United Kingdom urges Gulf states to ease blockade against Qatar

United Nations deputy spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters Monday that Guterres "has been in touch with people as have other United Nations officials. Now that we are not operating to those 18 [destinations], doesn't mean I'm going to shrink", he said.

Dujarric said the secretary-general was encouraging diplomacy "to address concerns and is ready to support such efforts, if desired by all parties".

The Saudi-led alliance is demanding that Qatar distance itself from Iran and stop funding Islamist groups.

Eritrea has expressed support for Saudi Arabia and its allies after they cut ties with Qatar.

He added, "When it comes to terrorism, Qatar has never supported terrorism, Qatar does not support terrorism, Qatar will not support terrorism".

Qatari officials have repeatedly stated that the ultimatum issued by Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain for Qatari citizens to leave was a violation of human rights that required United Nations intervention.

Earlier in the day, Johnson met with the Qatari Foreign Minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani.

Qatar announced it had launched direct shipping services to ports in Oman, a move that bypasses a Gulf "blockade".

He also said "no one has the right" to pressure Qatar to silence TV network Al Jazeera, which is based in Doha.

The severing of air, sea and land transport links has closed crucial import routes for Qatar and its population of around 2.7 million people who are dependent on imports for most of their food needs. Sharif is considered close to the royal families in both countries. Qatar port authorities shared information on the move "around" the blockade, imposed in the aftermath of the diplomatic crisis. Qatar denies sponsoring terrorism and accuses the Saudis of seeking to dominate smaller neighbors.

Saudi Arabia's Flynas has waded into the kingdom's row with Qatar, making a pitch to poach Saudi staff working for the much larger Qatar Airways.

"Qatar is of the opinion that dialogue is the best answer to this crisis".

Ministry Spokesman Bahram Ghasemi tells reporters in a weekly news conference: "These countries should try to settle their differences at the negotiating table in a positive and comprehensive process".

The three Arab Gulf countries also ordered Qatari nationals to leave within 14 days, while Saudi, UAE and Bahraini citizens were also given the same timeframe to leave Qatar.

"We have legal channels to object to this", he said.

Nawaz Sharif's office issued a statement following his return from Saudi Arabia, where the Pakistani premier, accompanied by army chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa and senior ministers, sought to calm tensions over the standoff. French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian is scheduled to talk Monday with his Qatari counterpart.

Al Baker said the airline will press ahead with plans to add 24 new destinations in the coming 12 months.

The boss of Qatar Airways has accused the USA of fanning the flames of a dispute between the country and its Gulf neighbors. France has economic and military ties with Qatar and other Gulf states.

Qatar's Hamad Port is 420 nautical miles from Sohar Port and 1,131 nautical miles from Salalah.

The UAE and Bahrain have signed the 1944 convention.

  • Julie Sanders