French leader Macron urges Gulf heads to defuse crisis

The telephone talk came after a diplomatic row erupted between Qatar and the other Gulf nations. It also offered to mediate to defuse tensions, according to its state news agency.

Chad, a predominantly Muslim country, joins the West African nations of Senegal and Mauritania, which have also recalled their ambassadors from Qatar. But Qatar has rejected the accusations as "unjustified" and "baseless".

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain gave Qatari citizens 14 days to leave and closed their airspace to all Qatari flights.

HE Sheikh Mohamed disputed a Saudi statement accusing Qatar of "embracing terrorist and sectarian groups aimed at de-stabilising the region".

And the Emirates Post Group said that it had stopped all types of postal services to Qatar despite the UAE's continued diplomatic relations with Iran.

Worries about food supplies had arisen when Saudi Arabia stopped food delivery trucks at its land border with Qatar on June 7. Qatar has denied the allegations. The last disagreement between the world's largest exporter of liquefied natural gas and other Arab nations was in 2014, which was resolved in seven weeks.

USA officials believe Russian hackers were responsible for the false news story on the state-owned Qatar News Agency two weeks ago that precipitated the conflict, CNN reported on Tuesday.

The ministry did not say who it suspected carried out the attack. It also thanked the FBI and the British National Commission for Combating Crime for assisting it in its investigation.

Separate bills for the training of military personnel and the deployment of troops to a Turkish military base in Qatar were moved up parliament's agenda on Wednesday, a day after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan voiced support for Qatar and criticized other countries' moves to isolate it.

The alleged fake news item, which had Sheikh Tamim making controversial comments on Iran and Israel, immediately was picked up by Saudi and Emirati media, laying the groundwork for the crisis that began Monday.

Trump "emphasized the importance of maintaining a united Gulf Cooperation Council to promote regional stability, but never at the expense of eliminating funding for radical extremism or defeating terrorism", during a call with Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahayan, Abu Dhabi's crown prince, the White House said in a statement.

  • Zachary Reyes