Turkey calls for dialogue to solve Qatar row

The United States has major military bases in Qatar but at the same time, the country wants to maintain close ties with its ally Saudi Arabia. "Algeria appeals for the need to observe, in all circumstances, the principles of good neighbourliness and non-interference in the internal affairs of states", said a foreign ministry statement carried by state news agency APS.

Several nations across the Arab world cut ties with Qatar over the past few days after accusing it of destabilising the region by supporting terrorist groups, something Doha denies.

Qatar has said it is ready for mediation efforts that can solve the current diplomatic crisis with neighbouring countries.

In a sign of the potential consequences for the Qatari economy, a number of banks in the region began stepping back from business dealings with Qatar.

Qatari nationals in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have been given two weeks to leave.

Tensions between Qatar and Saudi Arabia - a Middle East heavyweight - bubbled to the surface two weeks ago when Qatar said its state-run news agency and its Twitter account were hacked to publish a fake story claiming the emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, had called Iran "a regional and Islamic power that can not be ignored". The country imported about $1 billion worth of foodstuffs in 2015, with about a third of that coming from Saudi Arabia and the UAE, according to the World Bank data.

Qatar's ruler Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani spoke by telephone overnight with his counterpart in Kuwait, which has maintained ties with Qatar, and made a decision to postpone the speech, the minister told Qatar-based Al Jazeera television.

While Monday's escalation is unlikely to affect energy exports from the Gulf, it threatens to have far-reaching effects on Qatar and raises the political risk for the Middle East, a region grappling with wars from Syria to Yemen.

Mr Trump's speech in Saudi Arabia, in which he blamed Iran for instability in the Middle East and urged Muslim countries to take the lead in combating radicalisation, is likely to have emboldened Gulf allies to act against Qatar. Most of Qatar's food comes from Saudi Arabia across the peninsular nation's only land border, which the Saudis have now closed.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the move was rooted in longstanding differences and urged the parties to resolve them.

Saudi Arabia has revoked the operating licence of Qatar Airways and ordered the airline's offices to close within 48 hours, state media reported, as a regional diplomatic crisis escalated.

"A direct flight between Qatar and Ireland is due to commence later this month".

Greg McKenna, chief market strategist at futures brokerage AxiTrader, said there was "a real chance" OPEC solidarity surrounding its production cuts may fracture.

  • Leroy Wright


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