Saudi FM says 'brother state' Qatar must act to end crisis

"We are not ready to surrender, and will never be ready to surrender, the independence of our foreign policy", Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani told reporters in Doha on Thursday.

"The president reiterated that a united Gulf Cooperation Council and a strong United States-Gulf Cooperation Council partnership are critical to defeating terrorism and promoting regional stability", a readout of the call said.

With all adjacent nations on the Arabian peninsular now either closing their airspace to Qatar or demanding advance clearance, planes serving the country are now limited to routes to the north, via Iran and Kuwait. Some banks in Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain have already begun cutting their exposure to Qatar, other people said on Wednesday.

A Qatari official said Trump in the call had "expressed readiness to find a solution to the diplomatic crisis in the Gulf, and stressed his keenness that the Gulf remains stable".

The UAE joined countries including neighbours Saudi Arabia and Bahrain in severing diplomatic ties with Qatar this week as well as all air, sea or land links. But Qatar's ports and airports remained open to trade yesterday with countries not taking part in the Saudi-led boycott, a government official said.

Meanwhile, Reuters reports that the Turkish parliament "approved a draft bill allowing its troops to be deployed to a Turkish military base in Qatar", apparently in support of the Qatari government.

Trump said on Twitter. Qatar, a desert country heavily dependent on food imports to feed its mostly foreign population of 2.6 million, has told residents it has taken measures to assure that normal life continues.

Qatar rejects claims it is a leading supporter of Islamist extremism.

The U.A.E. -owned Etihad and Emirates airlines said expatriates residing in Qatar and in possession of Qatari residency will not be eligible for an Emirati visa on arrival. Now Qatar's foreign ministry has issued a statement putting some of the blame on a fake news story. State-backed Qatar Airways, for example, has lost more than 50 flights a day from the blockade. Trump also appeared to suggest the decision to sever diplomatic relations with Qatar, home to a large us military base, was understandable.

Qatar says it intends to take legal action against those responsible.

On top of a possible jail term, offenders could also be hit with a fine of at least 500,000 dirhams ($136,000 US), the newspaper said, citing a statement to Arabic-language media. 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.

  • Leroy Wright