What you need to know about the diplomatic stoush with Qatar

Qatar's national team are still involved in the qualifying competition for the 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation and are bottom of their group with four points from seven games, with matches against South Korea, Syria, and China still to play.

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 USA ally and hosts a US military base.

"We don't want to see some kind of permanent rift and I suspect we won't", said the senior Trump administration official on condition of anonymity, adding the United States would send a representative if the Gulf Cooperation Council nations met to discuss the rift with Qatar.

The Saudi's overriding objective is to force Qatar to distance itself from Iran, which it considers its principal rival for regional influence.

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.

Still, the official said: "There's an acknowledgement that a lot of Qatari behavior is quite worrisome not just to our Gulf neighbors but to the U.S".

Oil prices also fell on concern that the rift would undermine efforts by OPEC to tighten production.

UK-based aviation consultant John Strickland told Al Jazeera the local travel disruptions were "unprecedented".

Gulf allies have repeatedly criticized Qatar for alleged support of the Muslim Brotherhood, a almost 100-year-old Islamist group considered a terrorist organization by Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Yemen's internationally backed Government, which no longer holds its capital and large portions of the war-torn country, also cut relations with Qatar, as did the Maldives and one of conflict-ridden Libya's competing governments.

Channels of the beIN Media Group appeared blocked on Tuesday, a day after the Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bahrain severed ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting regional terror groups, charges denied by Doha.

"All customers booked on Emirates' flights to and from Doha will be provided with alternative options, including full refunds on unused tickets and rebooking to the nearest alternate Emirates destinations", the airline said.

Qatar's stock market rebounded in early trade on Tuesday after plunging the previous day but the Qatari riyal fell against the US dollar. "Dialogue is imperative, especially during blessed Ramadan", Zarif tweeted, referring to the Muslim month of fasting.

The proposed sales include a radar system made by Lockheed Martin Corp as well as a training program for the Royal Saudi Air Force and other Saudi forces inside and outside of Saudi Arabia, the Pentagon said in two separate notices on its website. But these were mostly via UAE.

  • Leroy Wright