resolution".

    • "A productive next step would be for each of the countries to sit together and continue this conversation," said Tillerson, confirming that Qatar has begun the review of the demands.

    • "We believe our allies and partners are stronger when they are working together towards one goal, which we all agree is stopping terrorism and countering extremism," Tillerson said, calling for a "lowering of rhetoric" to "help ease the tension".

    4:24pm - Sudan's Bashir backs Kuwait mediation to end Gulf crisis

    • Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has reiterated his support for Kuwait's mediation efforts to defuse the diplomatic crisis in the Gulf.  

    • In a speech marking the end of Ramadan, Bashir said: "We welcome Eid al-Fitr with all its joy and we recall what our Arab and Islamic nation is going through in terms of strife between honourable brothers who had and still have generous stances with our country".

    • He said the situation "necessitates that we work" towards reconciliation and exert all efforts to bring them together, noting that Sudan will back all efforts that aim at ending the crisis.

    • "Sudan is backing the efforts made by the emir of Kuwait until his bona-fide intentions of maintaining this rift have been materialised," Bashir added.

    11:10am - Erdogan: Qatar ultimatum 'is against international law'

    • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has welcomed Qatar's stand on a list of demands from Saudi Arabia and its allies, saying that the ultimatum is "against international law".
    • "We welcome [Qatar's position] because we consider the 13-point list against international law," Erdogan was quoted as saying by the state-run Anadolu news agency on Sunday.

    • He also said calling for closure of the Turkish base in Qatar was "disrespectful against Turkey". 

    2:01am - Qatar's ambassador to Germany rejects all allegations of ties to "terrorism"

    • Sheikh Saud bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said in an interview with German daily Der Tagesspiegel that Qatar has never backed "extremist" groups and will not support such groups in the future.

    • The ambassador said that no evidence had been provided to support the allegations made against Qatar, adding that they had been made in a sudden manner.

    • He pointed out that there had been many meetings held under the GCC umbrella over the past few months - none of which saw these allegations surface. 

    12:26am - Kuwaiti FM discusses regional issues with Tillerson, Johnson, Cavusoglu and others

    • The first deputy prime minister and foreign minister of Kuwait, the country leading mediation efforts to defuse the Gulf crisis, held a series of telephone conversations on Saturday with several international diplomats, according to state-run media.

    • Kuwait's KUNA news agency said that Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah spoke with the US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.  

    • He also had a phone discussion with Sigmar Gabriel, Germany's foreign minister, and Federica Mogherini, the European Union's foreign policy chief.

    • The diplomats discussed the latest regional and international developments, KUNA said. 

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera News


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