June 28, 2017

Qatar says no expulsions of nationals from countries that cut ties

11 June 2017, 09:08 | Grady King

A Qatari employee of Al Jazeera walks into its Doha headquarters in this 2006 file

A Qatari employee of Al Jazeera walks into its Doha headquarters in this 2006 file

Trump's call to the Qatari emir comes a day after the President spoke by telephone with Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdelaziz and expressed to him the importance of unity against terrorism in the Persian Gulf.

The diplomatic crisis, the worst since the 1990 invasion of Kuwait by Iraq and the subsequent Gulf War, has seen Arab nations and others cut ties to Qatar, which hosts a major USA military base and will be the host of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

"My mother who is originally from the UAE can not visit her sick mother, needless to say we will not be able to see my uncles", said Mohammed, a Qatar University professor, who gave his first name only.

The fact that Qatar's leader, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, has yet to speak publicly since ties were cut, has made some Qataris uneasy. We in the Philippines are now feeling the effects of that terrorism; the attack by the Maute Group on Marawi City is said to have been inspired by the Islamic State seeking a foothold in Mindanao.

The president's words are a strong claim against Qatar, a key U.S. military ally that has consistently denied allegations of its support for terror organizations.

The move to isolate the country follows an alleged hack of the state-run Qatar News Agency, which resulted in the release of a purportedly fake report quoting the emir as praising Iran and speculating that President Trump might not remain in power for long.

The sanctions list further tightens the screws on Qatar, home to a major US military base and the host of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, and shows the crisis only escalating despite Kuwaiti efforts to mediate an end to the rift. Users posted images that show people how to recognize Turkish food brands in local markets said and said stopping tourism to Turkey was "a national duty".

He adds: "By our calculations, eight out of ten passengers flying between Qatar and UAE are people whose origin or final destination is beyond those two countries". But tensions have been brewing for many years between Qatar and other countries on the Arabian Peninsula and these tensions have apparently come to a head in the wake of Donald Trump's visit to Saudi Arabia.

A senior UAE official accused Qatar of escalating the row by seeking help from Turkey and Iran.

"What's happening in Qatar at the moment will cause irreparable reputational damage for the Gulf States but also the broader region", Dr Davidson told Times Higher Education.

Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani has made progress in halting financial support and expelling terrorists, the top US diplomat said, "but he must do more and he must do it quickly".

The other countries accuse Qatar of supporting regional terrorist groups, allegations denied by Doha.

The conflicting signals suggested Tillerson was playing "good cop" to Trump's tougher-talking "bad cop". "We need to put everything in check".

Its flag carrier, Qatar Airways, now flies increasingly over Iran and Turkey after being blocked elsewhere over the Middle East. Emirati officials also shut down the airline's offices in the UAE on Wednesday.

US investigators suspect that a fake news story planted by Russian hackers at Qatar's state news agency may have triggered the diplomatic feud, CNN reported Wednesday.

Egypt on Thursday called for the United Nations Security Council to launch an investigation into accusations, denied by Qatar, that it paid a ransom of up to $1 billion to "a terrorist group active in Iraq" to release kidnapped members of its royal family.

"Of course we are all waiting for him to speak", said Sara al-Sulaiti, a Qatari who works in public relations.

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