Trump Offers to Mediate Qatar's Diplomatic Crisis

Ankara, which has been a close ally of Doha, has said it was ready to help defuse the diplomatic spat between Qatar and Arab nations in what has become the biggest diplomatic crisis to hit the region in several years.

The adviser repeated a statement released hours earlier which said the news agency had been hacked, seeming unaware that Reuters had already reported the denial.

It has also given Qatari citizens 14 days to leave and closed their airspace to all Qatari flights.

To outside observers, it was unclear whether the Qatar News Agency had indeed been hacked or whether an editor had published remarks which the emir later regretted saying.

"The government of Qatar is in denial".

For Riyadh, trouble was also evident elsewhere.

"They (Qataris) hired (financed) influential Saudi preachers, religious figures, journalists and academics to incite against Saudi Arabia", one Gulf source told Reuters. "The Saudis had had it with Qatar".

Qatar strongly denies the allegations.

President Donald Trump took sides in a deep rift in the Arab world on Tuesday, praising Middle East countries' actions against USA ally Qatar over Islamist militants, even though the tiny Gulf state hosts the largest U.S. air base in the region.

Qatar's neighbors are angry at Doha's backing for jihadist groups, its willingness to engage with Iran, and its patronage of Al Jazeera, which often criticizes Gulf governments.

But Husseini, who now runs consultancy Husseini Energy, on Wednesday said Trump had focused attention on the risk posed to the Middle East energy industry by a lack of security and stability. "It could have happened in March, it could have happened in December".

Kuwait's emir has also been seeking to mediate, meeting Saudi's king on Tuesday. "The situation has escalated to a point that it is hard to imagine" Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates "backing down without Qatari capitulation or regime change", he said.

Qatar has said it will not retaliate for the curbs.

Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (R) meets with Emir of Kuwait Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, June 6, 2017. The Saudi foreign minister said it did not need outside mediation.

Like the UAE and Saudi Arabia, Qatar is a member of the GCC and of the oil-cartel OPEC. No other United States president has made the kingdom their first foreign visit.

"This is well choreographed".

The worst crisis in decades among the Gulf's Arab monarchies intensified on Wednesday, with a Saudi-led alliance imposing more punitive sanctions against Qatar and a senior UAE official playing down the chances of a quick diplomatic resolution.

Back in 2014, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE withdrew their ambassadors from Qatar in protest at what they called Doha's "interference in their internal affairs". "It is trying to describe this as an issue about the independence of their foreign policy, and it is not", Gargash said. "We know the ABCs of dealing with terrorism". The influential Saudi-led OPEC bloc largely believes that Qatar has been backing militant groups, including the Islamic State (IS) and al-Qaeda through funding, intelligence and logistics support.

  • Leroy Wright