UAE bans expressions of sympathy toward Qatar

Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani "received a call from the emir of Kuwait asking him to postpone it in order to give time to solve the crisis", Sheikh Mohammed said.

State-linked media in the region ignored Qatar's denial and continued to report the comments.

The UAE's state-run postal service on Thursday announced the suspension of all services to Qatar amid an unprecedented diplomatic crisis between Doha and a handful of other Arab capitals. Qatar decried these claims as "baseless allegations".

But the recent decision of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain to break off diplomatic ties and impose an nearly total blockade on Qatar represents a serious escalation of tensions.

"This litany of subversive support, infringement, actions is huge but I would say the most serious is the extremists and terrorist angle", he said. As the move to sever ties is stronger than the previous one, it would increase problems and difficulties of people in GCC countries especially in Qatar. "Many travelers and corporate accounts could blacklist Qatar Airways", Leeham Co analyst Bjorn Fehrm said in a note published on Wednesday.

The United Arab Emirates tightened the squeeze on fellow Gulf state Qatar on Wednesday threatening anyone publishing expressions of sympathy towards it with up to 15 years in prison, and barring Qatari passport or resident visa holders entry.

Gargash said he hoped further steps were not needed but could not be ruled out.

"We have no plans to change our posture in Qatar and we would encourage all of our partners to try to work together to reduce tensions". It's also another example of Russia's cozying up to a critical United States partner in the Middle East at a time of tension between traditional allies. The country is home to a number of high-profile figures of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood and Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, both listed as terrorist organisations by the United States. The Gulf Cooperation Council is a regional bloc comprising Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, the UAE and Oman.

Migrant CARE executive director Wahyu Susilo said the crisis would sooner or later make an impact on the presence and safety of Indonesian migrant workers in the region. Plus, Qatar is seen as soft on Iran with which it shares the world's largest gas field.

"Nobody wants to hurt Qatar".

A government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said yesterday "we are in talks with Turkey and Iran and other countries".

  • Leroy Wright