Gulf states squeeze Qatar as US, Kuwait probe for solution to row

Qatar has released an initial report into the alleged hack of its state-run news agency, an incident which helped spark a diplomatic crisis between the energy-rich country and Arab nations.

A government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said yesterday "we are in talks with Turkey and Iran and other countries". "It has to realise its interests are with us, not with another country that conspires against us, wants to dominate and divide us".

"China upholds that the relevant countries should appropriately resolve the disputes between them", the Chinese foreign ministry cited Wang as saying on Thursday.

Kuwait's ruler, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber al-Sabah, travelled from the UAE to Qatar on Wednesday after visiting Saudi Arabia the day before to try to resolve the crisis.

Gargash also said further moves against Qatar were possible and warned against allowing Shi'ite Muslim power Iran to exploit the unprecedented rift between the mainly Sunni Muslim Gulf Arab states, some of which regard Tehran as a regional arch-rival. The countries also said they would eject Qatar's diplomats.

As Qatar faces diplomatic and trade turmoil, Turkish parliament has approved legislation that will send Turkish troops to one of the country's military bases in Qatar, according to Al Jazeera.

Analysts have raised the prospect of a palace coup in Qatar, a hereditary monarchy with a history of such changes in leadership.

President Donald Trump called Qatar's emir Wednesday and offered U.S. help as efforts grew to resolve a damaging feud between the emirate and its Gulf neighbours.

"No one has the right to intervene in our foreign policy", Sheikh Mohammed said.

Russian hackers, who played such a prominent part last year in the USA election and this year in the French presidential race, may have helped blow up relations between Qatar and its neighbors in the Arab world. They accused it of supporting terrorism, a charge Qatar denies.

"We have not asked for mediation, we believe this issue can be dealt with among the states of the Gulf Cooperation Council", he told a news conference with his German counterpart during a visit to Berlin that was broadcast on Saudi state television. Qatar also backs the Palestinian political and militant group Hamas and the global Islamist movement the Muslim Brotherhood, which Saudi Arabia and Egypt oppose.

Finally, he said, there's "Al Jazeera and other Qatari-funded media, which is just an irritant to these governments because they see Al Jazeera as the platform through which opposition members talk to their own publics". Qatar says it does not accept its neighbors' view that any group with an Islamist background is terrorist. The sole Yemeni, Abdel-Wahab al-Humayqani, is the leader of a Salafi party whose has been accused by the USA of financing al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, the terror group's branch in Yemen.

A Qatari official said Trump in the call had "expressed readiness to find a solution to the diplomatic crisis in the Gulf, and stressed his keenness that the Gulf remains stable".

  • Leroy Wright