Qatari FM to visit Russia amid Gulf row


Qatar received no notice from the other Arab countries before ties were cut, he said, calling it "a surprise and a shock to us, this act of aggression".

Qatar would not yield to it, he said. For starters, the country is simply too wealthy to be pushed around easily. India imports natural gas from Qatar, but this is unlikely to be affected.

But he also said measures taken against Qatar this week by Saudi Arabia, the UAE and other Arab nations were not aimed at seeking new leadership in Doha.

Also, Saudi Arabia has risen to be an enforcer of American interests in the Arab world; this role of a policeman which Israel has played over the decades, is not being recognized by Qatar which still talks about national sovereignty.

Launching an extraordinary allegation against a key US military partner, Trump derided what he called Qatar's "extremist ideology in terms of funding" terrorist groups, an accusation Qatar has repeatedly and vehemently denied.

Since 2003, Qatar has been home to the enormous American al-Udeid airbase, which is now being used as a launchpad to bomb Islamic State group militants in Iraq and Syria.

But the row over Qatar's alleged support for Islamist groups has disrupted many aspects of life. We are a platform for peace not terrorism.

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York looked across the street at the giant banner held by protesters opposing him and others. Similar protests and counter-protests also happened in St.

In stressing the need to take action against Qatar, Trump appeared to undercut Tillerson, who had called on Qatar's neighbors to immediately ease their blockade. That has complicated the USA narrative, pushing the Pentagon and the State Department to assume a more neutral tone. It shows that Qatar "announces fighting terrorism on one hand and finances and supports and hosts different terrorist organisations on the other hand".

Qatar carved out a niche as a regional arbiter of conflicts years ago.

Foreign policy often requires trade-offs.

Bahraini-Qatari relations, meanwhile, have never been good. The dispute has created a major diplomatic test for the United States, which is close allies of the countries on both sides.

The authorities accuse Iran of backing the protesters and aiming to incite unrest in Shiite-majority Bahrain, a charge Tehran denies.

These four states have spearheaded the anti-Qatar campaign by sealing their borders and closing their airspace to Qatar's planes.

In an earlier interview with the Saudi newspaper Makkah yesterday, Sheikh Khalid said he appreciated Kuwaiti mediation to resolve the dispute but that all options were open for his country to protect itself from Doha. The UAE has threatened its citizens who may express sympathy for Qatar with a 15-year jail or a $136,000 fine.

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Though the list of countries severing ties is impressive for its unity, equally noteworthy are the omissions.

Saudi Arabia has closed its land border crossings to Qatar, which imports almost all of its food. Jordan and Djibouti downgraded the status of their diplomatic missions.

Indeed, previous attempts to isolate more vulnerable Arab states have all eventually fizzled. The Philippines and factions of the regimes in Yemen and Libya have also enlisted in the anti-Qatar coalition.

Saudi Arabia used a package of carrots and sticks, including offering to replace Iran as Syria's chief supplier of oil.

-Iran and Qatar jointly share the world's largest gas field, and have cooperated on its development.

Three ships loaded with 350 tonnes of fruit and vegetables were also set to leave an Iranian port for Qatar, the Tasnim news agency quoted a local official as saying.

Despite President Trump's denunciations of Qatar as a state sponsor of terror on Twitter - which, coupled with his aforementioned visit to Riyadh last month, risked emboldening the Saudis and further inflaming the crisis - the USA partnership with Qatar is very important to the region.

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Kuwait - which unlike most of its fellow Gulf Cooperation Council members has not cut off ties with Qatar - has been leading efforts to mediate.