Qatar Hits Out At Neighbors As Arab Rift Enters Third Week

Saudi Arabia, Egypt and a number of gulf nations on June 5 abruptly cut diplomatic and commercial ties with Qatar, home to a major US military base in the region, citing a range of complaints from its ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran to its funding of the Arab-language news agency Al-Jazeera.

The Ambassador of the Kingdom of Bahrain, Ahmed Abdulrahman Al Sa'ati, the Ambassador of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Dr Mohammed Al Badri, the Charge d'affaires of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed Al Shimari, and the First Secretary at the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates, Mohammed Al Mansoori, met today the Russian Foreign Affairs Committee in the State Duma, Leonid Slutsky.

"It is unfortunate that our neighbors have chosen to invest their time and resources in a baseless propaganda campaign against the state of Qatar", it said.

Donald Trump has backed several Gulf nation who cut ties with Qatar over its links to the Iranian Regime and terrorist groups but a foreign policy expert argues that this may be a proxy war over the US-Iran Deal.

"We can not just have vague demands such as 'the Qataris know what we want from them, they have to stop this or that, they have to be monitored by a foreign monitoring mechanism, '" added Sheikh Mohammed who said his country's internal affairs are 'non-negotiable'.

"We sincerely believe that the impact is regional, not only local", Jaida told reporters at a briefing in Doha.

"Until now we didn't see any progress about lifting the blockade, which is the pre-condition for anything to move forward".

The first joint drills took place on Sunday at the Tariq bin Ziyad military camp in Doha, the ministry said in a statement carried by the official news agency.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu held talks late Friday with Saudi Arabia's King Salman about the crisis engulfing Qatar. Trump called Qatar a "funder of terrorism at a very high level", but five days later his Pentagon approved selling $12 billion of warplanes to Qatar. "This arbitrary deadline has caused widespread uncertainty and dread amongst thousands of people who fear they will be separated from their loved ones", said James Lynch, Deputy Director of Amnesty International's Global Issues Programme.

Qatar has been accused by the Arab nations of supporting terrorism, destabilizing the region and getting close to Iran, all claims that the tiny state has rejected. Turkey and Qatar both provided support for the elected Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt that was toppled in 2013 by military leader Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, now Egypt's president.

However, the recent Gulf crisis spurred Turkey's government to approve sending troops to Qatar forthwith. But it so far has avoided economic collapse by quickly finding alternative routes, and it said its vast financial reserves would meet any challenges. The countries that imposed the sanctions gave Qataris two weeks to leave, which expired yesterday. Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt said Friday they were restricting travel for Qatari owned or registered flights and that there were "no limitations" to worldwide airways.

  • Zachary Reyes