Qatar-Gulf crisis: All the latest updates – Week 2

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

Developments from Week 2 (June 12-18) 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)

10:30pm – Emir of Kuwait hopes to resolve dispute before Eid 

  • The Emir of Kuwait has said he hopes to resolve the diplomatic dispute between three Gulf states and Qatar during the last ten days of Ramadan.
  • “In this great month and its holy nights we hope to overcome the latest developments in our Gulf home and … fix the rift through dialogue and communication,” he said. 

  • “We should do this based on the deeply rooted historical ties, family relations, and shared interests that gather the states of the GCC and their peoples”.

10:05pm – Bahrain cancels scheduled visit of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

  • Bahrain has postponed the scheduled visit of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, days after he criticised the Arab Gulf state’s blockade on Qatar.
  • Abdulla al-Doseri, Bahrain’s assistant foreign minister, wrote on his Twitter account that due to “technical and logistical reasons, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights’ (OHCHR) visit to Bahrain has been postponed until further notice”. 

  • On Wednesday, Zeid said he was “alarmed about the possible impact on many people’s human rights”, following a decision by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt to cut diplomatic and economic ties with Qatar. He added that it was “becoming clear that the measures being adopted are overly broad in scope and implementation”. 

7:00pm – Qatar won’t cut gas to UAE – Qatar Petroleum CEO

  • Qatar will not cut off gas to the United Arab Emirates despite a diplomatic dispute and a “force majeure” clause in its contract, Saad Sherida al-Kaabi, the chief executive of Qatar Petroleum has told Al Jazeera.
  • Al-Kaabi said that although there was a “force majeure” clause in the agreement on the Dolphin gas pipeline – which pumps around 2 billion cubic feet of gas per day to the UAE -Qatar would not stop supplies for other reasons.

  • “The siege we have today is a force majeure and we could close the gas pipeline to the UAE,” he said. But if we cut the gas, it does great harm to the UAE and the people of the UAE, who are considered like brothers … we decided not to cut the gas now.”

5:04pm – Bahrain orders Qatari troops to leave coalition fighting ISIL: source

  • Bahrain has ordered Qatari troops serving in a coalition fighting against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, ISIS) group to leave its territory, the AFP news agency has reported.
  • The soldiers, part of the US Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) which is headquartered in Bahrain, had been asked to leave the coalition and may depart within the next 48 hours, a source told AFP.

  • “The Bahrainis told the US general in command of the base that Qatari soldiers must leave,” the source said. “They are still in the base but likely to leave within the next two days.”

3pm – Qatar concludes military exercise with US

  • Qatar’s defence ministry has announced on Sunday that its troops have wrapped up joint exercise with the US forces in Al-Galayel field.

  • The exercise was conducted by three units: the joint special forces represented by the special mobile force, special operations and special navy, in conjunction with the Qatari Emiri Air Force represented by the transport wing, the helicopter squadron and US special forces, to achieve the principle of joint action.

  • The exercise was attended by Commander of the Joint Special Forces Brigadier General Hamad Abdullah Al Fetais Al Marri, representative of the US Embassy Brigadier David Parr and high-ranking officers from the Qatari Armed Forces and the US forces.

2:30pm – Qatar riyal quoted below peg but no threat of devaluation

  • Qatar’s riyal is being quoted weaker than its peg against the US dollar. The riyal, officially fixed at 3.64 to the dollar since 2001, has been offered as low as 3.6680 since the Gulf crisis started on June 5.

  • The central bank has $34.5bn of net foreign reserves and the government may have more than $200bn of additional liquid assets in its sovereign wealth fund. So for now, Qatar seems in no danger of running out of money to defend the peg.

  • “There is no reason for the riyal to be de-pegged in the short term,” said the Qatari banker. “They have enough resources.”

11:38am – Qatar hopes for European support in Gulf crisis

  • Saud bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, Qatar’s ambassador to Germany, told DPA news agency: “The conflict has to be solved within the GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council]. But we need a strong message from our friends in Germany and Europe, that everybody has to sit down at the table.”

  • “Students from Qatar had to leave Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates two weeks before the exam. Due to the closure of the border to neighbouring countries, families are separated from each other,” he said. “You should not forbid people to travel.”

  • He pointed out that the UAE gets 40 per cent of its gas from Qatar, a resource-rich yet tiny emirate. “But we haven’t closed the gas pipelines because we don’t want the situation to deteriorate.”

11:29am – No interruption to Qatar gas supply to UAE expected

  • The chief executive of Sharjah National Oil Corp, UAE’s state-owned oil and gas firm, said on Sunday he does not expect flows of natural gas from Qatar to the United Arab Emirates to be interrupted by the diplomatic dispute in the region.

  • “We have not seen any impact yet on the gas side with regards to Qatar…The pipeline between Abu Dhabi and Qatar has not been impacted,” Hatem Al-Mosa said. “We have not seen and do not expect to see any disuption of gas supplies from the Dolphin pipeline.”

  • The Dolphin gas pipeline links Qatar’s North Field with the UAE and Oman, and was the first cross-border gas project in the Gulf Arab region. It pumps about 2bn cubic feet of gas per day to the UAE.

8am – Qatar still waiting for list of grievances

  • Qatar has yet to see any demands from Saudi Arabia and its allies as they continue an embargo on the country, according to Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani.

  • “So far Kuwait [the mediator] hasn’t received any demands from any Gulf Cooperation Council nations or even a list of the so-called accusations. We’re just confused about what these demands could be,” Sheikh Mohammed said on Saturday in an interview with Qatar TV.

  • “The fact that they don’t even have clear demands ready shows that all of their accusations are baseless,” he said.

3am – Protesters in Istanbul condemn anti-Qatar measures

  • Turkish demonstrators took to the streets of Istanbul on Saturday to express their solidarity with Qatar against the blockade and severing of ties by three Gulf states.

  • The group gathered in front of Qatar’s general consulate in Istinye in the European side of the city.

  • Fatih Kaya, head of the Public Special Operations Association, expressed strong condemnation of the charges directed at by the blockade countries.

  • He praised Qatar’s efforts and support for Turkey during “difficult times”, adding that this calls for solidarity with Qatar and “returning the favour”.

12:20am – TRT reporter, cameraman covering Turkish FM’s Saudi visit ‘briefly detained’

  • Saudi Arabia detained a Pakistani journalist and his Turkish cameraman working for Turkey’s state-run English language television channel for some 10 hours on Friday, according to a statement by reporter Hasan Abdullah.

  • TRT’s Abdullah and cameraman Nihat Yayman were in Saudi Arabia to cover a visit by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, who held talks with Saudi King Salman as part of mediation efforts to defuse the ongoing diplomatic crisis in the Gulf.

  • The two TRT workers were detained by Saudi authorities at their hotel in Mecca after a live television appearance, and were asked questions about the row, Abdullah’s statement said.

  • “We had been there with official ‘Special Visa’ to cover the Turkey-Saudi meeting. The ordeal lasted nearly 10 hours during which we faced multiple interrogations and lock-up,” it said.

11:01pm – Paris demonstrators demand end to Qatar blockade

  • Protesters gathered in France’s capital, Paris, to call for the lifting of a land, air and sea blockade imposed by Gulf states on Qatar.

  • The demonstrators at Place de la Republique said the blockade is a flagrant violation of human rights and amounts to collective punishment.

  • The protest came a day after Ali Bin Smaikh al-Marri, chairman of Qatar’s National Human Rights Committee (NHRC), called on the UN Human Rights Council to condemn the blockade as it infringes upon the rights of more than 13,000 citizens of the Arab countries involved.

  • According to a report released by NHRC on Thursday, the actions taken by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, along with Egypt, separated mothers from their children in some cases. Hundreds of complaints were submitted to the NHRC by email, phone and hotlines, or personal visits to its headquarters in Qatar’s capital, Doha.

8:44pm – Protest outside UAE embassy in London in solidarity with Qatar

  • Demonstrators gathered outside the United Arab Emirates (UAE) embassy in Britain’s capital, London, to protest against an ongoing embargo of Qatar by the UAE, Saudi Arabia and others.

  • The protesters denounced the land, air and sea blockade imposed on Qatar by its Gulf neighbours amid the region’s worst diplomatic crisis in years.

  • A spokesman for the demonstrators called the embargo a human rights violation and urged the Gulf states to negotiate a peaceful solution to the dispute.

  • “The blockade on Qatar contravenes international law,” read one placard held by the protesters outside the UAE embassy.

  • “We have to say to [US President Donald] Trump, we have to say to the government of Saudi Arabia and to the Emiratis that you will not be successful,” a demonstrator said.

8:30pm – Analyst: Crisis exposes GCC weakness

  • Sultan Barakat, an academic from the Center for Conflict and Humanitarian Studies at the Doha Institute, says the intervention of outside countries aimed at defusing the crisis makes the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) look weak.

  • “Given the relations between Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates through the council, this should have been presented months ago, never mind weeks ago,” Barakat told Al Jazeera. “It should have been dealt privately first – those issues should had been handed to Qatar to debate – and then if it was not resolved they could had escalated the issues.”

  • Barakat said the situation has not been handled properly.

  • “I think the embargo has been very damaging, both for Qatar and for the rest of the Gulf states, and now to see other nations coming from outside the region trying to resolve the issue with them doesn’t look good either.”

8:08pm – Turkey sent 5,000 tonnes of food to Qatar

  • Turkey’s Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci says his country has airlifted 5,000 tonnes of foodstuff to Qatar to help ease the embargo imposed by its neighbours amid a major diplomatic crisis.

  • Speaking to Turkish TV on Saturday, Zeybekci said trucks were also on the way. 

  • “Our shipments via sea route will also begin this weekend,” he said. “Turkey could supply all the humanitarian needs of Qatar.”

6:29pm – Erdogan calls for quick resolution of Gulf crisis

  • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has renewed a call for the full removal of a Saudi-led blockade imposed on Qatar and appealed to Saudi Arabia to bring a quick end to the crisis through dialogue.

  • “I believe that the Saudi king has the ability to resolve this crisis quickly,” Erdogan said in Istanbul, calling for an end to the diplomatic crisis before celebrations to mark the end of the Muslim Holy month of Ramadan next week.

  • “I truly hope it will be resolved before Eid al-Fitr, because it is not appropriate for the Islamic world to be subjected to such a division among its nations. We have the ability to solve these problems through dialogue,” he said during a speech at the Turkish Exporters Assembly meeting in.

  • “We, here in Turkey, have sought to take a fair stand from the very first moment of the Qatari crisis,” Erdogan added. “We have clearly stated that the accusations against Qatar are not true and that the blockade imposed based on these allegations is unfair.”

4:30pm – Qatar: No shortage of medicines, medical supplies

  • A land, air and sea blockade imposed on Qatar by a number of Gulf countries has not impacted services in the country’s hospitals, health officials said, adding that there is no shortage of medicines or medical supplies. 

  • Ali Abdullah Al Khater, executive director of corporate communications Department at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), said in a statement to Qatar News Agency that medicines and other important medical supplies can last for many months.

  • If some of the supply routes are stopped, HMC will find new providers of medicines and medical supplies, he added.

2:15pm – Qatar rejects allegations it attempted to destabilise Bahrain

  • Qatar has rejected accusations that it attempted to undermine the security in Bahrain. 

  • Bahrain’s official BNA news agency accused Doha of meddling with the country’s internal affairs with the aim of “overthrowing” the regime after broadcasting a phone call on Friday allegedly between an adviser to Qatar’s emir at the time and the leader of Bahrain’s opposition Shia Al-Wefaq movement. 

  • In response, the Qatari foreign ministry said in a statement on Saturday that the phone call was part of Qatari efforts to mediate between the Bahraini authorities and opposition in the wake of the 2011 unrest in Bahrain. It added the contacts had  been made “with the approval and knowledge of the authorities in Bahrain”.

  • The ministry also called the broadcast of the phone call a “naive attempt to twist the facts and take them out of context”.

7:20am – Grievances list ‘signals Saudi Arabia not intending to escalate the conflict’

  • Tamara Kharroub, a senior analyst and assistant executive director at the Arab Center in Washington, DC, told Al Jazeera the fact that Saudi Arabia says it is preparing a list of grievances rather than demands could signal it “is not intending to escalate the crisis any further”.

  • Kharroub said it is “unlikely that [there will be] a list of demands any more”.

1:04am – Cavusoglu in ‘positive’ Saudi talks on Gulf crisis

  • Mevlut Cavusoglu, Turkey’s foreign minister, held talks in Saudi Arabia on Friday with King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, continuing mediation efforts to resolve the Gulf’s biggest diplomatic crisis in years.

  • Diplomatic sources told the AFP news agency that “the meeting was positive”, but there were no further specifics.

12:02am – Tillerson cancels Mexico trip to work on Qatar crisis

  • US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has cancelled his scheduled trip to an Organization of American States meeting in Mexico next week to focus on efforts to defuse the diplomatic crisis in the Gulf.

  • State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Tillerson would stay to work the phones to try to convince Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates to settle their differences.

  • Tillerson “will continue his efforts to de-escalate tensions in the Middle East region through in-person meetings and phone conversations with Gulf and regional leaders,” she said in a brief statement.

9:53pm – Turkish president discusses Gulf crisis with Qatar’s emir, French leader

  • Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has held a trilateral phone conversation with Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani and French President Emmanuel Macron, according to Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency.

  • The three leaders exchanged views on the Qatar-Gulf crisis with a focus on immediately easing tension in the region, a source in Turkey’s presidency, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media, told Anadolu.

9:05pm – Saudi, allies working on list of Qatar ‘grievances’

  • Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir said Qatar should respond to demands to halt its support for “extremism and terrorism” which, he said, were being made by the whole world and not just Gulf states.

  • Speaking to journalists in London, he said his government and its allies were working on a list of “grievances” which would be presented soon.

  • “We are working on those with our Bahraini, Emirati and Egyptian partners in order to compile this list and present it to the Qataris, and I think it will be done fairly soon.”

6:57pm – Turkish FM in Saudi Arabia for Gulf crisis talks

  • Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu arrived in Saudi Arabia for talks with King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, as part of mediation efforts to resolve the Gulf’s biggest diplomatic crisis in years.

  • Cavusoglu was to travel from Jeddah to the holy city of Mecca where the king is based for the last days of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

  • His visit comes after holding talks in Kuwait with his counterpart Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al Sabah on Thursday to push mediation efforts.

5:55pm – Gulf ‘artificial’ crisis can end quickly, says Turkey

  • Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus says the Gulf diplomatic rift can be quickly solved because there are no grounds to the crisis.

  • “This is completely an artificial crisis,” he told reporters in the northern Black Sea province of Ordu. 

  • “This crisis has no basis, no socio-political background … We wish for the crisis to be resolved quicker than other crises.”

3:32pm – Qatar blockade ‘worse than Berlin Wall’

  • Qatar’s National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) has called for a United Nations fact-finding mission to document violations due to a Saudi-led bloc blockade of Qatar.

  • Speaking in Geneva, NHRC chairman Ali Bin Samikh al-Marri urged the UN Human Rights Council to condemn the blockade as it infringes upon the rights of more than 13,000 citizens of the four Arab Gulf countries involved.

  • “These procedures [blockade] are worse than the Berlin Wall,” Marri said. “Families have been separated. In one instance, a Saudi man died in Qatar. His sons were prevented by Saudi authorities to bring the body back home so Qatar took the responsibility to bury him.”

12:35pm – Qatar human rights watchdog takes diplomatic case to Geneva 

  • The chairman of Qatar’s National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) is in Geneva to urge the UN human rights body to take action over what its says are violations caused by the Gulf embargo of the country. 
  • NHRC said it has received reports of at least 764 human rights violations since the blockade began 10 days ago. 

7am – Turkish FM: Qatar does not want crisis to continue

  • Mevlut Cavusolgu also underlined that Qatar does want to be provided with evidence of the accusations levelled against the country.
  • The Turkish foreign minister is expected travel to Saudi Arabia on Friday for talks with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz about the crisis.

5am – Saudi: Gulf rift can’t be resolved at UN aviation agency 

  • Saudi Arabia said the rift with Qatar was a bigger political issue than airspace rights and could not be resolved at the UN’s aviation agency. Qatar asked the International Civil Aviation Organization to intervene after its Gulf neighbours closed their airspace to Qatar flights last week as part of economic sanctions.
  • Saudi Transport Minister Suleiman al-Hamdan told ICAO members “this is something that’s bigger than ICAO,” according to a source who talked to Reuters news agency.

12:40am – British PM urges Gulf states to ease tensions

  • British Prime Minister Theresa May called on “all sides to urgently de-escalate the situation, engage meaningfully in dialogue, and restore Gulf Cooperation Council unity at the earliest possible opportunity”, her spokesperson said in a statement.

  • May’s office said she spoke with the leaders of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar on Thursday evening.

11pm – Iraqi PM postpones visit to Saudi Arabia

  • Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi postponed Wednesday’s trip to Saudi Arabia “so that it would not be considered as supporting one side against the other” in the rift between the kingdom and Qatar, Jabbar al-Abadi, a lawmaker close to Abadi, told Reuters on Thursday.

  • Abadi’s office confirmed that the visit, during which Abadi was to meet with Saudi King Salman, was postponed, possibly to next week, without giving a reason.

10:50pm – US secretary of state discusses Qatar with Oman’s FM

  • Oman’s Foreign Minister Yousuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah has received a call from US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Thursday in which the two officials discussed the Gulf Cooperation Council crisis among other topics, according to the statement by Oman’s foreign ministry read out on Omani state TV.

  • Abdullah stressed the importance of supporting Kuwait’s efforts to resolve the crisis between Qatar and its neighbours through diplomacy.

  • He also said that Oman was “confident that brothers in the GCC states have the desire to overcome this crisis and activate the GCC system to achieve the prospective aims, and serve the joint interests of the GCC peoples and maintain the security and stability of the region”.

10pm – Q-Post urges UPU to intervene in Gulf crisis

  • Qatar Postal Service Company (Q-Post) has sent a written notice to Universal Postal Union (UPU) informing them about the suspension of postal services with Qatar by the UAE, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, which is a violation of UPU’s constitution and agreements.

  • Q-Post said the anti-Qatar measures had a significant impact on the daily life of millions of citizens and residents of the country, who were unfairly targeted by the one-sided decision of stopping services.

  • “We look forward to working effectively with the UPU in a manner consistent with the spirit and systems of the UPU,” Faleh Mohamed Al Naemi, Q-Post’s chairman and managing director, said in a statement to Qatar News Agency (QNA).

9:30pm – Kuwait: Gulf crisis began to dissipate

  • The Gulf crisis has begun to dissipate thanks to mediation efforts by Kuwait’s Emir, a prominent member of Kuwait’s royal family said on Thursday.

  • “I am sure this storm will pass peacefully to the benefit of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC),” Sheikh Salem al-Ali al-Sabah, who is also head of Kuwait’s National Guard, was quoted as saying on Thursday by Kuwait’s Al-Seyassah newspaper.

  • “His majesty’s swift response [to the crisis] shows the Emir’s keenness to achieve reconciliation between brothers,” he was quoted as saying.

6:36pm – Qatar’s Emir discusses Gulf crisis with Merkel

  • Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani on Thursday held a telephone conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, discussing the developments of the Gulf crisis among other topics.

  • Merkel stressed during the call the need to solve the crisis through dialogue, pointing to Germany’s efforts to lift the blockade and voicing concern towards the potential repercussions of any escalation on the whole region.

6:21pm – Gulf crisis a ‘blessing in disguise’ for Qatar seaport

  • The Gulf crisis initially halted much traffic to Qatar’s main seaport, Hamad Port, and raised fears of food and other shortages. 

  • But after launching new direct shipping routes to cope with the crisis, port officials say the worst is over and the episode may even help gas-rich Qatar seal new transport deals that do not rely on Gulf neighbours. 

  • “It’s a blessing in disguise,” a port official said as cargo was unloaded on Wednesday. “We’re looking at signing agreements with shipping companies that can improve direct services instead of having to come through Jebel Ali” in Dubai.

6pm – Qatar: Gulf crisis has no impact on World Cup preparations

  • Qatar said on Thursday a rift with fellow Gulf Arab states that included economic sanctions on Doha had not affected its preparations to host the 2022 World Cup, adding that alternative sources for construction materials had been secured.

  • “I can confirm to everybody that there is absolutely no impact on the progress of work in the Mondial facilities and that work is proceeding normally,” said Ghanim al-Kuwari, executive director at the Qatari committee overseeing preparations for the World Cup.

5pm – Turkish FM holds talks in Kuwait, heads to Saudi Arabia next

  • Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Thursday held talks in Kuwait with his counterpart Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Sabah to push mediation efforts aimed at resolving a standoff between a Saudi-led alliance and Qatar.

  • Ahead of the talks, Cavusoglu told a press conference that he will travel to the holy city of Mecca on Friday for talks with King Salman.

  • “Although the kingdom is a party in this crisis, we know that King Salman is a party in resolving it. We want to hear the views of Saudi Arabia regarding possible solutions and will share with them our views in a transparent way … We pay a great attention to our relations with them,” he said.

4:30pm – Global lenders support Qatari banks hit by Gulf rift

  • A few large Asian, European and US banks are providing funds to help to keep Qatari banks running smoothly after a diplomatic rift has dried up financing from the UAE, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, banking sources told Reuters news agency.

  • “We’re unscathed so far,” one Qatari banker said. “The panic has eased as we’ve been able to continue receiving funding, though there’s certainly no complacency about the risks that remain.”

  • He said his bank had borrowed over $100m in unsecured three-year financing from a European bank and obtained six-month deposits from Asian and European banks in the two weeks since the crisis erupted. US banks were still trading through bilateral and repo lines, he said.

4:15pm – ‘At least 13,314 people’s rights were directly violated’

  • Qatar’s National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) has announced that at least 13,314 people were directly affected by anti-Qatar measures taken by its neighbours.
  • NHRC said in a report published on Thursday that it documented the violations against the citizens of Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE, including family separations, violations to the right to travel, education, work, freedom of opinion, residency and ownership.
  • The Committee recorded roughly 764 complaints for various types of violations between June 5 and June 12.

4pm – Philippines lifts labour ban on Qatar-bound workers

  • The Philippine government on Thursday lifted a temporary deployment ban – imposed on June 6 and partially lifted a day later – on overseas Filipino labourers travelling to Qatar for work.

  • Labour Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the decision to fully lift the moratorium was made after consultations with the Department of Foreign Affairs and the endorsement of the Philippine Overseas Labour Office (POLO).

  • Bello also said the Qatari government had guaranteed the safety of the approximately 240,000 Filipinos in the country.

1:30pm – UN agency to assess airspace closure against Qatar

  • The International Civil Aviation Organization said it would host talks of ministers and senior officials from Qatar, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt at its Montreal headquarters on Thursday.
  • The talks would seek a “consensus-based solution” that addressed “current regional concerns”.

9:30am – Infographic: Sharing the world’s largest gas field

  • Energy production from the world’s largest gas field ties Iran and Qatar in a working relationship. Here’s Qatar’s North Dome and Iran’s South Pars field at a glance. 

7:20am – Two US Navy vessels arrive in Qatar

  • The vessels will participate in a joint exercise with the Qatari Emiri Navy, the Ministry of Defense’s Directorate of Moral Guidance said on Wednesday.
  • The move comes just days after US President Donald Trump accused Qatar of being “a funder of terrorism at a very high level”.

3:30am – France’s Macron in Morocco to discuss Qatar crisis 

  • “The king of Morocco shares our concern: France would like to see the countries talking again and for the Gulf to remain stable, not least because these states are stakeholders in the crises in Syria and Libya,” French President Emmanuel Macron said in Morocco.

3am – Turkey FM urges dialogue to solve Qatar crisis     

  • “This absolutely needs to be overcome,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told Anadolu after talks with Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani in Doha as well as Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani.
  • “This needs to be overcome through dialogue and through peace. Turkey will also make its contribution. God willing, we will overcome this and we are working to overcome this. This is the purpose of these visits.”

2am – UN chief lauds Kuwait for mediation efforts 

  • UN Secretary-General Antonito Guterres has expressed support for Kuwait’s efforts to de-escalate tension and promote dialogue over the Qatar crisis, his spokesman Stephane Dujarric said. 
  • He confirmed Guterres spoke on Wednesday with Kuwait’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al Hamad Al Sabah about the situation. 

12:50am – US and Qatar seal $12bn deal for F-15 fighter jets

  • Qatar’s Defence Minister Khalid bin Mohammed Al-Attiyah and US defence secretary James Mattis signed the deal in Washington, DC.

  • Al-Attiyah said the agreement underscores the “commitment in advancing our military cooperation for closer strategic collaboration in our fight to counter violent extremism”.

  • “Qatar and the United States have solidified their military cooperation by having fought together side by side for many years now in an effort to eradicate terrorism and promote a future of dignity and prosperity,” he added.

12:40am – UN aviation agency to assess Gulf airspace closure, host states in Montreal talks

  • The United Nations aviation agency said on Wednesday it was reviewing a request from Qatar to intervene after its Gulf neighbours closed airspace to nation amid the worst diplomatic row in the region in years.

  • The International Civil Aviation Organization said would host talks of ministers and senior officials from Qatar, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt at its Montreal headquarters on Thursday to help find a “consensus-based solution” that addressed “current regional concerns”.

12:20am – Tillerson: Blacklisting Muslim Brotherhood problematic

  • “There are elements of the Muslim Brotherhood that have become parts of governments,” US Secretary of State Rex said, pointing out parliaments in Bahrain and Turkey as examples.

  • “Those elements… have done so by renouncing violence and terrorism,” he said.

  • “So in designating the Brotherhood in its totality as a terrorist organisation… I think you can appreciate the complexities this enters into our relations with [governments in the region].”

11pm – Gulf dispute tops agenda of France-Morocco talks

  • French President Emmanuel Macron has travelled to Morocco for talks on battling terrorism as well as the Libyan conflict and Qatar’s dispute with its Gulf neighbours.

  • “President Macron has spoken with all the heads of state of the region and called for appeasement. This efforts could converge with the mediation that Morocco wants to attempt.”

  • A French diplomatic source said “the priority is to help resolve the crisis”.

9:30pm – Qatari businesses find new suppliers due to Gulf boycott

  • Businesses in Qatar say they are pulling the plug on UAE and Saudi contracts, and don’t expect to resume them even if the diplomatic storm blows over.

  • “We are not working with them again. They didn’t honour their agreements. Our products are being held up there,” said Ahmed al-Khalaf, chairman of International Projects Development Co and owner of a Qatari meat processing plant that imports materials from the UAE.

  • “We may not have many factories in Qatar but we have the money to buy from other sources.”

  • Millions of dollars of other goods and materials also come every month via Dubai’s Jebel Ali port which serves as a major re-export hub for the Gulf.

9pm – Turkey’s foreign and economy ministers arrive in Doha

  • Turkey’s Foreign Minister MevlutCavusoglu praised the “wise and calm manner” in which Qatar has handled the Gulf crisis.

  • “All those we spoke to expressed their respect and appreciation of the Qatari position towards this crisis as well as Qatar’s ideal handling of the crisis, for which it earned the respect of all,” he said.

  • Cavusoglu noted that Turkey is exerting its utmost efforts to find solutions to this crisis.

6pm – Qatar National Bank sees no significant outflow of deposits

  • Qatar National Bank (QNB), the largest lender in the Middle East and Africa had also not seen any impact on its overall group operations from its business in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, the bank said in emailed answers to questions.

  • Last week, the UAE central bank urged banks in the UAE to act with caution in dealing with six Qatari lenders, including QNB.

5:30pm – Media blocks against Qatar violate free speech: HRW

  • “Individuals have a right to express a variety of perspectives on current events,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch.

  • “Governments don’t have the right to close down media outlets and criminalise speech to shut out criticism they find uncomfortable,” she said.

4:40pm – Qatar’s envoy to Turkey: Anti-Qatar ‘sanctions will only serve to bolster our national unity’

  • Salem bin Mubarak Al Shafi, Qatar’s ambassador to Turkey, told Anadolu news agency that anti-Qatar sanctions had “nothing to do with law, religion or morality”.

  • “Those who have tried to encircle us lost the moral high ground on the first day [of the sanctions] and lost the diplomatic war later,” he said, pointing to calls by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to raise the ongoing blockade on Qatar.

  • “Qatar is ready for sincere and constructive dialogue. But first they must withdraw [the sanctions] as we cannot negotiate when a gun is being held to our head.”

4:33pm – Bahrain detains Qatar sympathiser

  • The department of cyber crime referred a case to the public prosecutor’s office in which “a person of interest had posted comments to social networks that constitute a violation” of a ban against sympathising with Qatar, said attorney general Ahmed al-Hammadi, head of Bahrain’s Terrorist Crimes Commission.

  • “The prosecution has begun investigating the matter, and the suspect has been interrogated and is being held in custody,” Hammadi said.

RELATED: UAE bans shows of sympathy

3:50pm – Qatar Airways says majority of network unaffected by airspace restrictions

  • “As far as we are concerned, it is business as usual,” Chief Executive Akbar al-Baker said. 

  • “We call upon the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to declare this [restrictions] an illegal act. We are not a political body, we are an airline, and this blockade has stripped us of the rights which are guaranteed to us.”

3:40pm – UN’s Zeid warns states to respect rights in Qatar row

  • The UAE and Bahrain appear to be violating people’s human rights by threatening to jail or fine them for expressing sympathy for Qatar, UN human rights chief Zeid Raad al Hussein said.

  • Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt, which have branded dozens of people and entities with alleged links to Qatar as “terrorists”, must respect citizens’ rights, Zeid said.

  • He said directives issued by Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain to address the humanitarian needs of families with joint nationalities appeared to be inadequate, and his office had received reports of specific individuals being ordered to return home or to leave the country they are residing in.

3:30pm – Turkey says Qatar crisis harms Islamic world

  • Turkey is working to help resolve the issue through diplomacy, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan’s spokesman said.

  • Speaking at a press conference, Ibrahim Kalin said Turkey was sending food assistance to Qatar.

  • Kalin also said a Turkish military base in Qatar, set up before the regional spat, was established to ensure the security of the whole region and did not have an aim of any military action against any country.

1:30pm – Syrian rebels fear Gulf crisis will deepen divisions

  • Together with Turkey and the US, Qatar and Saudi Arabia have been major sponsors of the anti-Assad battle.

  • “God forbid if this crisis is not contained I predict … the situation in Syria will become tragic because the factions that are supported by [different] countries will be forced to take hostile positions towards each other,” said Mustafa Sejari of the Liwa al Mutasem rebel group in northern Syria.

  • A Syrian opposition source familiar with foreign support to the rebels said: “[The Gulf crisis] will increase the split between north and south, as the north is mainly funded by Qatar and Turkey, and the south is supported by Jordan and the (US-led) coalition.”

10:50am – Qatar’s stock exchange shows modest recovery

  • Qatar’s index, beaten down by the economic sanctions by other Gulf Arab states, rebounded 0.4 percent on Wednesday in a broad-based rally; 23 stocks gained and only seven dropped.
  • Gulf stock markets were mostly little changed, although amusement park operator DXB Entertainments led Dubai higher and Dana Gas continued its surge in Abu Dhabi.

10am – Qatar pulls all its troops from Djibouti-Eritrea border

  • About 450 Qatari peacekeeping troops were pulled back from the border between Djibouti and Eritrea, two East African nations who have a long-running dispute over the territory.
  • Djibouti and Eritrea, which have good relations with Saudi Arabia and the UAE, took their side in the Gulf split.
  • On Wednesday, Djibouti reduced its level of diplomatic relations with Qatar over the regional diplomatic crisis.

9:40am – Turkey’s foreign minister to visit Qatar

  • Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu will visit Qatar on Wednesday to discuss bilateral relations as well as the Gulf crisis.
  • Cavusoglu will hold a meeting with the Qatar’s foreign minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani. He will also be received by the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

7am – Bahrain human rights lawyer arrested for suing over Qatar blockade

  • Issa Faraj Arhama al-Burshaid was detained after challenging Manama’s sanctions against Qatar, which include blocking Qataris from staying in the country along with other economic penalties.
  • He filed the case with the Supreme Administrative Court in Manama against the Cabinet, Interior Ministry and Foreign Ministry, describing the measures “arbitrary”.
  • “This siege has broken up family ties and hurt all Bahraini families,” said Burshaid. “The decision to cut diplomatic relations violates Bahrain’s constitution and laws.”

5am – Qatar risks FIFA action after t-shirt protest

  • Qatar’s national football team could face disciplinary action from FIFA after players warmed up for a World Cup qualifier against South Korea on Tuesday in t-shirts showing support for the country’s Emir.
  • The players prepared for the crucial game in Doha wearing white shirts emblazoned with a profile portrait of Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.
  • FIFA bans any unsanctioned political, religious or commercial messages on shirts.

3am – UAE: ‘No military component’ in actions against Qatar

  • The United Arab Emirates’ Ambassador to the United States Yousef al-Otaiba said there was no military aspect to steps taken by Arab powers against Qatar.
  • The ambassador in Washington DC also told reporters said that economic pressure on Qatar is set to increase.
  • The United Arab Emirates’ ambassador to the United States said on Tuesday the Gulf countries that cut ties with Qatar will hand over the list of demands to Washington “fairly soon”.

11:42pm – US says ‘worst behind us’ in Qatar crisis

  • Progress has been made towards resolving the crisis between Qatar and its Gulf neighbours after senior US officials met leading players in the standoff, the State Department said on Tuesday.

  • “I would characterise the mood and the approach to that as being one that is hopeful, that believes that the worst is behind us,” said spokeswoman Heather Nauert.

11:40pm – Turkey’s FM to visit Qatar

  • Turkey will send its foreign minister to Doha on Wednesday and then if possible to Saudi Arabia in a diplomatic push to help end the Gulf crisis.

  • Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu will meet his Qatari counterpart and the country’s emir, the foreign ministry said in a statement late on Tuesday.

11pm – King of Jordan visits Kuwait to discuss ‘means of promoting Arab unity’

  • Jordan’s King Abdullah II visited Kuwait on Tuesday to discuss the crises of the region with Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah, according to Kuwait’s official KUNA news agency.

  • “The two sides discussed means of promoting Arab unity and joint action, along with the importance of reaching political solutions to the region’s crises,” KUNA reported.

  • King Abdullah’s delegation included Jordanian Prime Minister Hani al-Mulki, chief of staff of the Jordanian Royal Court Fayez Al-Tarawneh and Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman al-Safadi.

10:30pm – UAE: Gulf air embargo only applies to Qatar companies

  • The air embargo imposed on Qatar applies only to airlines from Qatar or registered there, the United Arab Emirates Civil Aviation Authority said on Tuesday.

  • Saudi Arabia and Bahrain issued identical statements on the air embargo, which came into effect when Riyadh, Abu Dhabi and Manama broke off relations with Qatar on June 5.

  • The embargo bans “all Qatari aviation companies and aircraft registered in the state of Qatar” from landing or transiting through the airspace of the Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, according to the statements published by the national agencies of the three Gulf countries.

  • The three Gulf states’ ban does not apply to aviation companies and aircraft not registered in Qatar and the three neighbouring countries, and which wish to cross their airspace to and from Qatar, they said.

  • An exception is made for private planes and charter flights to or from Qatar, which require permission to transit through the airspace of the three Gulf countries, the statements said.

  • A permission request must be submitted 24 hours in advance and include a list of the names and nationalities of both crew and passengers, as well as the nature of any cargo.

10:30pm – Morocco voices ‘full support’ for Gulf crisis mediation

  • Moroccan King Mohammed VI has expressed his “full support” for ongoing efforts by Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah al Ahmad al Jaber al Sabah to resolve the Gulf crisis.

  • The statement came in a verbal message conveyed by Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita to Sheikh Sabah, who received him in Kuwait City on Tuesday.

  • “In his message, the Moroccan king stressed the importance of containing the Gulf crisis and resolving differences through dialogue between brotherly countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council,” Kuwait’s official news agency reported.

9:30pm – Egypt to ease restriction on flights from and to Qatar

  • Egypt will allow airlines and aircraft that are not registered in Egypt or Qatar to use its airspace to fly to and from Qatar, the civil aviation ministry said on Tuesday.

  • A ban on flights to and from Egypt by Qatari planes remains in force, however.

8pm – Qatar’s envoy to Russia: It’s not a rift, it’s an illegal blockade

  • Fahad bin Mohamed Al-Attiyah, Qatar’s ambassador to Russia, has spoken to Al Jazeera from Moscow discussing anti-Qatar measures in the Gulf.

  • He said: “It is not a diplomatic rift as most people want to present, this is really an illegal blockade…”

  • “If [the crisis] is not resolved through mediation I think it should go to the [UN] Security Council and in that instance I think the members of the Security Council such as the US, Russia and other players will probably have to intervene to undo the violations to begin with. First of all condemn it and then undo it and then call the parties to come around the table of dialogue,” he said.

7pm – Iraqi PM says he opposes Gulf’s isolation of Qatar

  • Iraq is opposed to the isolation of Qatar by Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Arab neighbours because it hurts ordinary citizens, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said on Tuesday.

  • Abadi is due to travel to Saudi Arabia on Wednesday for talks with Saudi King Salman.

  • “Regimes are not affected by the blockade; the blockade hurts people,” Abadi told reporters in Baghdad.

  • Abadi said he would seek clarification from Saudi Arabia about the accusations made against Qatar.

6:50pm – Qatar closes helium plants

  • Qatar, the world’s second largest helium producer, has closed its two helium production plants because of the economic boycott imposed on it by its neighbours, industry sources told Reuters on Tuesday.

  • The helium plants operated by RasGas, a subsidiary of state-owned Qatar Petroleum, were shut because Saudi Arabia closed its border with Qatar, blocking overland exports of the gas, a Qatar Petroleum official told Reuters.

  • The official declined to be named under briefing rules. Phil Kornbluth, head of US-based industry consultants Kornbluth Helium Consulting said his sources had confirmed the closure.

  • The two plants have a combined annual production capacity of approximately 2 billion standard cubic feet of liquid helium and can meet about 25 percent of total world demand for the gas, according to RasGas’ website.

  • Among its uses, helium is used to cool superconducting magnets in medical magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners, as a lifting gas in balloons and airships, as a gas to breathe in deep-sea diving and to keep satellite instruments cool. It is derived from natural gas during processing.

6:23pm – Qatar rift with its neighbours not affecting US military operations: US official

  • A rift between Qatar and other Arab states is not affecting US military operations, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said on Tuesday.

  • “We are watching that very, very closely but we have had good cooperation from all the parties to make sure that we can continue to move freely in and out of Qatar,” Joseph Dunford told a US Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.

5:15pm – Saudi FM rejects branding anti-Qatar measures as a blockade

  • Adel al-Jubeir, Saudi foreign minister, said in Washington, DC, while posing for photographs with US State Secretary Rex Tillerson who called anti-Qatar measures “a blockade” last week:

  • “There is no blockade of Qatar. Qatar is free to… The ports are open, the airports are open. What we have done is, we have denied them the use of our airspace and this is our sovereign right. 

  • The limitation of the use of the Saudi airspace is only limited to Qatar Airways or Qatari owned aircraft, not anybody else. The sea ports of Qatar are open. There is no blockade on them. 

4:30pm – US envoy to Qatar to leave her position this month

  • The US ambassador to Qatar took to Twitter on Tuesday to confirm that her posting will come to an end this month.

  • “This month, I end my 3 years as US Ambassador to #Qatar. It has been the greatest honor of my life and I’ll miss this great country,” Dana Shell Smith said on Tuesday.

  • A State Department spokesperson said the ambassador will depart “Qatar later this month as part of the normal rotation of career diplomats throughout the world. Her decision to leave the Foreign Service was made earlier this year and we wish her the best as she moves on from the Department of State”.

3pm – Russia warns Gulf crisis imperils Syria peace efforts

  • Russia has warned that the blockade against Qatar by Saudi Arabia and its allies would make it harder to reach a peaceful end to the war in Syria, after President Vladimir Putin discussed the crisis with Saudi King Salman.

  • In a phone discussion, the two leaders “touched on the aggravated situation around Qatar, which unfortunately does not help consolidate joint efforts in resolving the conflict in Syria and fighting the terrorist threat,” the Kremlin said in a statement after the call.

2:30pm – Qatar aluminium exports go as planned 

  • Qatar’s Qatalum aluminium plant is now exporting metals via ports in Kuwait and Oman, as well as a Qatari container port, the chief executive of Norsk Hydro told Reuters news agency.

  • Hydro owns owns 50 percent of the Qatalum plant, which produces more than 600,000 tonnes of primary aluminium per year. 

1:40pm – Erdogan urges Saudi king to resolve crisis with Qatar

  • President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to take a leading role in resolving the ongoing Gulf crisis with Qatar.

  • “Qatar along with Turkey is a country that took the most determined stand against the terrorist organisation, Daesh,” he said.

  • The president said it appears some countries have already decided to hand down the death penalty to Qatar and urged Saudi Arabia to reconsider the harsh steps against it.

10:50am – Israel backs GCC states in rift with Qatar

  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that Arab states were now viewing Israel as a partner instead of an enemy.

7:50am – Pakistan PM ‘reaffirms’ commitment to Saudi Arabia

  • Following a meeting with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman on Monday, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has “reaffirmed the strong commitment of the people and the government of Pakistan for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Kingdom”.

  • A press release from the PM office also said “the Kingdom had a very special place in the hearts of Pakistanis and that the Muslim world looked upto the King as the custodian of the Two Holy Mosques”.

6:30am – Al Jazeera off the table in any Gulf crisis talks: Qatari FM

  • Al Jazeera Media Network is an “internal affair” and there will be no discussion about the fate of the Doha-based broadcaster with nations that imposed a blockade on Qatar, its Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said at a press conference in Paris on Monday.

  • He said Qatar does not accept “foreign dictations”. “Doha rejects discussing any matter related to Al Jazeera channel as it considers it an internal affair,” Qatar News Agency quoted the foreign minister as saying.

  • “Decisions concerning the Qatari internal affairs are Qatari sovereignty – and no one has to interfere with them.”

6:10am – Amnesty: Efforts to help Qatar families ‘vague’

  • Measures taken by the Saudi-led bloc of nations to deal with their blockade’s impact on Qatari families are “vague and insufficient” and do not address the human rights situation, Amnesty International said.

  • The comments came during the meeting between Qatar’s Chairman of the National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) Ali bin Samikh Al Marri and Salil Shetty, secretary-general of Amnesty International in London.

4:15am – Former Al Jazeera director says blockade against Qatar ‘will fail’

  • A senior Palestinian journalist said Qataris’ “strong solidarity” had managed to keep the nation’s economy stable, despite the ongoing blockade by several Gulf countries. Wadah Khanfar, president of Al Sharq Forum and former director-general of Al Jazeera Media Network, said the boycotting countries had expected Qatar to “be intimidated and surrender” immediately.

  • “That was not the case as the administration and people showed strong solidarity, therefore, basic human needs in the country were not negatively affected,” said Khanfar.

  • He said all the boycotting measures were taken at once and there is “nothing else left to do against the country”, he told Turkey’s Anadolu news agency. “You cannot be successful. You will be weak strategically and politically. This blockade will fail.”

3:30am – Pentagon chief: Blockade of Qatar a ‘very complex situation’

  • US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said the blockade against Qatar by Gulf states, including Saudi Arabia, was a “very complex situation” and it was an area where common ground had to be found.
  • Mattis said Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani had inherited a difficult situation and was moving in the right direction.

3:00am – Qatari FM: No idea why Gulf nations imposed blockade

  • Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said Qatar still does not know the reasons that prompted economic sanctions imposed by a Saudi Arabia-led bloc of nations. 
  • Sheikh Mohammed stressed Qatar “does not accept any dictations”, according to state-run Qatar News Agency. Speaking from Paris, France, the foreign minister added so far there was no European mediation efforts planned to resolve the crisis.

11:30pm – Turkish foreign minister meets Gulf envoys in Ankara

  • Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has held a joint meeting with Saudi Ambassador Waleed A Elkhereiji, Emirati Ambassador Khalifa Shaheen Almarar and Bahrain’s Acting Ambassador Komail Ahmed in the capital Ankara amid the escalating Gulf crisis, according to a Turkish diplomatic source.

  • Cavusoglu raised concerns of Turkey and expectations from the international community over the crisis at the meeting.

  • He also mentioned the contacts he made to resolve the issue, the source said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to brief the media.

10pm – Eritrea expresses support for anti-Qatar measures

  • Despite previously close ties with Qatar, the Eritrean information ministry has issued a statement praising steps taken against Qatar as “one initiative among many in the right direction that envisages full realisation of regional security and stability”.

9:30pm – Kuwait’s Emir: The Gulf rift may lead to undesirable consequences

  • Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah has said it was difficult for him to see the crisis among the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council almost four decades after participating in building the alliance.

  • “It is quite difficult for us, the generation that built the GCC 37 years ago, to see the divisions among its members which may lead to undesirable consequences,” he was quoted as saying by the state news agency Kuna.

  • He also said: “Almost four decades ago, I lived the first moments of building the GCC and this is why I cannot stand silent without trying to mediate for the rapprochement among the brothers. It is a duty that I cannot walk away from.”

  • “No matter how difficult the efforts, I will do my best to mediate among the brothers,” he said.

9pm – UAE condemns Qatar for ‘internationalising the crisis with its brothers’

  • Anwar Gargash, the foreign minister of the UAE, has said on Twitter: “After much effort to internationalise the crisis with its brothers, after [Qatar kept] drumming up its media and screaming it is oppressed, our brother [Qatar] will soon realise the solution is in Riyadh and at [the hands of King] Salman.”

  • The comment came a week after Qatar’s foreign ministry said in its statement: “The aim is clear, and it is to impose guardianship on the state. This by itself is a violation of its [Qatar’s] sovereignty as a state.”

8pm – Morocco to send food products to Qatar

  • Morocco has decided to send airplanes loaded with food products to Qatar, according to the country’s foreign ministry statement.

  • The document said King Mohammed VI instructed the government to do so “in accordance with our Islamic teachings especially in the holy month of Ramadan”.

  • It stressed that the move was not connected to the Gulf crisis.

7:30pm – Pakistan’s PM in Saudi Arabia over Gulf rift

  • Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has arrived in Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah for a “consultation” with the Saudi leadership over the Gulf crisis, according to local media.

  • Sharif, who enjoys equally good relations with the Saudi and Qatari royal families, will address the “emergent situation among the [Gulf Cooperation Council] GCC countries”, state-run Radio Pakistan reported.

  • He was accompanied by Pakistan’s army chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, and his foreign affairs adviser, Sartaj Aziz.

7pm – Oman welcomes step on intermarried families in Qatar crisis

  • Oman welcomed a decision by three Gulf countries to give special consideration to families with Qatari spouses and children on Monday, after they cut ties with Qatar last week and expelled Qatari nationals from their countries.

  • Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain announced hotlines to help the mixed families on Sunday, a step Oman said would aid “humanitarian cases of families shared between them and Qatar” in a statement on state news agency ONA.

  • “It is considered by the Sultanate to be a good step toward calm,” the statement said.

6:57pm – Macron speaks to Emir of Kuwait

  • France’s President Emmanuel Macron spoke with Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah, who is leading mediation efforts to patch the rift between Qatar and Arab states.

  • Macron has held a series of conversations over the past week with the Emir of Qatar, the king of Saudi Arabia, the Turkish president and the crown prince of Abu Dhabi.

  • Earlier on Monday, Macron’s Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian met with his Qatari counterpart, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, who said Qatar supported Kuwait’s mediation efforts and was ready to engage in talks that conform with international law.

6pm – Qatar FM denounces ‘unfair’, ‘illegal’ sanctions

  • Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani on Monday denounced the sanctions imposed against Doha by Saudi Arabia and its allies as “unfair” and “illegal”.

  • “Whatever relates to our foreign affairs… no one has the right to discuss,” Sheikh Mohammed said during a visit to Paris.

  • “Qatar is willing to sit and negotiate about whatever is related to Gulf security,” he said.

5:50pm – UK urges Gulf states and Egypt to ease blockade against Qatar

  • Britain’s Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said he would urge Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain along with Egypt “to ease the blockade on Qatar”.

  • “I call on all states to take immediate steps to de-escalate the situation and to find a rapid resolution through mediation.”

5pm – Hundreds of containers on their way to Qatar from Oman

  • A Qatari food company owner said shipments began arriving on Sunday from Oman, and that about 12 vessels were headed to Qatar from Sohar and Salalah.

  • “There are around 300 containers of fresh and frozen food coming. Some have arrived and the others are on their way,” Ahmed al-Khalaf said.

  • He said containers at Jebel Ali port of the United Arab Emirates were still stuck, but that others, including from Europe, were being diverted to Oman’s ports.

  • The world’s number 1 container line, Maersk of Denmark, said on Monday it would accept new bookings for container shipments to Qatar from Oman.

  • Swiss-based MSC, the world’s number 2 line, said it would deploy a new dedicated shipping service to Qatar from Salalah.

4:50pm – Saudi carrier looks to poach Qatar Airways staff

  • Saudi Arabia’s Flynas has waded into the kingdom’s row with Qatar, making a pitch to poach Saudi staff working for the much larger Qatar Airways.

  • In a post on Twitter on Monday, the small budget airline says it welcomes applications from Saudi nationals working for Qatar Airways on the Airbus A320.

4:20pm – Qatar Airways CEO: UN body should call Qatar measures illegal

  • The International Civil Aviation Organisation, a UN agency which administers the Chicago convention that guarantees civil overflights, should declare Gulf Arab measures against Qatari air traffic as illegal, the chief executive of Qatar Airways said in comments to CNN published on Monday.

  • “We have legal channels to object to this,” Akbar Al Baker said. “ICAO… should heavily get involved, put their weight behind this to declare this an illegal act.”

  • The UAE and Bahrain have signed the convention. Saudi Arabia is not a signatory.

3:50pm – Italy and Qatar agree to continue economic cooperation

  • Italy and Qatar agreed on Monday to continue their close economic and financial cooperation, the two countries’ said in a statement on Monday that signalled Italian support for Qatar during the Gulf crisis.

  • Qatari Finance Minister Ali Sherif al-Emadi met Italian Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan in Rome on the first leg of a tour of major Western capitals that will also take him to Paris, London, Berlin and Washington.

  • “The meeting took place in a highly cordial atmosphere, in line with the excellent state of political and economic relations between the two countries,” the joint Qatari-Italian statement said.

2:54pm: Iran reiterates need for dialogue

  • In a weekly news conference in Tehran, Bahram Ghasemi, Iranian foreign ministry spokesman, said Qatar and its neighbours should “try to settle their differences at the negotiating table”.

  • Ghasemi also said the countries involved “should move toward peace and stability in the region and we invite them to negotiating and exercising restraint”.

2:47pm: Qatar Central Bank says operating normally despite rift

  • In further news over Qatar’s economy, the central bank says transactions at home and abroad continue normally.

  • In a statement released on Qatar’s state-run news agency, QNA, the bank said its central governor Sheikh Abdullah bin Saud Al-Thani dismissed concerned over liquidity levels.

2:30pm: Qatar markets stabilise

  • Reuters news agency reports that Qatar’s financial markets have recovered following a week of losses after the blockade was announced.

2:15pm: Qatar Foreign Minister urges countries to back Kuwait in solving GCC crisis

  • Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani confirmed that Qatar and the US are in contact with Kuwait, which is leading mediation efforts.

  • Speaking from London where he is due to meet Boris Johnson, his British counterpart, the minister also said: “Diplomatic dialogue is the solution, but it needs foundations not yet available. We’re focused on solving humanitarian problems resulting from the illegal blockade.”

  • He called on countries to support the efforts of Kuwait’s emir in finding a solution, and invited “friendly states” to participate in that effort.

12:15pm: UAE media says Qatari spouses will not be deported

  • Abu-Dhabi’s The National newspaper says Qataris married to Emiratis will not be deported, one week after the UAE said it would give Qataris 14 days to leave the country.

  • The government-sponsored broadsheet, which did not provide a source, also said Qataris who were “immediate relatives of Emiratis” could “pass through”.

  • Qatar previously dismissed a telephone hotline to assist mixed-citizenship families as “little more than a face-saving exercise”.

11:30am: ‘Urgently lift blockade against Qatar’, says Azerbaijan rights group

  • The Azerbaijan Institute for Democracy and Human Rights has called for countries opposing Qatar to lift their blockade against the peninsula, saying the punishing measures are in violation of international law.

  • “The recent crisis in the Gulf region serves only those who are gaining something from the instability in the Middle East,” the group said. “Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE are toying with the lives of thousands of Gulf residents as part of their dispute with Qatar, splitting up families and destroying peoples’ livelihoods and education.”

  • The organisation also condemned ‘strong violation of media freedom’ as the Gulf states have attempted to censor the Al Jazeera Media Network.

11am: France attempts to calm tensions, boost profile

  • The office of French President Emmanuel Macron is attempting to reconcile tensions between Qatar and its neighbours.

  • The president says he has held a series of calls with the emir of Qatar, Saudi Arabia’s king, Turkey’s president and the crown prince of Abu Dhabi.

  • Jean-Yves Le Drian, foreign minister, is scheduled to hold talks with his Qatari counterpart on Monday.

9am: Qatar finance minister says economy can survive sanctions

  • Ali Sherif al-Emadi told CNBC that the economy of gas-rich Qatar, which has significant reserves and investment funds, will not be harmed by sanctions.

  • “We are extremely comfortable with our positions, our investments and liquidity in our systems,” he said.

  • He explained that the countries sanctioning Qatar would also lose money because of damage to business in the region. “If we’re going to lose a dollar, they will lose a dollar also,” he said.

8am: Pakistan PM heads to Saudi Arabia

  • Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is travelling to Riyadh on Monday in context of the “situation among GCC countries”, his office announced.
  • On Thursday, Pakistan’s lower house of parliament expressed “deep concern”, calling on all parties “to show restraint and resolve all differences through dialogue”.
  • On Sunday, Pakistan’s Foreign Office denied reports that Pakistani troops had been deployed to Qatar to support a Turkish troop contingent as “part of a malicious campaign aimed at creating misunderstanding between Pakistan and brotherly Muslim countries in the Gulf”.

5:30am: Qatari human rights organisation denounces blockade

  • Qatar’s National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) says the moves against the country by Arab countries constitute human rights violations.
  • “The NHRC adds that the siege of Qatar constitutes international human rights crimes and is not only a gross violation of the rights of Gulf citizens [both Qatari and non-Qatari], but also the rights of expat residents in the state of Qatar.”

3am – Qatar denounces Gulf states’ ‘policy of domination’

  • A senior counter-terrorism adviser to Qatar’s foreign minister has hit out at the diplomatic squeeze on Doha by several Gulf states, calling it a “policy of domination and control”.
  • Mutlaq al-Qahtani, a special envoy to Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, said the decision to sever ties by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt – as well as other allies – over Qatar’s alleged funding of armed groups would not prove successful.

Qatar-Gulf crisis: All the latest updates – Week 1

Source: Al Jazeera