Egypt and Bahrain keep pressure on Qatar in Gulf crisis

The comments - attributed to Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani on incendiary issues such as Israel, Iran and Palestinian Islamist group Hamas - were one of the reasons cited by Saudi Arabia and its allies on Monday for imposing a diplomatic and economic blockade on Qatar.

This past Sunday, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut diplomatic relations with the tiny, wealthy, gas-rich state of Qatar in order to punish Doha for what each nation believes is long-standing, active and systematic financial support for terrorist groups in the region.

The Turkish parliament this week cleared a bill giving the go-ahead for pre-existing plans for its troops to go to a new base in Qatar. On the call, he reiterated "the importance of maintaining a united Gulf Cooperation Council to promote regional stability, but never at the expense of eliminating funding for radical extremism or defeating terrorism", the White House said in a statement.

Gargash said the four Arab states seek a "political commitment to change course" by Qatar, including ending its support for the Brotherhood and Hamas.

While its flag carrier Qatar Airways now flies increasingly over Iran and Turkey, the airline has been blocked from landing elsewhere in the Middle East. Al-Jazeera offices also have been shut down by authorities in Saudi Arabia and Jordan.

A day later, Trump took credit on Twitter for the rupture, pointing to Doha's support for extremists. Qatar also hosts the largest US military base in the Middle East, which is the US Central Command's forward headquarters running all operations in the region, staffed by around 10,000 troops.

He also said it was hurting American business in the area.

"As early as June 2012, media sources reported that Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey were arming anti-regime rebels [in Syria] with both light and heavy weapons..."

"But you have to be able to tell your friend or your brother when they are doing the right thing and when they are doing the wrong thing", Jubeir said in a joint press conference with Gabriel.

Moscow on Wednesday, June 7 dismissed allegations that Russian hackers helped spark the diplomatic crisis around Qatar, after CNN reported that United States officials believed they planted a false news story, Reuters says. While Trump was quick to claim credit for Saudi's isolation of Qatar with hopes that such a move would become "the beginning of the end to the horror of terrorism", the US taking Saudi's side in the brewing Qatar-Saudi conflict could potentially cut the Pentagon off using its Qatari military base to actually "end the horror of terrorism" by carrying out devastating airstrikes against terrorist groups in the region.

Bahrain on Thursday followed the UAE in announcing that expressing sympathy for Qatar over the sanctions was an offence punishable by jail. Erdogan, who has long tried to play the role of a regional power broker, said Ankara would do everything in its power to help end the regional crisis. The decision has since been adopted by several other Muslim nations.

It accused Doha of harbouring "terrorist and sectarian groups that aim to destabilise the region including the Muslim Brotherhood, Daesh (the Islamic State group) and Al-Qaeda".

"Do we take the easy road or do we finally take hard but necessary action?" he said, adding he decided "the time had come to call on Qatar to end its funding".

  • Leroy Wright