Emirati diplomat to AP: 'Nothing to negotiate' with Qatar

Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, his son, became Qatar's ruling emir in 2013, but Hamad Al Thani still looms large in the world of Qatari ruling-family politics.

"Regarding the reasons for this escalation, honestly, we don't know if there were real reasons for this crisis or whether it was based on things we're unaware of", he said.

Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani postponed an address to his country on the recent crisis on Tuesday in order to give Kuwait time to mediate in the ongoing crisis, Qatar's foreign minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani told Doha-based Al Jazeera.

Qatar's Foreign Ministry denied the accusations made against it, calling them "baseless".

Etihad, Emirates, Fly Dubai and Gulf Air said Monday they would halt all flights in and out of Doha starting Tuesday morning.

Emir Sheikh Sabah al Ahmad al Jaber al Sabah will meet Saudi Arabia's King Salman and seek to resolve the worst infighting among the Arab world's strongest and richest powers in decades.

After the UAE trip he is expected to travel to Qatar to hold talks with his counterpart in Qatar, according to reports.

He said Qatar, as an independent nation, also had the right to support groups like the Muslim Brotherhood, despite the fact that its neighbors outlawed the Sunni Islamist organization. The U.S. Department of Defense said on Monday it is grateful for its "enduring commitment to regional security" and there is no plan to change their posture in Qatar.

Sheikh Mohammed's hard line mirrored that of a top Emirati diplomat who told the AP on Wednesday that the United Arab Emirates believes "there's nothing to negotiate" with Qatar.

The fallout of the very first official trip to Mideast by the USA president Trump is disastrous for Arab nations as Saudi Arabia, emboldened by Trumps' meeting with its king Salman in Riyadh, has, along with fellow Arab nations, kicked Qatar from their powerful club.

The biggest diplomatic crisis in the Persian Gulf since the 1991 US -led war with Iraq pits several nations against Qatar, home to some 10,000 American troops and a major USA military base.

Senior officials in Saudi Arabia and UAE have called on Qatar to stop its support for Islamic extremism. Some Egyptian banks said they were suspending dealing with Qatari banks.

Al-Thani disputed a Saudi statement accusing Qatar of "embracing terrorist and sectarian groups aimed at de-stabilizing the region".

In the meantime, the United Arab Emirates said they demand guarantees before fixing ties with Qatar, Al Jazeera reported.

Russian officials on Wednesday angrily rejected allegations that Russian hackers breached Qatar's state news agency and planted a fake news story that led to a split between Qatar and the other Arab nations.

  • Leroy Wright


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