Qatar seeks diplomatic solution to Middle East row

The father of Qatari leader Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, who relinquished power to his son in 2013, seized the country from his own father in 1995 in a coup, prompting Saudi Arabia to attempt at least one countercoup to reinstall the father.

"We are not ready to surrender, and will never be ready to surrender, the independence of our foreign policy".

That official and others say the situation in Qatar has not affected United States military operations and security in the country.

Egypt separately has asked the United Nations Security Council to investigate reports that Qatar "paid up to $1 billion to a terrorist group active in Iraq" to recently free 26 hostages, including members of its ruling family, saying it would violate U.N. sanctions.

In a phone call with the Qatari Emir, Trump extended an olive branch, offering to help the parties resolve their differences by inviting them to a White House meeting if necessary.

The four Arab states severed relations with Qatar on Monday, accusing it of supporting Islamist militants and their arch-adversary Iran - charges Qatar rejects.

On 28 May, in a freaky development, the Al ash-Shaikh issued a statement denying that the amir of Qatar was descended from bin Abd al-Wahhab (the ancestry claim has always been regarded as dubious in Abu Dhabi and probably elsewhere). The advisory came in the wake of several Gulf nations cutting off diplomatic ties with Qatar earlier this week. The crisis has thrust the US into a delicate position because of its alliances with all sides - and because Qatar hosts the nerve center for USA air operation in the Middle East, including the fight against Islamic State.

Al-Udeid, located in the Qatari desert, is home to some 10,000 U.S. troops and is a crucial hub in the fight against Islamic State group extremists in Syria and Iraq. The move from Qatar Airways comes after the UAE and Saudi Arabia closed the airline's offices in their countries.

Turkey, which works closely with Qatar in the energy sector, has walked a fine line between defending Qatar and abstaining from openly antagonising Saudi Arabia. The agreement did not detail a timeframe or the number of troops.

The resentment began fomenting a rift when Qatar sought exportation of its natural gas- first found in 1971-proposing a pipeline to be laid as far as Europe, passing through most of the Gulf States, Iran and connecting it further to Turkey and then Europe onward. Being located at the centre of the Persian Gulf, Qatar owns the world's third largest natural gas reserves-after Russian Federation and Iran-which accounts for approximately 15% of the world's natural gas, mostly coming from the North Field-an enormous sea field located at the sea border between Iran and Qatar-of which around 62% of the reserves are owned by Qatar and the rest by Iran, the putative enemy country of Saudi Arabia. It follows a previous listing of scores of organizations in 2014 by Saudi Arabia and the UAE during a previous spat with Qatar.

"The previous emir is a big supporter of this whole extremist agenda, so we do have an issue", the official said. Qatar, the statement continued, is "adopting various terrorist and sectarian groups aimed at destabilizing the region including the Muslim Brotherhood Group, Daesh (ISIS) and Al-Qaeda".

A senior Emirati official told AFP this week's decision was not aimed at a change of regime in Qatar but to pressure the country to reshape its policy.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said Gulf states could resolve the dispute among themselves without outside help.

Other regional partners, like Jordan and Turkey, put restrictions on what kind of United States operations fly out of bases in the counties that sometimes extend to allowed targets.

  • Leroy Wright