Sunday, 25 June, 2017

Turkey's Erdogan holds talks with leaders on lowering Qatar tension

Turkey's Erdogan holds talks with leaders on lowering Qatar tension Turkey's Erdogan holds talks with leaders on lowering Qatar tension
Darrell Mcdonald | 08 June, 2017, 05:49

He said Qatar needed to shut down or limit its Al-Jazeera news network, as well as stop funding extremist groups and others.

A CNN report then cited Qatar's foreign minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani as saying Federal Bureau of Investigation experts had concluded that Russian hackers had a hand in the furor.

Amid the ongoing dispute with Doha, Saudi Arabia's foreign minister said on Tuesday that Qatar must take several steps, including ending its support for the Palestinian group Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, to restore ties with other Arab states.

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates announced Monday that they were pulling their diplomats from Qatar and closing all land, sea and air borders.

Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates were among those who joined Saudi Arabia on Monday in cutting diplomatic ties with Qatar. The base is the United States' largest in the Middle East, the forward headquarters of Central Command and the staging area for much of the war against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Trump's tweet appeared at odds with comments from USA officials who had said on Monday that the United States would quietly try to calm the waters between Saudi Arabia and Qatar because Qatar is too important to US military and diplomatic interests to be isolated.

The fracas pits Qatar - a country smaller than CT and the world's biggest producer of liquefied natural gas - against Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain.

But even with the White House's attempts at clarification, Trump's statements raise questions as to how the move impacts the USA military base in Qatar, as well as how the diplomatic stress serves American priorities and goals in the region. But analyst Saeed Wahabi said Qatar has been unwilling to enforce restrictions on terror financing and partner with the US on counter terrorism the way Saudi Arabia has.

Earlier, he said the Saudis' move to isolate Qatar could mark the "beginning of the end to the horror of terrorism".

Tajwar said the number of stranded Pakistani passengers was not clear because they were customers of Qatar Airways, but PIA was in contact with the Pakistani embassy in Doha to get details.

No details were released of the discussions and the emir has now left the kingdom, the Saudi Press Agency said.

Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies may have felt emboldened by Trump's visit, which saw the new president clearly align U.S. interests with Riyadh and lash out at Iran. "We have no problems with playing in Abu Dhabi since we have a lot of supporters living there", he said.

As reactions continued to pour in worldwide, Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said Doha was ready for negotiations in search of a resolution.

The US authorities were aware of the support granted by Qatar and Saudi Arabia to the terrorists operating in the Mideast countries, the leaked e-mail of former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton published by WikiLeaks showed.

"We are willing to sit and talk", he told CNN later, and said his country was "protecting the world from potential terrorists".

For Trump, the rift has emerged as a key test of his goal to unite the region around destroying IS and other extremist groups, and containing Iranian influence.

Spicer said Trump had a very, very constructive conversation with the Emir of Qatar during his visit in Riyadh.

The Qatari government has said a May 23 news report on its Qatar News Agency attributed false remarks to the nation's ruler that appeared friendly to Iran and Israel and questioned whether President Donald Trump would last in office. "The first will be the airline, I will ask the Transportation Ministry to transfer the license given to Qatar", he said.

"Qatar is, it is a country that is - from which financiers have helped finance al Qaeda, ISIS, the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and other similar organizations, including the Taliban, and I don't understand why", Royce said at the time.

But Qatar has also always been accused by its Gulf neighbours and Egypt of supporting extremist groups.

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