Trump says Mideast leaders pointed to Qatar as financing radicalism
- Author: Leroy Wright Jun 06, 2017,
Jun 06, 2017, 21:07
Saudi Arabia had already suspended flights to and from Qatar on Monday, amid a diplomatic row between the kingdom and Qatar.
The Saudi bar on flights was introduced immediately Monday, with the airspace ban taking effect on Tuesday.
Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) will be operating special flights to Doha to bring back Pakistani pilgrims stranded there.
U.A.E. carriers Emirates, Etihad, flydubai and Air Arabia, as well as Saudi Airlines announced the suspension of all flights to and from Qatar as of Tuesday morning. The US, Iran and Turkey support the negotiated solution to the Qatari issue. Here, Doha's corniche is seen on Monday.
In one store queues were up to 25-people deep as shoppers piled trollies high with supplies from rice to nappies.
But as pressure on the Gulf state mounted Tuesday, Qatar's foreign minister signalled that Doha was ready for mediation to try to resolve the crisis.
Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said in an interview with Al Jazeera that Kuwait was instrumental in resolving a similar crisis three years ago with other members of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council.
Qatar "believes such differences between sister countries must be resolved through dialogue", Sheikh Mohammed added.
According to diplomatic sources, Pakistani prince Hussain Nawaz is writing a letter addressed to Qatari Prince Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani to prove that the London flats were purchased with legally earned money.
"Efforts aimed at containing tensions in the relations between brothers" were discussed in the phone call, KUNA reported.
Qatar's stock market rebounded in early trade after plunging the previous day but the Qatari riyal fell against the United States dollar.
The country has always been accused by its Gulf neighbours and Egypt of supporting extremist groups. It accused Doha of harboring "terrorist and sectarian groups that aim to destabilize the region including the Muslim Brotherhood, Daesh and Al Qaeda".
In March 2014, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain recalled their ambassadors from Qatar over that rift.
The comments lent credence to a view held by some analysts that Trump in his Middle East trip emboldened the Arab nations to take action even though Qatar is a U.S. ally and hosts a United States military base.
Announcing its decision to cut off Qatar, the kingdom pointed to what it said was Qatar's collaboration with "Iranian-backed terrorist groups" in its restive eastern region of Qatif and in Bahrain, where security forces have cracked down on Shia protesters demanding greater political rights and an end to discrimination.
Scenes were more frantic elsewhere in the Gulf as desperate Qatar Airways' passengers scrambled to find alternative travel arrangements.
Qatar has long faced criticism from its Arab neighbors over its support of Islamists.
Qatar long has denied funding extremists, though Western officials have accused it of allowing or even encouraging funding of Sunni extremists like al-Qaida's branch in Syria, once known as the Nusra Front.
Kuwait's emir, who has spent decades as a diplomat and mediator in regional disputes, hosted Sheikh Tamim last week as the crisis began brewing.
Prince Khaled al-Faisal, an adviser to Saudi King Salman and the governor of Mecca, delivered a verbal message to Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah dealing with "bilateral relations and the latest regional and worldwide developments", local news reported, but the content of the message was not informed to the media.
And speaking of growing tensions, much of Washington DC is already abuzz about the forthcoming testimony on Thursday from ex-FBI Director James Comey in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee regarding the investigation of Russia's interference in the USA general election last November, as well as the President's involvement in attempting to shut down the FBI's investigation into the matter.