'We are not ready to surrender,' Qatar's foreign minister says

It is the worst split between powerful Arab states in decades.

"Al Jazeera Media Network under cyber attack on all systems, websites & social media platforms", it said on Twitter.

Nevertheless, on Monday Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and several other countries severed diplomatic and transport ties with Qatar, accusing it of sponsoring terrorist groups. MIDDLE EAST INSTABILITYThe United States weighed in on Tuesday, after President Donald Trump praised the Gulf states' action against Qatar, even though the country hosts the largest usa air base in the region.

French government spokesman Christophe Castaner says on Wednesday in a news conference following the weekly Cabinet meeting that "Qatar must ensure transparency".

Analysts say the crisis is in part an extension of a pre-existing dispute which saw Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain temporarily recall their ambassadors from Doha in 2014 over Qatari support for the Muslim Brotherhood.

The move comes after the country banned any direct flights to and from Qatar, and also closed down the offices of Qatar Airways across the UAE. Al-Jazeera is the flagship broadcaster for Qatar. Turkey's parliament, on the other hand, has approved sending troops to an existing Turkish base in Qatar as a sign of support.

- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara on Wednesday, as the dispute between Gulf powers and Qatar escalates. "No one has given them the right to separate Qatari women from their Saudi children, or Emirati women from their Qatari children".

Trump's tweets seem to have been issued in haste without consideration for USA ties to Qatar which is home to an important U.S. air base. "Are we living really in the 21st century?"

Qatar has denied the charges levelled at it. The tactic is ironic because Saudi Arabia has itself been accused of funding extremist Islamist groups.

Qatar's foreign minister, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, told CNN on Tuesday that the hacking of Qatar's national news agency was "proved by the FBI".

"If anyone thinks they are going to impose anything on my internal affairs or my internal issues, this is not going to happen", Sheikh Mohammed said.

Former Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal has lived in exile in Doha for years and key figures of the group visit Qatar often.

Qatar will respect the LNG gas agreements it has made with the United Arab Emirates despite its cutting off relations with Doha, Sheikh Mohammed said. A Qatari diplomat told the Associated Press on Thursday that his country's emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, won't travel overseas while the blockade remains in place.

  • Leroy Wright