Kuwait tries to mediate Qatar crisis

Of all the Gulf States, Qatar has perhaps the closest relationship to Iran, a country which Saudi Arabia considers its chief regional antagonist and which most of the Gulf considers a threat to regional security. An Omani diplomat traveled to Qatar on Monday.

The United Arab Emirates, along with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and other Arab nations severed ties with Qatar and have cut off land, sea and air access.

He said he knows the Qatari leadership from his time leading oil giant ExxonMobil, and referenced President Donald Trump's speech at the Arab-Islamic summit urging all nations in the region to confront terrorism.

Qatar's foreign minister says Kuwait is trying to mediate and solve a diplomatic crisis that has seen Arab nations cut off diplomatic ties.

"I think every country in the region has their own obligations they need to live up to, and they have their own challenges to live up to that commitment to terminate support for terrorism, extremism, however it manifests itself anywhere in the world", Tillerson said during a visit to New Zealand.

The Saudi, UAE and Bahraini governments have forbidden their citizens from travelling to Qatar, residing there or passing through it, They have instructed their citizens to leave Qatar within 14 days and given Qatari nationals 14 days to leave their territories.

On Monday, Saudi Arabia along with Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates cut ties with Qatar over its alleged support for extremists. Qatar also ended up pressuring Hamas to end its war with Israel in 2014, although not without a lot of cajoling from the USA and others, and not without encouraging it first - which may be one of the starting points for this week's diplomatic crisis, especially with Egypt.

Foreigners residing in Qatar in possession of a Qatari residence visa would also not be eligible for visas on arrival in the UAE, an Etihad spokesman said in an email.

Al Qassemi, of the ruling family of the sheikhdom of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that he hopes Qatar ends its "rogue, maverick" ways.

Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman al-Thani told CNN the Federal Bureau of Investigation has confirmed the hack and the planting of fake news.

Hamad International Airport (HIA), which is home to Qatar Airways, too functioned normally, although some flights were disrupted due to Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt closing their airspace to Qatar traffic.

The split among the Sunni states erupted last month after the summit of Muslim leaders in Saudi Arabia, where Trump denounced Shi'ite Iran's "destabilising interventions" in Arab lands, where Tehran is locked in a tussle with Riyadh for influence. Qatar shares a gas field with Iran, signed a security agreement with the country and was nearly alone among Gulf states in welcoming the 2015 Iran nuclear deal that Saudi Arabia and Israel revile.

Much of that financing emanates from Qatar, but the Saudis and Emiratis also play a role, he added.

News of the cyber attack appeared to confirm USA intelligence concerns that Russian Federation sought to hack US allies like Qatar, where the US has one of its largest military bases in the region, in an effort to rupture foreign relations. The nation has pegged the riyal at 3.64 per USA dollar since 2001.

He appeared to take a more measured tone during a call with Saudi Arabia's King Salman. USA military officials told CNN that the move to cut ties with Qatar is being seen as an anti-Iran tactic. The Qatar Stock Exchange fell more than 7 per cent in trading on Monday.

Saudi Arabia meanwhile said Tuesday it revoked Qatar Airways' operating licenses and closed the airline's offices in the kingdom.

But "this time the diplomatic row is quite serious and unprecedented in depth and steadfastness", said John Sfakianakis, the director of economic research at the Gulf Research Center.

Trump's tweet appeared at odds with comments from U.S. officials who had said on Monday that the United States would quietly try to calm the waters between Saudi Arabia and Qatar because Qatar is too important to USA military and diplomatic interests to be isolated. Qatar denies that accusation.

  • Zachary Reyes