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How Qatar-Gulf crisis developed up to the GCC summit - Gulf crisis

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How Qatar-Gulf crisis developed up to the GCC summit
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2 July 2017

11:48pm - Qatar's defence minister: We are ready to defend our country

  • The defence minister of Qatar says the country is ready to defend itself if necessary.
  • Khalid Al Attiyah made the comments in an interview with Sky News.
  • "Qatar is not an easy country to be swallowed by anyone. We are ready. We stand ready to defend our country," he said. 
  • "I hope that we don't come to a stage where, you know, a military intervention is made."

11:11pm - Qatar will give Kuwait response to list of demands on Monday

  • Qatar's foreign minister will meet Kuwait's emir on Monday to give him Doha's response to a list of demands submitted to it, according to state-run media.
  • Qatar News Agency (QNA) said on Sunday that Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, the foreign minister of Qatar, will meet the Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah on Monday.
  • "[The foreign minister] will hand over a written message from HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. The message is about the reply prepared earlier by the State of Qatar on the list of collective demands submitted by the State of Kuwait at the end of last month," QNA said.
  • Kuwait has been leading mediation efforts to defuse the Gulf crisis that erupted on June 5 when a Saudi-led bloc of countries cut diplomatic and travel ties with Qatar and imposed an embargo against it.

3:00pm - US envoy to Kuwait urges 'fair' solution to Gulf crisis 

  • The US ambassador to Kuwait has called for a "fair" solution to the Gulf dispute. 
  • In a statement on Sunday, Lawrence R. Silverman reiterated the US support for Kuwaiti efforts to mediate a solution to the crisis.  

1 July 2017

8:30pm - Al Jazeera will not shut down

  • Giles Trendle, the acting managing director of Al Jazeera English, said on Saturday that the Doha-based media network would not be closing despite demands by Saudi Arabia and its allies.
  • "We stand strong and we will continue to do what we do, which is reporting the world frankly and fairly," he said.

8pm - Qatar hires law firm to probe violations from blockade

  • The Qatari National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) and a Swiss law firm, Lalive, signed a contract in Geneva on Saturday to investigate thousands of cases of human rights violations from a Saudi-led blockade on Qatar and seek compensation.
  • Lalive, which specialises in mass claims, said it will pursue the cases in local and international tribunals.
  • "The sanctions imposed on Qatar go too far and are not in accordance with international law. Ordinary Qatari nationals and companies are not part of the State and cannot be targeted," Veijo Heiskanen, the lead lawyer on the case, told Al Jazeera.
  • "A political dispute between States does not justify sanctions against private citizens, companies and other private entities. The Qatar National Committee for Human Rights is therefore justified to pursue these claims," he said.

6:55pm - Qatar's FM: A list of demands 'was meant to be rejected'

  • Qatar's Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said at the news conference in the Italian capital of Rome on Saturday that the list of demand issued by Saudi Arabia and its allies "was meant to be rejected".
  • "Everyone is aware that these demands are meant to infringe the sovereignty of the state of Qatar, shut the freedom of speech and impose auditing and probation mechanism for Qatar," he said.
  • "The blockading countries have disrespected the international law, disrespected the world order."
  • "Qatar has dealt with this matter in a very mature and responsible way while the escalation has continued from the other countries."
  • He urged for a dialogue and negotiations.

6:16pm - Putin and Qatar's Emir hold phone conversation

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin has stressed the importance of diplomacy to end a dispute between Qatar and four other Arab states during a telephone call with the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, the Kremlin said on Saturday.
  • The Kremlin said in a statement the Russian and Qatari leaders also discussed cooperation between their countries in energy and investment.

5:20pm - Putin discusses Gulf crisis with Bahrain's king

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the Gulf crisis with Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa in a telephone call, the Kremlin said on Saturday.
  • Putin stressed the need for direct dialogue between all governments involved in the dispute, which is exerting a negative influence on the Middle East, the Kremlin said.

4:10pm - Erdogan meets Qatar's defence minister

  • Qatar's Defence Minister Khalid bin Mohammed al-Attiyah met with Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday in Ankara.
  • Erdogan has rejected the demand of Saudi Arabia and its allies for an end to Turkish troop presence in Doha, calling it "disrespectful" and saying that Turkey would not seek permission from others over its defence cooperation agreements.
  • Turkey says the Turkish troop deployment to Qatar aims to enhance regional security and is not aimed against any specific country.
  • "There are some indications that a solution is possible. This is our general impression. We need to continue efforts to take measures that go in the right direction," Turkey's presidential spokesman, Ibrahim Kalin, said after the meeting.

2:54pm - Saudi Arabia says demands for Qatar 'non-negotiable'

  • Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubair said on Saturday that a 13-point list of demands given to Qatar to end the gulf rift were "non-negotiable". 
  • "Demands on Qatar to stop funding terrorism are non-negotiable," the Jubair said on the Saudi Foreign Minisry's official Twitter account. "Restrictions on Qatar show zero tolerance for terrorism." 
  • The Saudi-led bloc of states gave Qatar 10 days to respond to the sweeping list of demands. The deadline is reportedly set to end at 21:00 GMT on Sunday. 

9:33am - Qatar calls for UN Security Council help in Gulf row

  • Qatar's foreign minister has asked members of the United Nations Security Council to urge a Saudi-led bloc of states to lift their blockade on the Gulf country, nearly one month after it began.
  • Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani on Friday met with non-permanent members of the Security Council at the Qatari mission to the UN in the US state of New York, urging them to speak out publicly on his country's behalf.
  • Al Thani told Al Jazeera he gave them "updates on the situation" and urged "all of them to call for a lifting of the blockade on Qatar".
  • Qatar was "trying to encourage all the parties to enter a serious dialogue to try to put an end to this," the foreign minister said.

30 June 2017

11:50pm - Turkey urges 'respect of Qatar rights' to end Gulf rift

  • Turkey has said that the rights of Qatar should be respected in resolving an escalating dispute between Doha and its neighbours.
  • "The current issues between the (Gulf) countries, who are brothers, must be resolved soon on the basis of a sincere dialogue and respect for Qatar's rights," Turkish Defence Minister Fikri Isik said during a meeting with his Qatari counterpart Khaled bin Mohammed al-Attiyah in Ankara on Friday.

6:50pm - Trump discusses Gulf crisis with Erdogan

  • The White House said in a statement on Friday that US President Donald Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan discussed ways to resolve the Gulf crisis "while ensuring that all countries work together to stop terrorist funding and to combat extremist ideology".

5:30pm - Bahrain tells WTO anti-Qatar trade embargo justified

  • Trade restrictions imposed on Qatar by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE are justified by national security, Bahrain's representative told a World Trade Organisation meeting on Friday, a trade official who attended the meeting said.

  • Speaking on behalf of all three countries, the Bahraini diplomat at the WTO's Goods Council said the measures were "in accordance with Article XXI of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade", which allows the usual rules to be broken for national security reasons, the official said.

  • It is extremely rare, perhaps unprecedented, in the WTO's 22-year history for a country to explicitly and formally cite the "national security exemption" to pre-empt a potential trade dispute.

5:15pm - Turkish, Qatari defence ministers meet

  • Qatar's Defence Minister Khalid bin Mohammed al-Attiyah held talks with his Turkish counterpart Fikri Isik on Friday in Turkey's capital Ankara.

3:30pm - Several UK banks stop selling Qatar's riyals

  • A spokeswoman for Britain's Lloyds Banking Group said: "This currency is no longer available for sale or buy-back across our high street banks including Lloyds Bank, Bank of Scotland and Halifax."

  • Tesco Bank said it had halted dealings in the riyal, while Barclays stopped trading riyals for retail customers but continued the service for corporate customers, a source said.

  • Royal Bank of Scotland said it had stopped trading riyals for retail customers.

  • A spokeswoman for HSBC said on Friday that the bank was still providing riyals for high street customers.

2:45pm - Qatar's defence minister: Blockade is 'declaration of war'

  • Khaled Al-Attiyah, Qatar's defence minister, told the London-based Al-Araby Al-Jadeed newspaper on Friday that a blockade imposed by Saudi Arabia and its allies on Doha as "a bloodless declaration of war".

  • He described the relationship with the US as "strategic" and discussed the status of the US air base in Qatar.

  • "The closure of the Udeid Air Base in Qatar is absolutely out of the question," Al-Attiyah said.

  • He went on to dismiss all accusations about Qatar's support for terrorism, saying the claims aiming to "demonise Qatar".

1:10pm - Demand to close down Al Jazeera 'unacceptable' - UN

  • A demand by Saudi Arabia and three other Arab nations for Qatar to close down Al Jazeera is an "unacceptable attack" on the right to freedoms of expression and opinion, the United Nations human rights chief said on Friday.
  • UN High Commissioner Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein is "extremely concerned by the demand that Qatar close down the Al Jazeera network, as well as other affiliated media outlets", his spokesman Rupert Colville told a news briefing.
  • "Whether or not you watch it, like it, or agree with its editorial standpoints, Al Jazeera's Arabic and English channels are legitimate, and have many millions of viewers. The demand that they be summarily closed down is, in our view, an unacceptable attack on the right to freedom of expression and opinion," Colville said. 

11:34am - New batch of Turkish troops arrives in Qatar

  • Qatar's ministry of defence has announced the arrival of a new group of Turkish armed forces to the military base where Turkey began its training mission last week.
  • The forces are set to take part in joint exercises within the framework of a defence agreement signed between Doha and Ankara aimed at raising Qatar's defence capabilities, supporting "counter-terror" efforts, and maintaining security and stability in the region.
  • Khalid bin Mohammed al-Attiyah arrived on Thursday to Ankara where he is scheduled to meet with his Turkish counterpart Fikri Ishik as well as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

11:20am - CPJ calls on Saudi-led bloc to drop Qatar media demands

  • The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) urges the Saudi-led bloc to drop its demand to shut media outlets funded by Qatar as a condition to lift the blockade against it.
  • In a letter directed to the leaders of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt, the CPJ stressed it was not taking sides in the diplomatic dispute in the Gulf.
  • The CPJ, an independent organisation that promotes press freedom worldwide, said the demand to close the outlets, including Al Jazeera, showed "clear contempt for the principle of press freedom".

12:23am - QCB: Riyal's exchange rate absolutely stable against US dollar

  • Qatar Central Bank (QCB) says it will guarantee all exchange transactions for customers inside and outside the country without delay, adding that all banks and foreign exchange companies are committed to trading the riyal as usual.
  • The statement came after media reports said some exchange companies have stopped buying the Qatari riyal, which the central bank called "baseless".
  • "Qatari riyal's exchange rate is absolutely stable against the US dollar, and its exchange ability inside and outside Qatar is guaranteed at any time at the official price," QCB said.

29 June 2017

10:55pm - Doha 'ready to discuss, won't compromise sovereignty'

  • Qatar is willing to work together with other Gulf countries blockading it in order to reach a resolution to the Gulf dispute, its foreign minister has said, stressing, however, that his country will not discuss any measures that impinge on its sovereignty.
  • Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani made the comments on Washington, DC, on Thursday, the last day of a visit to the United States where he had been holding a series of key meetings aimed at resolving the crisis.
  • "The response of Qatar has been purposefully measured, yet unequivocal. We are willing to negotiate any legitimate grievances with our neighbours, but we will not compromise our sovereignty," he said, calling the "siege" on Qatar "a clear act of aggression" that violated international law.
  • He also hit back at comments made Adel al-Jubeir, Saudi Arabia's foreign minister, who on Tuesday said that there will be no negotiations over a list of demands presented by the Saud-led bloc to end the crisis.
  • "Using the terminologies of demands and non-negotiable, I don't think this is a civilised way to engage in solving a crisis," Qatar's foreign minister said.

10:40pm - Qatar considering WTO complaint against blockade

  • The representative of Qatar at the World Trade Organization (WTO) says his country is considering launching a complaint at the global trade body against the blockade imposed against it by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt.
  • "We are exploring all possible legal avenues, including, but not limited to, the (WTO) Dispute Settlement Body," Ali Alwaleed al-Thani, director of Qatar's WTO office, told the Reuters news agency.

8:00pm - Qatari FM speaks on GCC crisis from Washington, DC

  • On the last day of a trip to the United States, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, Qatar's foreign minister, has spoken about the crisis in the Gulf. Here are some excerpts from his speech in the Arab Center in Washington, DC:
  • "Qatar has a good record of combating and countering terrorism."
  • "Qatar taken steps against funds going to terrorist organisations."
  • "The US can verify that Qatar has not supported terrorism."
  • "Qatar's response has been measured but unequivocal."
  • "The demands are an effort to undermine our sovereignty."
  • "Siege is a violation of international law and against sovereignty."
  • "The GCC is supposed to provide safety and stability in the region."
  • "Al Jazeera's professionalism will not be compromised."
  • "Iran is our neighbour, must have constructive relationship."
  • "Qatar has respect for non-interefence in other state affairs."

6:11pm - NYT: Blocking arms sales a new tool to end Gulf impasse

  • A decision by influential US Senator Bob Corker to block the approval of future US arms sales to Gulf countries could give Washington "a new tool" for resolving a "dangerous dispute" between a Saudi-led bloc of countries and Qatar, the Editorial Board of the New York Times (NYT) said on Wednesday.
  • As chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Corker plays a central role in allowing or withholding US weapons sales.
  • The Tennessee Republican on Monday said in a letter to US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that "recent disputes" among Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries undermine efforts "to fight" ISIL and "counter Iran". He said that approval of future arms sales would be held up until there is a clear path for settling the major diplomatic crisis in the Gulf.
  • "This would give Mr. Tillerson a new tool for resolving the crisis, though the impact may not be immediate,” the Board wrote in an opinion piece titled "A Way out of the Qatar Mess".

5:00 - Qatar Airways, Doha airport report high traffic despite Gulf restrictions

  • National carrier Qatar Airways and Hamad International Airport in the Qatari capital of Doha reported an exceptionally high volume of traffic during the Eid-Al Fitr holiday period despite regional travel restrictions imposed by neighbouring countries amid the Gulf crisis.
  • "In the past seven days, 510,949 passengers have flown from Hamad International Airport on board more than 2,900 flights. During the peak Eid-Al Fitr holiday period, 22-24 June, 49,794 of those passengers were joining flights directly from Doha," said Qatar Airways boss Akbar Al Baker.
  • Hamad International Airport officials said the total number of passengers travelling on all airlines, including Qatar Airways, in June 19-25 period reaching 580,000.
  • Hamad International Airport recently reported that it served 19 million passengers from January to June 2017, eight percent up compared to the same period in 2016.

4:35pm - Turkish, Qatari defence ministers to meet in Ankara

  • The defence minister of Turkey and Qatar will hold talks in the Turkish capital, Ankara, on Friday, according to a report by Turkey's Anadolu state-run news agency.
  • The meeting between Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Isik and his Qatari counterpart, Khalid bin Mohammed al-Attiyah, will take place in the defence ministry, sources who could not be identified due to restrictions on speaking to the media told Anadolu.

2:30pm - US ambassador to UN: Gulf crisis 'opportunity' to influence Saudi Arabia and Qatar 

  • US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley has said that the Gulf crisis is "an opportunity" to influence both Qatar and Saudi Arabia. 
  • Haley was testifying before the House Foreign Affairs committee on Wednesday when she was asked about her take on the crisis in the Gulf amid conflicting statements made by members of the Trump administration.
  • She said it was a good time to tell Qatar to "quit funding Hamas ... but at the same time, go back to Saudi Arabia and say look you can talk to them [the Qataris] ... you got to cut this out, you've got to stop doing this."
  • Haley added that it was "an opportunity to sort of hit on both of them".

8:00am - UAE's prime minister addresses Qatar in poem 

  • UAE's Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum has urged Qatar to "return to the GCC fold" in a poem he published on his Instagram account.
  • "Now it is time to get united and be one heart and protect each other without grudges or hatred," he wrote in Arabic.
  • The poem stresses that the UAE is its neighbours' champion as they come "from one tribe and people ... We will keep advising Qatar openly in line with the instructions of Prophet Muhammad, who said: A wolf eats only sheep that leave the flock."

2:42am - Japan's Shinzo Abe: Saudi-led bloc's demands are harsh

  • Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expressed concern about the repercussions of the Gulf crisis, noting that the demands of the four countries are harsh.
  • In a telephone conversation with Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Abe also stressed Japan's support for Kuwaiti mediation and diplomatic efforts to resolve the crisis. 

28 June 2017

9:44pm - Asian migrants 'stuck in Saudi' as Qatari bosses forced out

  • Migrants from countries such as Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Nepal employed to work as farmers and domestic staff in Saudi Arabia are stranded without shelter and access to money after a decision by the kingdom to expel their Qatari bosses, according to a human rights group.
  • "There are a lot of migrant workers affected by this decision," Ali Bin Smaikh al-Marri, chairman of Qatar's National Human Rights Committee, told a news conference in Qatar's capital, Doha.
  • Marri said that many of those impacted were farmers who drive livestock between the two neighbouring countries.
  • "Usually the workers travel with Qataris - many Qataris employ farmers and travel with their domestic workers and drivers," he added. "The workers were not allowed to travel into Qatar and now they are living illegally in Saudi Arabia and do not have basic needs. They have no shelter and cannot access money."

8:24pm - Qatar to to hire Swiss lawyers to sue Gulf blockade states

  • Qatar's National Human Rights Commission says it will employ a Swiss law firm to seek compensation for those affected by a decision of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain to cut ties with Doha and impose a blockade against it.
  • "The three countries are responsible to compensate those affected," Ali Bin Smaikh al-Marri, chairman of the commission, told a news conference, adding many Qataris qualified for compensation.
  • "Some cases will be filed in courts in those three countries and in some courts that have international jurisdictions, like in Europe, related to compensation."
  • Marri did not say which Swiss firm would be employed, but said a statement would be released in the near future.

5:13pm - Tillerson calls Gulf sides to 'exercise restraint'

  • US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has issued a new call for a diplomatic resolution to the Gulf crisis after a meeting with Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah, Kuwait's minister of state for cabinet affairs and acting minister of information.
  • The top US diplomat also renewed Washington's support for Kuwait's mediation efforts to defuse the crisis.
  • "During the meeting the leaders reaffirmed the need for all parties to exercise restraint to allow for productive diplomatic discussions.," read a statement issued by the US State Department after the talks in Washington, DC.
  • "Negotiations to resolve the current crisis in the Gulf is the best way to resolve the conflict," the statement added.

3:00pm - UN rights expert: Demand to close Al Jazeera a 'threat to media freedom'

  • A United Nations media rights expert has rejected the demand of a Saudi-led group of countries to close Al Jazeera, saying it would be "a major blow to media pluralism".  
  • David Kaye, the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression, said in a statement that the demand "represents a serious threat to media freedom if states, under the pretext of a diplomatic crisis, take measures to force the dismantling of Al Jazeera". 
  • Kaye also called on "the international community to urge these governments not to pursue this demand against Qatar, to resist taking steps to censor media in their own territory and regionally, and to encourage support for independent media in the Middle East".

8:05am - UAE envoy to Russia: 'We don't claim to have press freedom' 

  • Asked if he believed the closure of Al Jazeera was a "reasonable demand" by Saudi Arabia and its allies, the UAE's ambassador to Russia told the Guardian newspaper:  "We do not claim to have press freedom. We do not promote the idea of press freedom. What we talk about is responsibility in speech."
  • Omar Ghobash also said: "Freedom of speech has different constraints in different places. Speech in our part of the world has a particular context, and that context can go from peaceful to violent in no time simply because of worlds that are spoken.   

7:55am - UAE ambassador to Russia says further sanctions against Qatar 'available' 

  • The UAE's ambassador to Russia has said expelling Qatar from the GCC is "not the only sanction available". 
  • Omar Ghobash, speaking to The Guardian newspaper, said there are "certain economic sanctions" the UAE and its allies can take which "are being considered right now".  He said among these was imposing "conditions on trade partners". 
  • He added: "If Qatar was not willing to accept the demands, it is a case of 'Goodbye Qatar' we do not need you in our tent anymore." 

1:45am - Saudi-led list unacceptable and not backed by proof, says Qatar's FM

  • The foreign minister of Qatar has rejected a list of demands submitted by four Arab countries as unacceptable and said that Doha agrees with the US that they should push for a "rational" solution to the crisis.
  • The comments on Tuesday by Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani came after a meeting with his US counterpart, Rex Tillerson, in Washington, DC.
  • "What has been presented by the countries of the blockade are merely claims that are not proved by evidence and are not demands," said Al Thani, adding: "The demands must be realistic and enforceable. Anything else is rejected."

27 June 2017

11:07pm - Saudi Arabia says Qatar demand list non-negotiable

  • Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir says there will be no negotiations over a list of demands the kingdom and its allies have submitted to Qatar to end the Gulf crisis.
  • Asked by reporters on a visit to the United States on Tuesday if the demands were non-negotiable, Jubeir said: "Yes".
  • "We made our point, we took our steps and it's up to the Qataris to amend their behaviour and once they do, things will be worked out, but if they don't they will remain isolated," Jubeir, who was in Washington, DC, said.

10:40 - Media group backs Al Jazeera amid closure calls

  • A trade association representing more than 80 media companies has voiced its support for Al Jazeera amid a Saudi-led campaign to have the network shut down.
  • In a statement released on Monday, Digital Content Next joined a host of media outlets and organisations that have announced their support for Al Jazeera against calls for its closure.
  • "It is vital we value and protect the independence of media organisations and journalists around the world. Any effort to silence journalists or use news organisations as a bargaining chip is an affront to freedom," the statement said.
  • The Committee to Protect Journalists, Human Rights Watch, Reporters Without Borders, the New York Times editorial board and The Guardian have all condemned the efforts to pressure Qatar into shutting down Al Jazeera. 

7:07pm - Germany, Iran call for solution to Gulf dispute

  • German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel urged all sides in the Gulf diplomatic crisis to hold direct talks to avoid a further escalation.
  • "The longer the crisis around Qatar continues, the deeper and stronger the lines of conflict will become," Gabriel told reporters after a 90-minute meeting with his Iranian counterpart, Javad Zarif.
  • Zarif said Iran was interested in working towards a political solution to the dispute, saying that "pressure and sanctions and blockades" were not the answer.

5:20pm - Qatari riyal strengthens amid Gulf crisis

  • The Qatari riyal has strengthened against the US dollar in the forward market after two days of sharp falls caused by the continued diplomatic rift between Qatar and neighbouring Arab powers.
  • One-month riyal forwards showed the currency marked as firm as 3.751 per dollar, according to Reuters data, after hitting a low of 3.793 on Monday.
  • Three-month forwards also saw the riyal strengthening to 3.755 compared to the previous day's low of 3.796.
  • Qatari assets have come under pressure since Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt imposed a boycott on the Arab Gulf country three weeks ago.

7:30am - Qatar's foreign minister to meet counterpart in Washington 

  • US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will meet with Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani in Washington on Tuesday.
  • The meeting at the State Department comes days after Doha dismissed a list of demands from Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
  • Tillerson has urged a diplomatic solution to the Gulf crisis, and Washington has been pushing for a clear list of grievances that are "reasonable and actionable."

26 June 2017

11:55pm - NHRC: Gulf blockade violates Qatari students' rights

  • Qatar's National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) says it has monitored several serious violations against Qatari students in three neighbouring counties amid a major regional fallout, according to a report on state media.
  • The report said Qatari students were not allowed to complete their exams at the end of the academic year and were refused certificates of graduation. Their educational accounts were also closed and their school registrations were "arbitrarily" terminated without reason. 

9:45pm - Iran urges Europe to help promote Gulf dialogue

  • Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has urged Europe to use its influence to defuse tensions between Saudi Arabia and its allies and Qatar. In a speech in Berlin, Zarif said the countries who blamed Iran or Qatar for terrorism were trying to avoid taking responsibility for their own failures in addressing the demands of their own people.
  • "When foreign policy becomes a commodity, then purchasing military equipment becomes your yardstick for measuring who is a terrorist or who isn't a terrorist," Zarif said.

8:37pm - German FM: Demands made of Qatar 'very provocative'

  • A list of 13 demands issued by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt to Qatar as a condition to end a regional crisis is "very provocative", according to Sigmar Gabriel, Germany's foreign minister.
  • Speaking on Monday at an event hosted by the European Council on Foreign Relations in Germany's capital, Berlin, Gabriel also said it would be difficult for Doha to support all demands made of it.

8:28pm - Senator to block US arms sales over GCC crisis

  • Republican Senator Bob Corker said he would withhold consent for US arms sales to members of the Gulf Cooperation Council until there is a path forward to resolving the region's diplomatic crisis.
  • "All countries in the region need to do more to combat terrorism, but recent disputes among the GCC countries only serve to hurt efforts to fight ISIS (ISIL) and counter Iran," Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said on wrote in a letter to US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
  • Corker and Tillerson have a close relationship and speak frequently on foreign policy issues.

7:50pm - Bahraini FM in u-turn over Turkish base in Qatar

  • Just over two weeks after stating that Turkey's military's presence in Qatar has no relation to an ongoing Gulf crisis, Bahrain's foreign minister appears to have performed a complete u-turn.
  • Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed al-Khalifa on Monday accused Qatar of creating a "military escalation" in the regional diplomatic dispute, in an apparent reference to the long-planned deployment of Turkish troops in Qatar's capital, Doha, in recent days.
  • "The disagreement with Qatar is a political and security dispute and has never been military," the Bahraini foreign minister said on Twitter. "But the deployment of foreign troops with their armoured vehicles is a military escalation for which Qatar will bear the consequences."
  • Yet, these remarks contradicted previous statements made by Khalifa during a visit to Turkey in June 10, when he said: "This base has been established … to protect the countries in the region from threats that might emerge. It has nothing to do what is going on between us and Qatar."

4:55pm - An Open Letter from Al Jazeera

  • "The attempt to silence Al Jazeera is an attempt to silence independent journalism in the region, and to challenge everyone's freedom to be heard and to be informed. This must not be allowed to happen," the Doha-based media network said in an open letter.
  • We are deeply proud of our journalism. We respect - and give thanks to - everyone we report about, and everyone we inform.
  • We remain resolute in carrying out our responsibility of providing reliable information, and giving those we cover a voice.
  • We are unwavering in our resolve to continue doing so, and we will proceed to tell the stories of the world from Kabul to Caracas and from Mosul to Sydney.
  • We will continue to do our job with integrity. We will continue to be courageous in the pursuit of the truth. And we will continue to respect people’s rights to be heard.
  • Read the full letter here.

2:15am - 'We are more united': Qataris mark Eid amid blockade

  • Qatari citizens express unity and sadness as the crisis casts a shadow over Islam's most important holiday.
  • "There are a lot of families ..., a lot of people who have suffered from this blockade," said Qatari citizen Ali Al Merri - whose children have Bahraini passports. "Politicians must keep this between the governments and not involve the citizens."
  • Khaled Al Hajiri, another Qatari citizen, said the decision by Saudi Arabia and its allies came as a "shock" to him and his family: "For me personally, it is breaking my heart that I cannot see my cousins in Abu Dhabi. Most of my friends also have relatives there."

25 June 2017

8:45pm - Iran's Rouhani: Qatar siege not acceptable

  • Iran's President Hassan Rouhani and Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani have held a telephone conversation, according to the office of the presidency's website.
  • The Sunday report quotes Rouhani as telling the Emir of Qatar that the "siege of Qatar is not acceptable for us", adding that "Tehran will stand by Qatar's government".
  • "Iran's air space, ground and sea will be always be open to Qatar as a ... friendly nation," said Rouhani, and that the two nations' cooperation will remain "continuous".
  • Iran's president added that "pressure, threats and sanctions" are not solutions for resolving rifts.
  • Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani extended wishes for the Eid al-Fitr festival, and said: "Qatar has open arms for interaction and cooperation."

7:04pm - Tillerson: Some demands on Qatar very difficult to meet

  • US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says some demands on Qatar by a group of Arab countries that have imposed a blockade against it "will be very difficult to meet".
  • In a statement issued on Sunday, the top US diplomat added, however, that the list submitted by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Egypt includes "significant areas which provide a basis for ongoing dialogue leading to a resolution".
  • "A productive next step would be for each of the countries to sit together and continue this conversation," said Tillerson, confirming that Qatar has begun the review of the demands.
  • "We believe our allies and partners are stronger when they are working together towards one goal which we all agree is stopping terrorism and countering extremism," Tillerson said, calling for a "lowering of rhetoric" to "help ease the tension".

4:24pm - Sudan's Bashir backs Kuwait mediation to end Gulf crisis

  • Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has reiterated his support for Kuwait's mediation efforts to defuse the diplomatic crisis in the Gulf.  
  • In a speech marking the end of Ramadan, Bashir said: "We welcome Eid Al Fitr with all its joy and we recall what our Arab and Islamic nation is going through in terms of strife between honorable brothers who had and still have generous stances with our country".
  • He said the situation "necessitates that we work" towards reconciliation and exert all efforts to bring them together, noting that Sudan will back all efforts that aim at ending the crisis.
  • "Sudan is backing the efforts made by the Emir of Kuwait until his bona-fide intentions of maintaining this rift have been materialised," Bashir added.

11:10am - Erdogan: Qatar ultimatum 'is against international law'

  • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has welcomed Qatar's stand on a list of demands from Saudi Arabia and its allies, saying that the ultimatum is "against international law".
  • "We welcome [Qatar's position] because we consider the 13-point list against international law," Erdogan was quoted as saying by the state-run Anadolu news agency on Sunday.
  • He also said calling for closure the Turkish base in Qatar was "disrespectful against Turkey". 

2:01am - Qatar's ambassador to Germany rejects all allegations of ties to "terrorism"

  • Sheikh Saud bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said in an interview with German daily Der Tagesspiegel that Qatar has never backed "extremist" groups and will not support such groups in the future.
  • The ambassador said that no evidence had been provided to support the allegations made against Qatar, adding that they had been made in a sudden manner.
  • He pointed out that there were many meetings held under the GCC umbrella over the last few months - none of which saw these allegations surface. 

12:26am - Kuwaiti FM discusses regional issues with Tillerson, Johnson, Cavusoglu and others

  • The first deputy prime minister and foreign minister of Kuwait, the country leading mediation efforts to defuse the Gulf crisis, held on Saturday a series of telephone conversations with several international diplomats, according to state-run media.
  • Kuwait's KUNA news agency said that Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah spoke with the US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.  
  • He also had a phone discussion with Sigmar Gabriel, Germany's foreign minister, and Federica Mogherini, the European Union's foreign policy chief.
  • The diplomats discussed the latest regional and international developments, KUNA said. 

24 June 2017

9:30pm - Analyst: Bridging the Gulf gap to take months

  • Ibrahim Fraihat, associate professor in conflict management and humanitarian action at the Doha Institute, said that Qatar's response to the Saudi-UAE list of demands is "most likely going to be a very short document".
  • "With such high expectations and not very realistic demands I don't think there's much room to negotiate," he said.
  • "Because it's no longer about the issue of terrorism or the relationship with Iran - it's about much more than that. It's about media freedom, the right of the people in the region to receive information and people around the world to get information about the Middle East," he added.
  • Fraihat said the crisis is "serious", noting that there is a "huge gap" between the positions of the opposing sides.
  • "I think this will require very intensive diplomacy from Kuwait in order to bridge the gap, which is going to take not weeks, but months," he said.

5:21pm - El Salvador's FMLN calls for peaceful solution, expresses solidarity with Qatar

  • El Salvador's ruling Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) party has expressed its solidarity with Qatar in the current diplomatic crisis in the Gulf.
  • In a statement, FMLN called for a peaceful solution to the crisis through diplomatic and political channels. 

3:50pm - UAE: Gulf states do not seek 'regime change' in Qatar

  • UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash has said the Arab countries imposing a blockade on Qatar are not seeking to force out the country's leadership, but are willing to "part ways" if it does not agree to their list of demands.
  • Gargash told reporters in Dubai on Saturday that his country and its allies - Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bahrain - do not want "regime change" in Qatar, but "bahavioural change".
  • The comments come after the four countries presented a list of 13 demands to Qatar on Thursday, according to a report by the state-run Qatar News Agency.

7:10am - Demand to close Al Jazeera 'reflects jealousy' 

  • Palestinian journalist Daoud Kuttab said the "push by Arab states for the close of Al Jazeera and its affiliates appears to reflect jealousy and internal fighting rather than a demand regarding the network's content". 
  • In an opinion article in the Washington Post, Kuttab said it was "vitally important to keep the media out of the current Gulf content". 
  • He added: "Instead of trying to kill the messenger, the best way to respond to content that is unfavourable is to produce countering content".

2:00am - Demands neither reasonable nor actionable, says Qatar

  • The Qatari government's communications office has said in a statement that the demands submitted by four Arab states are neither reasonable or actionable.
  • The statement added that the "illegal blockade has nothing to do with combatting terrorism, it is about limiting Qatar's sovereignty, and outsourcing our foreign policy".

12:30am - Qatar confirms receipt of list of demands

  • Qatar's foreign ministry has said in a statement late on Friday that the country had received a list of demands from Saudi Arabia and its allies and it was studying the document in order to prepare an appropriate response to it.
  • The ministry said the answer would be handed over to Kuwait, a mediator in the Gulf crisis.

12:25am - Qatar's rights agency: 13-point ultimatum violates human rights agreements

  • National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) has said a 13-point list of demands submitted to Qatar contain conditions that violate human rights conventions and other relevant international and regional agreements.
  • Its statement on Friday said Saudi Arabia and its allies were demanding gross violations of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, the right to nationality and the right to asylum, which was against international law.
  • NHRC said lifting of the siege cannot be subject to restrictions or conditions and "it should therefore be lifted immediately and unconditionally".
  • It called on all international human rights organisations to take prompt action to end this illegal siege and to prevent the implementation of those conditions which are contrary to human rights conventions.
  • NHRC also urged Qatar not to accept those demands.

23 June 2017

11:20pm - UN aviation agency to hold hearing on Gulf airspace

  • Jassim bin Saif Al Sulaiti, Qatar's transport minister, said on Friday that the UN aviation agency would hold a special hearing on June 30 on Qatar's request to reopen Gulf airspace that is currently managed by the UAE.
  • Al Sulaiti met Fang Liu, the secretary-general of the International Civil Aviation Organisation, on Friday at its headquarters in Montreal, Canada.
  • He handed over a copy of a formal request for opening a permanent office of ICAO in Qatar and received an immediate approval.

10:30pm - White House: Gulf crisis is 'family issue'

  • The White House said on Friday the diplomatic crisis between Qatar and four Arab states is a "family issue" that the states should work out among themselves.
  • Sean Spicer, the White House spokesman, would not comment on specific demands that Saudi Arabia and its allies have placed on Qatar.
  • He said the US was willing to play a "facilitating role" in the discussion. But he said he was not going to get into the middle of the discussion.

10:20pm - The Guardian: Demand to shut down Al Jazeera is 'ridiculous'

  • A leading British publication, The Guardian, has published an editorial on Friday, refering in the headline to a demand by Saudi Arabia and its allies for Qatar to shut Al Jazeera Media Network as "muzzling journalism".
  • "This is ridiculous. Qatar's neighbours want to gag media that raises questions about the way these nations are run," the article said.
  • "Al-Jazeera is not perfect. Its Arabic outlet has been accused in the past of being antisemitic and partisan. It rarely criticises Qatar’s absolute monarchy. However, Qatar abolished formal censorship two decades ago."
  • "By comparison, in 2012 the UAE demanded David Cameron rein in adverse BBC coverage or it would halt lucrative arms deals."
  • "Abu Dhabi is a regional media player. The UAE's deputy prime minister owns Sky News Arabia, along with Rupert Murdoch's broadcaster. According to observers this station put out fake news about Qatar's ruler."

9:45pm - UK: Demands made of Qatar must be measured, realistic

  • Britain's foreign secretary has said that a major diplomatic crisis in the Gulf will end only when "measured and realistic" conditions are discussed, in comments made shortly after a 13-point ultimatum was reportedly issued by a Saudi-led bloc of countries that have cut ties with Qatar.
  • "Gulf unity can only be restored when all countries involved are willing to discuss terms that are measured and realistic," Boris Johnson said on Friday, according to a statement published by the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
  • "The UK calls upon the Gulf states to find a way of deescalating the situation and lifting the current embargo and restrictions which are having an impact on the everyday lives of people in the region," Johnson added.

9:17pm - UN offers to help resolve Gulf crisis

  • The United Nations on Friday offered to step in to help resolve a deepening crisis in the Gulf after Qatar was confronted with a list of demands from its neighbours.
  • "We hope that the countries involved resolve the situation through dialogue," said UN spokeswoman Eri Kaneko. "We are ready to assist if requested by the parties."
  • "We continue to follow the situation with deep concern. We are aware of reports of a list of demands on Qatar. We are not able to comment in detail on, or confirm such a list."

9pm - HRW: Demand to shut down Al Jazeera is 'cowardly censorship'

  • Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa director of Human Rights Watch, has said on Twitter: "The UAE and Saudi demand that Qatar shut down Al Jazeera doesn't just punish Qatar; it punishes the millions of Arabs in the region from important news coverage. This is just an attempted expansion of the cowardly censorship they have inflicted on their own citizens, but it will fail."

8:15pm - UAE envoy to US: Qatar measures 'there to stay'

  • Yousef al-Otaiba, the Emirati ambassador to the US, has said that Qatar will remain cut off from its neighbours if it refuses to consent to their list of demands.
  • He told the AP news agency the measures taken against Qatar "are there to stay until there is a long-term solution to the issue".
  • Still, he suggested the actions to pressure Qatar would remain economic and diplomatic. Otaiba said there was "no military element to this whatsoever".

8pm - Assange: 'Saudi's demands are foolish'

  • Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, has said on Twitter: "Saudi's demands are foolish and clearly will not be agreed to. Either the Saudi leadership is disturbed or this is a pretext for conflict."

6:45pm - Qatar envoy to US: Blockade on Qatar is a smokescreen

  • Sheikh Meshal bin Hamad Al-Thani, Qatar's ambassador to the US, said in an article published in Washington Post on Thursday that the allegations that Qatar supports "terrorism" and that it is a secret ally of Iran are just a smokescreen for an attempt to infringe upon Qatar's sovereignty and punish it for its independence.
  • "They know terrorism poses just as much of a threat to Qatar as it does to Saudi Arabia, the UAE and every other nation."
  • "The second big lie in this smear campaign is that Qatar is a secret ally of Iran. The Saudis, the UAE and every government in the Gulf maintain diplomatic and trade relations with Iran. In fact, Iran's biggest trading partner is the nation now leading the anti-Qatar blockade: the UAE. But more important, Qatar has been providing vital support to the opposition in Syria - which is battling against government forces allied with Iran."
  • Sheikh Meshal believes that the blockading nations are seeking to isolate and punish Qatar for its independence and "to retaliate against us for supporting the true aspirations of people against tyrants and dictators".

6:05pm - Al Jazeera: Call for closure siege against journalism

  • Al Jazeera Media Network has condemned a demand by Saudi Arabia and three other Arab countries to shut the media organisation, calling it "nothing short than a siege against the journalistic profession".
  • The network said in a statement on Friday that the move aimed "to silence the freedom of expression in the region and to suppress people's right to information and the right to be heard".
  • "We assert our right to practice our journalism professionally without bowing to pressure from any government or authority and we demand that governments respect the freedom of media to allow journalists to continue to do their jobs free of intimidation, threats, and fearmongering," it said.

5:30pm - Twitter users hit back at Saudi-bloc's list of demands

  • Almost immediately after the Saudi-led bloc's 13-point list of demands was made public on Friday, Twitter users began posting their reactions under the hashtag "the list is refused".
  • "Qatar refuses Saudi and the Emirates' conditions and answers them with this voice message," wrote one Twitter user, embedding a man singing an old Gulf song, asking his wife to "take your bag of clothes and leave my house for good" and telling her she has a "long tongue", implying she talks too much. 
  • Other Twitter users circulated a humourous list of counter demands for both the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

4:35pm - Al Jazeera calls on all governments to respect media freedom

  • Giles Trendle, the acting managing director of Al Jazeera English, said: "The roots of the demand to close Al Jazeera probably go back to 2011, to the time of the so called Arab Spring. We were covering those protests and we were providing a diversity of viewpoints, we were really the voice of the voiceless. I think there are some regimes in the region that don't appreciate that diversity of views. I think that's the reason for what's going on here."
  • "We are going to continue our editorial mission of covering the world news in a fair and balanced way. We call on all governments to respect media freedom. We hope other media organisations will support our call to defend media freedom."
  • "We are stunned by the demand to close Al Jazeera. Of course there has been talk about it in the past but it is still a great shock and surprise to actually see it in writing. It's as absurd as it would be for Germany to demand Britain to close the BBC."

3pm - Media watchdog slams demand to shut Al Jazeera

  • Reporters Without Borders, a non-profit organisation promoting press freedom, has condemned the demand by Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries to shut Al Jazeera network and other media outlets in Qatar.
  • "We are really worried about the implication and consequences of such requirements if it will ever be implemented," said Alexandra El Khazen, head of Middle East and North Africa desk at Reporters Without Borders.

2:10pm - UAE warns Qatar to take demands 'seriously'

  • The United Arab Emirates says that the diplomatic crisis in the Gulf would turn into a "divorce" with Qatar if Doha does not take a list with 13 demands seriously.
  • State Minister for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash also accused Qatar of leaking a document containing the demands by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt, which have cut diplomatic ties with the gas-rich state accusing it of sponsoring terror.
  • The demands have not been officially unveiled.

11:00am - Turkey dismisses demand to close Qatar base

  • Turkish Defence Minister Fikri Isik told Turkish broadcaster NTV that his country had no plans to review a 2014 agreement with Qatar which led to the base being set up.
  • His reaction comes after Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries boycotting Qatar over alleged support for "terrorism" reportedly issued a list of demands, including closing down the military installation.
  • "The base in Qatar is both a Turkish base and one that will preserve the security of Qatar and the region, Isik said, calling the demands "an interference in bilateral ties".

5:30am - Qatar's neighbours 'issue list of demands'

  • Arab states boycotting Qatar have reportedly issued a 13-point list of demands which include shutting down Al Jazeera Media Network and scaling back on ties with Iran.
  • In the list, obtained by The Associated Press and Reuters news agency, the countries reportedly also demand that Qatar sever all alleged ties with the Muslim Brotherhood, Hezbollah, al-Qaeda and ISIL among others. Qatar denies having ties to these goups.
  • The list adds that Qatar now has 10 days to comply with the demands without specifying the course of action if Qatar does not comply.

2:10am - Qatar rejects claim of supporting Syrian 'terror group'

  • Qatar has never supported Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, the Syrian group formerly known as the Nusra Front, or any other "terrorist group", its foreign minister says.
  • Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said in an interview with France 24 Arabic that Qatar had always "abided by international laws" and played a key role in the international coalition fighting ISIL.
  • The foreign minister added that he expects to receive a list of demands from Saudi Arabia and the UAE in the next two days, but stressed Qatar would not accept any "foreign dictations".

22 June 2017

7:50pm - Qatar slams remarks made by Libyan militia spokesman

  • Qatar on Thursday rejected and condemned the statement made by the so-called Colonel Ahmad Al Mismari, spokesman for Haftar's forces, which said Qatar intervened in the internal affairs and financed "terrorism" in Libya.
  • Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Rumaihi, spokesman of the foreign ministry, said Qatar's policy is based on clear and consistent principles of mutual respect between states and non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries.
  • Al-Rumaihi said that Mismari's statement is baseless, false and misleading allegations, referring to Haftar's force as the rogue and illegally funded armed militia, which he said is known for its crimes against civilians.

6:30pm - Qatar Airways seeks to buy stakes in American Airlines

  • Qatar Airways is attempting to buy a 10 percent stake in American Airlines, which has confirmed the move by filing for a required review by the US justice department's antitrust division.
  • American said in the regulatory filing onThursday that the bid was unsolicited, but that the CEOs of both airlines have spoken.
  • "The proposed investment by Qatar Airways was not solicited by American Airlines and would in no way change the Company's Board composition, governance, management or strategic direction," said American.

5pm - Qatar and France conduct joint naval exercises

  • Qatari Emiri Naval Forces and French Naval Forces conducted military trainings north of Qatar on Thursday.
  • Qatar's defence ministry said in a statement that the trainings included sailing in shallow water and refueling at sea.

4pm - Iran sends 1,100 tonnes of food to Qatar daily: report

  • Iran is shipping more than 1,000 tonnes of fruits and vegetables to Qatar every day after Gulf countries led by Saudi Arabia cut relations with Doha, Fars news agency quoted Mohammad Mehdi Bonchari, director of ports in Iran's Boushehr province, as saying on Thursday.
  • Iran began sending food to Qatar shortly after the Gulf crisis left the emirate without the land transport links it usually relies on to import food.
  • On June 11, Fars quoted the head of Iran's cattle exporting association as saying 66 tonnes of beef had been exported to Qatar, with another 90 tonnes of beef expected to follow.

11am - Turkey, Saudi Arabia discuss Qatar rift

  • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has spoken with Saudi Arabia's King Salman and its new crown prince over the phone on Wednesday.
  • They agreed to increase efforts to end tension related to Qatar, sources from Erdogan's office said.

4:00am - Qatari letter to Russia

  • Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani sent a written message to Russian President Vladimir Putin on the developments in the Gulf.
  • The message was received by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov during a meeting with Qatar's Ambassador to Russia Fahad Bin Mohammed Al Attiyah.

2:30am - Canadian-Qatari phone call

  • Qatar's Emir Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani held a telephone conversation with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to discuss the Gulf crisis.
  • Trudeau expressed his concern over the situation, stressing the need for "calm, dialogue based on facts, transparency and mutual respect", Qatar News Agency reported.

21 June 2017

11:00pm - Congratulations for Saudi crown prince

  • Qatar's Emir, whose country is facing a blockade by Saudi Arabia and its allies, has congratulated Mohammed bin Salman on his appointment as crown prince of Saudi Arabia, the state news agency QNA said.
  • Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani sent a cable to Prince Mohammed "wishing him success... for the good of the kingdom under the wise leadership of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques... and for more progress for brotherly relations between the two brotherly countries".

9:48pm - Turkey sends food stuff by sea

  • Turkey is sending food supplies to Qatar by sea on Wednesday to compensate for a recent embargo by Qatar's neighbour states, according to Turkey's economy minister.
  • In an exclusive interview with Anadolu Agency on Wednesday, Nihat Zeybekci said that nearly 105 cargo planes have already carried food from Turkey to Qatar.
  • "However, it is not economical [or sustainable] to send food stuff by plane," he said.
  • The minister stated that further shipments will follow Wednesday's batch, adding that the Turkish products started to be delivered also by land.
  • Zeybekci further said Turkey also began to ship more durable consumer goods and house maintenance requirements to Qatar.

9:43pm - Turkish and Qatari businessmen discuss trade opportunities

  • A delegation of Turkish businessmen met with their Qatari counterparts in Doha on Wednesday to discuss bilateral trade and economic relations amid Qatar's ongoing diplomatic crisis.
  • Fairuz Mohieddin, the CEO of a major Qatari company, told Anadolu Agency: "We have agreed with the Turkish delegation on a joint strategy for providing Qatar with whatever foodstuffs, medical supplies, and construction materials it needs."
  • "Qatar is facing serious shortages in the medical sector, for which it had largely depended on Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE," Turkish delegation member Atilla Kurucayirli told Anadolu Agency.
  • "The Turkish side wants to know Qatar's exact logistic needs and how to best carry out joint projects that will serve Qatar’s interests in the coming phase," he added.

9:10pm - US hopes for 'reasonable' list of demands to reach Qatar 

  • US State Secretary Rex Tillerson said on Wednesday Washington hopes that Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies will soon present Qatar a list of "reasonable and actionable" demands to move the diplomatic crisis toward a resolution.
  • "We understand a list of demands has been prepared and coordinated by the Saudis, Emiratis, Egyptians and Bahrainis," Tillerson said in a statement. "We hope the list of demands will soon be presented to Qatar and will be reasonable and actionable."
  • Tillerson said the US backs a Kuwaiti mediation effort aimed at resolving the crisis.

9pm - Trump discusses Gulf crisis with Saudi Arabia's new crown prince

  • The White House said on Wednesday that US President Donald Trump called Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to express their shared commitment to "cutting off all support for terrorists and extremists, as well as how to resolve the ongoing dispute with Qatar."
  • Trump and Mohammed bin Salman, who was elevated from deputy crown prince to crown prince earlier on Wednesday, also discussed efforts to achieve peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

6:30pm - Doha welcomes US stance on anti-Qatar blockade motives

  • Qatar has welcomed a statement by the United States questioning the motives behind a series of anti-Qatar measures imposed this month by several Arab countries, according to a report published in state media.
  • Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Rumaihi, spokesman for Qatar's foreign ministry, expressed Doha's "welcome" on Wednesday, a day after the US state department said it was "mystified" that Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and their allies had not released their claimed grievances about Qatar.

10am - Saudi Arabia deports Qatari camels

  • Saudi authorities expelled more than 12,000 camels and 5,000 sheep and their Qatari herders from its territory.
  • Some of the camels - each of them can be worth up to $75,000 - died after the border was closed because Saudi authorities would not allow their Qatari herders to retrieve them.

6:30am - Mohammed bin Salman named Saudi Arabia's crown prince

  • Mohammed bin Nayef bin Abdulaziz, 57, deposed as Saudi Arabia's crown prince.
  • Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud, 31, the son of Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, has been appointed in his place.
  • Bin Salman also named deputy prime minister, while maintaining post of minister of defence.

3:30am - UN chief backs Kuwait mediation initiative

  • United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says he thinks the most likely successful mediation of the row between Qatar and Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries should be regional - like the current effort led by Kuwait's emir.
  • Guterres, added, however, that if the United States gets involved in mediation, "that, of course, will be welcome if they are able to do so in an effective way".
  • Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al Sabah, the emir of Kuwait, said on Sunday that all parties in the dispute had a duty to preserve regional unity and called for dialogue to resolve the crisis.
  • In a speech, the emir said he hoped the remaining days of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan would create "the atmosphere for resolving unfortunate differences and ending the rift through dialogue and communication" in the Gulf.

20 June 2017

10:46pm - QNA hacking linked to states 'laying siege to Qatar'

Qatar's Attorney General Ali Bin Fetais al-Marri said in Doha on Tuesday: "Qatar has evidence that certain iPhones originating from countries laying siege to Qatar were used in the hack [of Qatar News Agency]".

He did not name the countries.

10:40pm - NHRC's chairman: Qatar's blockade is a new Berlin Wall

  • Qatar’s Chairman of National Rights Committee Ali bin Samikh al-Marri has said that the blockade imposed on his country is like a "new Berlin Wall".
  • Speaking at a European Parliament meeting in Brussels, Marri urged the body to visit the NHRC headquarters to see what he referred to as the suffering of Qatari citizens by the new regulations of Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
  • "This is not just a case of diplomatic ties being cut off," Marri said. "What is happening is not a boycott but an unjust blockade and a collective punishment for Qatar's citizens and residents."

9:22pm - US 'mystified' by Gulf states position towards Qatar

  • US state department has said it is "mystified" that Gulf States have not released details about their grievances towards Qatar more than two weeks after they imposed a blockade on the country.
  • Heather Nauert, the state department spokesperson, said in Tuesday's press briefing that the more time goes by "the more doubt is raised" about Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates anti-Qatar measures.
  • "At this point, we are left with one simple question: Were the actions really about their concerns regarding Qatar's alleged support for terrorism or were they about the long-simmering grievances between and among the GCC countries," she said, referring to the Gulf Cooperation Council.

6:44pm - UAE wants US, European monitors for any Qatar deal

  • Anwar Gargash, UAE's foreign minister, said in Brussels on Tuesday that "we do need to create some sort of monitoring system of Qatar's obligations".
  • He said he hoped US and European officials from countries like Britain, France and Germany could take part.
  • Gargash said he expects the crisis to drag on because "the Qataris are still in a state of denial".

5:06pm - Qatar reassures US about LNG exports stability

  • Qatar's finance minister told US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin during a trip to Washington last week that Qatar was committed to maintaining stability around its exports of liquefied natural gas to the global energy market, according to a statement by Qatar's government communication office.
  • "They discussed Qatar's efforts to counter terror financing... and Qatar's commitment to maintaining stability around its exports to the global energy market," the statement said.

2:50pm - Qatar sovereign fund deposited dollars in local banks 

  • Qatar's sovereign wealth fund made US dollar deposits in some local banks last week as a precaution after Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states cut diplomatic and transport ties with Doha, Qatari commercial bankers said.
  • One Qatar-based banker, whose own institution received funds, said new deposits in the banking system by the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) at the end of last week were believed to total several billion dollars. He described the deposits as "pre-emptive".
  • At a recent meeting between top commercial bank executives and central bank officials, the executives said they did not need dollar liquidity at present, the banker told Reuters news agency, declining to be named because of commercial sensitivities.

10:45am - Qatar FM to travel to US to discuss Gulf rift 

  • Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani, Qatar's foreign minister, said he plans to travel to the US next week to discuss the impact of restrictions on Qatar's economy.

1:50am - HRW delegation meets Qataris affected by blockade

  • A delegation from Human Rights Watch has met with officials from Qatar's National Human Rights Council (NHRC) and Qatari citizens affected by a blockade imposed by a Saudi-led bloc of neighbouring countries against Qatar.
  • During the meeting, which took place at the NHRC's headquarters, the delegation was informed about the legal and humanitarian consequences resulting from the moves against Qatar.
  • A large number of Qatari citizens listed their complaints, including violations of their right to education, right to own property, right to mobility and the right to family reunion. The NHRC says it has so far received more than 1,750 complaints.

19 June 2017

11:36pm - Sudanese president in Saudi for talks on Gulf rift

  • Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir has arrived in Saudi Arabia for talks with Saudi King Salman bin Abdul Aziz on the Gulf crisis and means of resolving it
  • Sudanese Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour said that Bashir will reiterate his support to the Kuwaiti mediation efforts to solve the crisis, stressing that Khartoum will exert all efforts to bridge the gap between the GCC states.

11:06pm - EU calls for 'direct dialogue' in Gulf crisis

  • The European Union has urged Gulf countries to "de-escalate the tensions and to engage in direct dialogue" and called for "no unilateral steps" following a major diplomatic fallout in the region.
  • "Any difficulty, any tension, can be and must be resolved at a table, discussing, in dialogue, finding common ways, and politically," Federica Mogherini, the EU foreign affairs head, told reporters in Luxembourg on Monday.
  • "The region is already fragile enough, dangerous enough, and we are starting to see dangerous spill-overs already both in the broader region but also in Africa and in Asia," she added.
  • "There are worrying signals, so we really invite all to find a way to solve any tension, any controversies, at a table, discussing through dialogue, politically, without exacerbating tensions. It is always possible and even more so has to be possible among countries that belong to the Gulf Cooperation Countries."

10:05pm - Egyptian, Abu Dhabi leaders meet

  • Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan have met in Egypt's capital, Cairo.
  • "Both sides stressed the importance of all Arab states and the international community fighting terrorism, especially stopping the funding of terrorist groups and providing political and media cover," Sisi's office said in a statement.
  • The statement did not refer to Qatar, which both Egypt and the United Arab Emirates blame for supporting armed groups.

7:55pm - How the Gulf crisis played out online

  • The recent short-term suspension of Al Jazeera Arabic's Twitter account highlights the fact that a major part of the commentary rumours and backlash on the Gulf crisis took place online. 
  • Here is a look back at the tweets, hashtags and Instagram drama that dominated the ongoing Gulf tensions.

7:55pm - ANOC: Politics and sports must stay separate 

  • The Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) on Monday expressed concern about the diplomatic crisis revolving around Qatar, saying that politics and sports must stay separate.
  • Switzerland-based organisation said: "ANOC today expressed its hope that the international sports movement in Qatar would not be endangered by the geopolitical situation in the Gulf region." 
  • Qatar has hosted big sports events in recent years, as well last last year's ANOC assembly. Future events in the country include the world athletics championships 2019 and the 2022 football World Cup.

7pm - Qatar to file complaint against two news channels

  • State-run Qatar News Agency instructed on Monday a law firm to file a formal complaint with Ofcom, Britain's telecommunications regulator, against two news channels for their coverage of Qatar.
  • The British law firm, Carter-Ruck, will be raising concerns regarding Sky's Abu Dhabi-based subsidiary, Sky News Arabia, and the Saudi-owned Dubai-based Al-Arabiya news channel.

6:10pm - Qatar Airways CEO: blockade will leave lasting wound

  • The top executive of Qatar Airways has warned that the blockade imposed on his country by neighbouring Gulf countries "will leave a lasting wound."
  • Akbar Al Baker told The Associated Press news agency on Monday that he expected US President Donald Trump to intervene "to make sure that this blockade is lifted soonest...especially since he knows that we are part of his alliance against terrorism."

5:45pm - Qatar FM: We won't negotiate until blockade is lifted

  • Qatar's foreign minister said that Doha will not negotiate with Arab states that have cut economic and travel ties with the country unless they reverse their measures.
  • "Qatar is under blockade, there is no negotiation. They have to lift the blockade to start negotiations," Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani told reporters in Doha on Monday.
  • "Until now we didn't see any progress about lifting the blockade, which is the precondition for anything to move forward," he said.

1:35pm - UAE minister says Qatar's blockade could 'last years'

  • Anwar Gargash, UAE's minister of foreign affairs, said Qatar's diplomatic isolation could "last years".
  • "We do not want to escalate, we want to isolate," Gargash told journalists during a visit to Paris.
  • Gargash added that Qatar must abandon what he called its support for "extremist Islamists" before a solution can be brokered.

1:30pm - Expulsion of Qataris from Gulf states comes into effect

  • The deadline for Qataris to leave neighbouring Gulf Arab states has come into effect as the diplomatic standoff persists despite multiple mediation efforts.
  • Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain cut ties with Qatar on June 5 and announced that Qatari residents would have 14 days to leave. The deadline was Monday.
  • Officials later clarified there would be exceptions for mixed-nationality families in the Gulf.

11:15am - Iraq PM heads to Saudi Arabia to foster regional reconciliation 

  • Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is travelling to Saudi Arabia on Monday, in the first leg of a Middle East tour that will also include Iraq and Kuwait, his office said. 
  • Abadi's visit to Saudi Arabia aims to promote reconciliation between the two countries. 
  • Abadi was due to visit Riyadh last week, but postponed his trip to avoid appearing to take sides in the diplomatic dispute. 

9:36am - '100 complaints a day': Qatar rights body highlights human cost of blockade

  • Qatar's National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) said it has received more than "100 complaints a day" by people who have been affected by the ongoing rift between Qatar and the GCC states that have imposed a blockade on the country. 
  • "In the first week we had 700 complaints. In the last four or five days the numbers have risen significantly," NHRC's Saad al-Abdulla told Al Jazeera. 
  • The NHRC said many of the complainants have been forced to abandon businesses and careers built across borders.

8:34am - 'GCC social-fabric being torn apart'

  • Sheikh Saif bin Ahmed Al Thani, director of Qatar government's communications office, said on Sunday that the humanitarian impact of the blockade imposed on Qatar by Saudi Arabia and its allies "is real". 
  • Al Thani said: "The social-fabric of [the] GCC population is being torn apart for political reasons and we will not allow ourselves to be a party to this injustice." 
  • He added that the countries that have imposed the blockade "are using terrorism as a publicity stunt". 

3:04am - Qatar economy minister: Business unaffected by blockade

  • Qatar's minister of economy and commerce says trade in the country is running as usual despite a land, air and sea embargo imposed by a Saudi-lec bloc of neighbouring countries.
  • Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim bin Mohamed Al Thani said in an interview with Qatar TV on Sunday that authorities responded quickly to the closure of the borders by getting products through sea and other means.
  • The minister called the moves against Qatar unjustified and said that many Qatari businessmen, who have warehouses and factories in the countries that imposed the blockade, are now finding it difficult to travel or manage their businesses.

12:05am - Turkish troops arrive in Qatar for military exercise

  • Qatar's defence ministry says a group of Turkish soldiers have arrived in the capital, Doha, to take part in joint military exercises.
  • It said the forces conducted their first training at the Tariq bin Ziyad military base. 
  • The exercises, which had been long planned, are part of a mutual agreement aimed at strengthening the defence capabilities of both sides, as well as boosting efforts to combat armed groups and maintaining stability in the region.

18 June 2017

10:30pm - Emir of Kuwait hopes to resolve dispute before Eid 

  • The Emir of Kuwait has said he hopes to resolve the diplomatic dispute between three Gulf states and Qatar during the last ten days of Ramadan.
  • "In this great month and its holy nights we hope to overcome the latest developments in our Gulf home and ... fix the rift through dialogue and communication," he said. 
  • "We should do this based on the deeply rooted historical ties, family relations, and shared interests that gather the states of the GCC and their peoples".

10:05pm - Bahrain cancels scheduled visit of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

  • Bahrain has postponed the scheduled visit of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, days after he criticised the Arab Gulf state's blockade on Qatar.
  • Abdulla al-Doseri, Bahrain's assistant foreign minister, wrote on his Twitter account that due to "technical and logistical reasons, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights' (OHCHR) visit to Bahrain has been postponed until further notice". 
  • On Wednesday, Zeid said he was "alarmed about the possible impact on many people's human rights", following a decision by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt to cut diplomatic and economic ties with Qatar. He added that it was "becoming clear that the measures being adopted are overly broad in scope and implementation". 

7:00pm - Qatar won't cut gas to UAE - Qatar Petroleum CEO

  • Qatar will not cut off gas to the United Arab Emirates despite a diplomatic dispute and a "force majeure" clause in its contract, Saad Sherida al-Kaabi, the chief executive of Qatar Petroleum has told Al Jazeera.
  • Al-Kaabi said that although there was a "force majeure" clause in the agreement on the Dolphin gas pipeline - which pumps around 2 billion cubic feet of gas per day to the UAE -Qatar would not stop supplies for other reasons.
  • "The siege we have today is a force majeure and we could close the gas pipeline to the UAE," he said. But if we cut the gas, it does great harm to the UAE and the people of the UAE, who are considered like brothers ... we decided not to cut the gas now."

5:04pm - Bahrain orders Qatari troops to leave coalition fighting ISIL: source

  • Bahrain has ordered Qatari troops serving in a coalition fighting against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, ISIS) group to leave its territory, the AFP news agency has reported.
  • The soldiers, part of the US Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) which is headquartered in Bahrain, had been asked to leave the coalition and may depart within the next 48 hours, a source told AFP.
  • "The Bahrainis told the US general in command of the base that Qatari soldiers must leave," the source said. "They are still in the base but likely to leave within the next two days."

3pm - Qatar concludes military exercise with US

  • Qatar's defence ministry has announced on Sunday that its troops have wrapped up joint exercise with the US forces in Al-Galayel field.
  • The exercise was conducted by three units: the joint Special Forces represented by the special mobile force, special operations and special navy, in conjunction with the Qatari Emiri Air Force represented by the transport wing, the helicopter squadron and US special forces, to achieve the principle of joint action.
  • The exercise was attended by Commander of the Joint Special Forces Brigadier General Hamad Abdullah Al Fetais Al Marri, representative of the US Embassy Brigadier David Parr and high-ranking officers from the Qatari Armed Forces and the US forces.

2:30pm - Qatar riyal quoted below peg but no threat of devaluation

  • Qatar's riyal is being quoted weaker than its peg against the US dollar. The riyal, officially fixed at 3.64 to the dollar since 2001, has been offered as low as 3.6680 since the Gulf crisis started on June 5.
  • The central bank has $34.5bn of net foreign reserves and the government may have more than $200bn of additional liquid assets in its sovereign wealth fund. So for now, Qatar seems in no danger of running out of money to defend the peg.
  • "There is no reason for the riyal to be de-pegged in the short term," said the Qatari banker. "They have enough resources."

11:38am - Qatar hopes for European support in Gulf crisis

  • Saud bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, Qatar's ambassador to Germany, told DPA news agency: "The conflict has to be solved within the GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council]. But we need a strong message from our friends in Germany and Europe, that everybody has to sit down at the table."
  • "Students from Qatar had to leave Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates two weeks before the exam. Due to the closure of the border to neighbouring countries, families are separated from each other," he said. "You should not forbid people to travel."
  • He pointed out that the UAE gets 40 per cent of its gas from Qatar, a resource-rich yet tiny emirate. "But we haven't closed the gas pipelines because we don't want the situation to deteriorate."

11:29am - No interruption to Qatar gas supply to UAE expected

  • The chief executive of Sharjah National Oil Corp, UAE's state-owned oil and gas firm, said on Sunday he does not expect flows of natural gas from Qatar to the United Arab Emirates to be interrupted by the diplomatic dispute in the region.
  • "We have not seen any impact yet on the gas side with regards to Qatar...The pipeline between Abu Dhabi and Qatar has not been impacted," Hatem Al-Mosa said. "We have not seen and do not expect to see any disuption of gas supplies from the Dolphin pipeline."
  • The Dolphin gas pipeline links Qatar's North Field with the UAE and Oman, and was the first cross-border gas project in the Gulf Arab region. It pumps about 2bn cubic feet of gas per day to the UAE.

8am - Qatar still waiting for list of grievances

  • Qatar has yet to see any demands from Saudi Arabia and its allies as they continue an embargo on the country, according to Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani.
  • "So far Kuwait [the mediator] hasn't received any demands from any Gulf Cooperation Council nations or even a list of the so-called accusations. We're just confused about what these demands could be," Sheikh Mohammed said on Saturday in an interview with Qatar TV.
  • "The fact that they don't even have clear demands ready shows that all of their accusations are baseless," he said.

3am - Protesters in Istanbul condemn anti-Qatar measures

  • Turkish demonstrators took to the streets of Istanbul on Saturday to express their solidarity with Qatar against the blockade and severing of ties by three Gulf states.
  • The group gathered in front of Qatar's general consulate in Istinye in the European side of the city.
  • Fatih Kaya, head of the Public Special Operations Association, expressed strong condemnation of the charges directed at by the blockade countries.
  • He praised Qatar's efforts and support for Turkey during "difficult times", adding that this calls for solidarity with Qatar and "returning the favour".

12:20am - TRT reporter, cameraman covering Turkish FM's Saudi visit 'briefly detained'

  • Saudi Arabia detained a Pakistani journalist and his Turkish cameraman working for Turkey's state-run English language television channel for some 10 hours on Friday, according to a statement by reporter Hasan Abdullah.
  • TRT's Abdullah and cameraman Nihat Yayman were in Saudi Arabia to cover a visit by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, who held talks with Saudi King Salman as part of mediation efforts to defuse the ongoing diplomatic crisis in the Gulf.
  • The two TRT workers were detained by Saudi authorities at their hotel in Mecca after a live television appearance, and were asked questions about the row, Abdullah's statement said.
  • "We had been there with official 'Special Visa' to cover the Turkey-Saudi meeting. The ordeal lasted nearly 10 hours during which we faced multiple interrogations and lock-up," it said.

17 June 2017

11:01pm - Paris demonstrators demand end to Qatar blockade

  • Protesters gathered in France's capital, Paris, to call for the lifting of a land, air and sea blockade imposed by Gulf states on Qatar.
  • The demonstrators at Place de la Republique said the blockade is a flagrant violation of human rights and amounts to collective punishment.
  • The protest came a day after Ali Bin Smaikh al-Marri, chairman of Qatar's National Human Rights Committee (NHRC),  called on the UN Human Rights Council to condemn the blockade as it infringes upon the rights of more than 13,000 citizens of the Arab countries involved.
  • According to a report released by NHRC on Thursday, the actions taken by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, along with Egypt, separated mothers from their children in some cases. Hundreds of complaints were submitted to the NHRC by email, phone and hotlines, or personal visits to its headquarters in Qatar's capital, Doha.

8:44pm - Protest outside UAE embassy in London in solidarity with Qatar 

  • Demonstrators gathered outside the United Arab Emirates (UAE) embassy in Britain's capital, London, to protest against an ongoing embargo of Qatar by the UAE, Saudi Arabia and others.
  • The protesters denounced the land, air and sea blockade imposed on Qatar by its Gulf neighbours amid the region's worst diplomatic crisis in years.
  • A spokesman for the demonstrators called the embargo a human rights violation and urged the Gulf states to negotiate a peaceful solution to the dispute.
  • "The blockade on Qatar contravenes international law," read one placard held by the protesters outside the UAE embassy.
  • "We have to say to [US President Donald] Trump, we have to say to the government of Saudi Arabia and to the Emiratis that you will not be successful," a demonstrator said.

8:30pm - Analyst: Crisis exposes GCC weakness

  • Sultan Barakat, an academic from the Center for Conflict and Humanitarian Studies at the Doha Institute, says the intervention of outside countries aimed at defusing the crisis makes the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) look weak.
  • "Given the relations between Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates through the council, this should have been presented months ago, never mind weeks ago," Barakat said. "It should have been dealt privately first - those issues should had been handed to Qatar to debate - and then if it was not resolved they could had escalated the issues."
  • Barakat said the situation has not been handled properly.
  • "I think the embargo has been very damaging, both for Qatar and for the rest of the Gulf states, and now to see other nations coming from outside the region trying to resolve the issue with them doesn't look good either."

8:08pm - Turkey sent 5,000 tonnes of food to Qatar

  • Turkey's Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci says his country has airlifted 5,000 tonnes of foodstuff to Qatar to help ease the embargo imposed by its neighbours amid a major diplomatic crisis.
  • Speaking to Turkish TV on Saturday, Zeybekci said trucks were also on the way. 
  • "Our shipments via sea route will also begin this weekend," he said. "Turkey could supply all the humanitarian needs of Qatar."

6:29pm - Erdogan calls for Gulf crisis resolution

  • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has renewed a call for the full removal of a Saudi-led blockade imposed on Qatar and appealed to Saudi Arabia to bring a quick end to the crisis through dialogue.
  • "I believe that the Saudi King has the ability to resolve this crisis quickly. I truly hope it will be resolved before Eid al-Fitr, because it is not appropriate for the Islamic world to be subjected to such a division among its nations. We have the ability to solve these problems through dialogue," he said during a speech at the Turkish Exporters Assembly meeting in Istanbul.
  • "We, here in Turkey, have sought to take a fair stand from the very first moment of the Qatari crisis," Erdogan added. "We have clearly stated that the accusations against Qatar are not true and that the blockade imposed based on these allegations is unfair."

4:30pm - Qatar: No shortage of medicines, medical supplies

  • A land, air and sea blockade imposed on Qatar by a number of Gulf countries has not impacted services in the country's hospitals, health officials said, adding that there is no shortage of medicines or medical supplies. 
  • Ali Abdullah Al Khater, executive director of corporate communications Department at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), said in a statement to Qatar News Agency that medicines and other important medical supplies can last for many months.
  • If some of the supply routes are stopped, HMC will find new providers of medicines and medical supplies, he added.

2:15pm - Qatar rejects allegations it attempted to destabilise Bahrain

  • Qatar has rejected accusations that it attempted to undermine the security in Bahrain. 
  • Bahrain's official BNA news agency accused Doha of meddling with the country's internal affairs with the aim of "overthrowing" the regime after broadcasting a phone call on Friday allegedly between an adviser to Qatar's emir at the time and the leader of Bahrain's opposition Shia Al-Wefaq movement. 
  • In response, the Qatari foreign ministry said in a statement on Saturday that the phone call was part of Qatari efforts to mediate between the Bahraini authorities and opposition in the wake of the 2011 unrest in Bahrain. It added the contacts had  been made "with the approval and knowledge of the authorities in Bahrain".
  • The ministry also called the broadcast of the phone call a "naive attempt to twist the facts and take them out of context".

7:20am - Grievances list 'signals Saudi Arabia not intending to escalate the conflict'

  • Tamara Kharroub, a senior analyst and assistant executive director at the Arab Center in Washington, DC, said the fact that Saudi Arabia says it is preparing a list of grievances rather than demands could signal it "is not intending to escalate the crisis any further".
  • Kharroub said it is "unlikely that [there will be] a list of demands any more".

1:04am - Cavusoglu in 'positive' Saudi talks on Gulf crisis

  • Mevlut Cavusoglu, Turkey's foreign minister, held talks in Saudi Arabia on Friday with King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, continuing mediation efforts to resolve the Gulf's biggest diplomatic crisis in years.
  • Diplomatic sources told the AFP news agency that "the meeting was positive", but there were no further specifics.

12:02am - Tillerson cancels Mexico trip to work on Qatar crisis

  • US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has cancelled his scheduled trip to an Organization of American States meeting in Mexico next week to focus on efforts to defuse the diplomatic crisis in the Gulf.
  • State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Tillerson would stay to work the phones to try to convince Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates to settle their differences.
  • Tillerson "will continue his efforts to de-escalate tensions in the Middle East region through in-person meetings and phone conversations with Gulf and regional leaders," she said in a brief statement.

16 June 2017

21:53pm - Turkish president discusses Gulf crisis with Qatar's emir, French leader

  • Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has held a trilateral phone conversation with Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani and French President Emmanuel Macron, according to Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency.

  • The three leaders exchanged views on the Qatar-Gulf crisis with a focus on immediately easing tension in the region, a source in Turkey's presidency, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media, told Anadolu.

21:05pm - Saudi, allies working on list of Qatar 'grievances'

  • Saudi Arabia's foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir said Qatar should respond to demands to halt its support for "extremism and terrorism" which, he said, were being made by the whole world and not just Gulf states.

  • Speaking to journalists in London, he said his government and its allies were working on a list of "grievances" which would be presented soon.

  • "We are working on those with our Bahraini, Emirati and Egyptian partners in order to compile this list and present it to the Qataris, and I think it will be done fairly soon."

18:57pm - Turkish FM in Saudi Arabia for Gulf crisis talks

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu arrived in Saudi Arabia for talks with King King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, as part of mediation efforts to resolve the Gulf's biggest diplomatic crisis in years.

Cavusoglu was to travel from Jeddah to the holy city of Mecca where the king is based for the last days of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

His visit comes after holding talks in Kuwait with his counterpart Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al Sabah on Thursday to push mediation efforts.

17:55pm - Gulf 'artificial' crisis can end quickly, says Turkey

Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus says the Gulf diplomatic rift can be quickly solved because there are no grounds to the crisis.

“This is completely an artificial crisis," he told reporters in the northern Black Sea province of Ordu. 

"This crisis has no basis, no socio-political background…We wish for the crisis to be resolved quicker than other crises."

3:32pm - Qatar blockade 'worse than Berlin Wall'

  • Qatar's National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) has called for a United Nations fact-finding mission to document violations due to a Saudi-led bloc blockade of Qatar.
  • Speaking in Geneva, NHRC chairman Ali Bin Smaikh al-Marri urged the UN Human Rights Council to condemn the blockade as it infringes upon the rights of more than 13,000 citizens of the four Arab Gulf countries involved.
  • "These procedures [blockade] are worse than the Berlin Wall," Marri said. "Families have been separated. In one instance, a Saudi man died in Qatar. His sons were prevented by Saudi authorities to bring the body back home so Qatar took the responsibility to bury him."

12:35pm - Qatar human rights watchdog takes diplomatic case to Geneva 

  • The chairman of Qatar's National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) is in Geneva to urge the UN human rights body to take action over what its says are violations caused by the Gulf embargo of the country. 
  • NHRC said it has received reports of at least 764 human rights violations since the blockade began 10 days ago. 

7am - Turkish FM: Qatar does not want crisis to continue

  • Mevlut Cavusolgu also underlined that Qatar does want to be provided with evidence of the accusations levelled against the country.
  • The Turkish foreign minister is expected travel to Saudi Arabia on Friday for talks with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz about the crisis.

5am - Saudi: Gulf rift can't be resolved at UN aviation agency 

  • Saudi Arabia said the rift with Qatar was a bigger political issue than airspace rights and could not be resolved at the UN's aviation agency. Qatar asked the International Civil Aviation Organization to intervene after its Gulf neighbours closed their airspace to Qatar flights last week as part of economic sanctions.
  • Saudi Transport Minister Suleiman al-Hamdan told ICAO members "this is something that's bigger than ICAO," according to a source who talked to Reuters news agency.

12:40am - British PM urges Gulf states to ease tensions

  • British Prime Minister Theresa May called on "all sides to urgently de-escalate the situation, engage meaningfully in dialogue, and restore Gulf Cooperation Council unity at the earliest possible opportunity", her spokesperson said in a statement.
  • May's office said she spoke with the leaders of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar on Thursday evening.

15 June 2017

11pm - Iraqi PM postpones visit to Saudi Arabia

  • Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi postponed Wednesday's trip to Saudi Arabia "so that it would not be considered as supporting one side against the other" in the rift between the kingdom and Qatar, Jabbar al-Abadi, a lawmaker close to Abadi, told Reuters on Thursday.

  • Abadi's office confirmed that the visit, during which Abadi was to meet with Saudi King Salman, was postponed, possibly to next week, without giving a reason.

10:50pm - US secretary of state discusses Qatar with Oman's FM

  • Oman's Foreign Minister Yousuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah has received a call from US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Thursday in which the two officials discussed the Gulf Cooperation Council crisis among other topics, according to the statement by Oman's foreign ministry read out on Omani state TV.

  • Abdullah stressed the importance of supporting Kuwait's efforts to resolve the crisis between Qatar and its neighbours through diplomacy.

  • He also said that Oman was "confident that brothers in the GCC states have the desire to overcome this crisis and activate the GCC system to achieve the prospective aims, and serve the joint interests of the GCC peoples and maintain the security and stability of the region".

10pm - Q-Post urges UPU to intervene in Gulf crisis

  • Qatar Postal Service Company (Q-Post) has sent a written notice to Universal Postal Union (UPU) informing them about the suspension of postal services with Qatar by the UAE, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, which is a violation of UPU's constitution and agreements.

  • Q-Post said the anti-Qatar measures had a significant impact on the daily life of millions of citizens and residents of the country, who were unfairly targeted by the one-sided decision of stopping services.

  • "We look forward to working effectively with the UPU in a manner consistent with the spirit and systems of the UPU," Faleh Mohamed Al Naemi, Q-Post's chairman and managing director, said in a statement to Qatar News Agency (QNA).

9:30pm - Kuwait: Gulf crisis began to dissipate

  • The Gulf crisis has begun to dissipate thanks to mediation efforts by Kuwait's Emir, a prominent member of Kuwait's royal family said on Thursday.

  • "I am sure this storm will pass peacefully to the benefit of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)," Sheikh Salem al-Ali al-Sabah, who is also head of Kuwait's National Guard, was quoted as saying on Thursday by Kuwait's Al-Seyassah newspaper.

  • "His majesty's swift response [to the crisis] shows the Emir's keenness to achieve reconciliation between brothers," he was quoted as saying.

6:36pm - Qatar's Emir discusses Gulf crisis with Merkel

  • Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani on Thursday held a telephone conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, discussing the developments of the Gulf crisis among other topics.

  • Merkel stressed during the call the need to solve the crisis through dialogue, pointing to Germany's efforts to lift the blockade and voicing concern towards the potential repercussions of any escalation on the whole region.

6:21pm - Gulf crisis a 'blessing in disguise' for Qatar seaport

  • The Gulf crisis initially halted much traffic to Qatar's main seaport, Hamad Port, and raised fears of food and other shortages. 

  • But after launching new direct shipping routes to cope with the crisis, port officials say the worst is over and the episode may even help gas-rich Qatar seal new transport deals that do not rely on Gulf neighbours. 

  • "It's a blessing in disguise," a port official said as cargo was unloaded on Wednesday. "We're looking at signing agreements with shipping companies that can improve direct services instead of having to come through Jebel Ali" in Dubai.

6pm - Qatar: Gulf crisis has no impact on World Cup preparations

  • Qatar said on Thursday a rift with fellow Gulf Arab states that included economic sanctions on Doha had not affected its preparations to host the 2022 World Cup, adding that alternative sources for construction materials had been secured.

  • "I can confirm to everybody that there is absolutely no impact on the progress of work in the Mondial facilities and that work is proceeding normally," said Ghanim al-Kuwari, executive director at the Qatari committee overseeing preparations for the World Cup.

5pm - Turkish FM holds talks in Kuwait, heads to Saudi Arabia next

  • Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Thursday held talks in Kuwait with his counterpart Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Sabah to push mediation efforts aimed at resolving a standoff between a Saudi-led alliance and Qatar.
  • Ahead of the talks, Cavusoglu told a press conference that he will travel to the holy city of Mecca on Friday for talks with King Salman.
  • "Although the kingdom is a party in this crisis, we know that King Salman is a party in resolving it. We want to hear the views of Saudi Arabia regarding possible solutions and will share with them our views in a transparent way ... We pay a great attention to our relations with them," he said.

4:30pm - Global lenders support Qatari banks hit by Gulf rift

  • A few large Asian, European and US banks are providing funds to help to keep Qatari banks running smoothly after a diplomatic rift has dried up financing from the UAE, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, banking sources told Reuters news agency.
  • "We're unscathed so far," one Qatari banker said. "The panic has eased as we've been able to continue receiving funding, though there's certainly no complacency about the risks that remain."
  • He said his bank had borrowed over $100m in unsecured three-year financing from a European bank and obtained six-month deposits from Asian and European banks in the two weeks since the crisis erupted. US banks were still trading through bilateral and repo lines, he said.

4:15pm - 'At least 13,314 people's rights were directly violated'

  • Qatar's National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) has announced that at least 13,314 people were directly affected by anti-Qatar measures taken by its neighbours.
  • NHRC said in a report published on Thursday that it documented the violations against the citizens of Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE, including family separations, violations to the right to travel, education, work, freedom of opinion, residency and ownership.
  • The Committee recorded roughly 764 complaints for various types of violations between June 5 and June 12.

4pm - Philippines lifts labour ban on Qatar-bound workers

  • The Philippine government on Thursday lifted a temporary deployment ban - imposed on June 6 and partially lifted a day later - on overseas Filipino labourers travelling to Qatar for work.
  • Labour Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the decision to fully lift the moratorium was made after consultations with the Department of Foreign Affairs and the endorsement of the Philippine Overseas Labour Office (POLO).
  • Bello also said the Qatari government had guaranteed the safety of the approximately 240,000 Filipinos in the country.

1:30pm - UN agency to assess airspace closure against Qatar

  • The International Civil Aviation Organization said it would host talks of ministers and senior officials from Qatar, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt at its Montreal headquarters on Thursday.
  • The talks would seek a "consensus-based solution" that addressed "current regional concerns".

9:30am - Infographic: Sharing the world's largest gas field

  • Energy production from the world's largest gas field ties Iran and Qatar in a working relationship. Here's Qatar's North Dome and Iran's South Pars field at a glance. 

7:20am - Two US Navy vessels arrive in Qatar

  • The vessels will participate in a joint exercise with the Qatari Emiri Navy, the Ministry of Defense's Directorate of Moral Guidance said on Wednesday.
  • The move comes just days after US President Donald Trump accused Qatar of being "a funder of terrorism at a very high level".

3:30am - France's Macron in Morocco to discuss Qatar crisis 

  • "The king of Morocco shares our concern: France would like to see the countries talking again and for the Gulf to remain stable, not least because these states are stakeholders in the crises in Syria and Libya," French President Emmanuel Macron said in Morocco.

3am - Turkey FM urges dialogue to solve Qatar crisis     

  • "This absolutely needs to be overcome," Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told Anadolu after talks with Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani in Doha as well as Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani.
  • "This needs to be overcome through dialogue and through peace. Turkey will also make its contribution. God willing, we will overcome this and we are working to overcome this. This is the purpose of these visits."

2am - UN chief lauds Kuwait for mediation efforts 

  • UN Secretary-General Antonito Guterres has expressed support for Kuwait's efforts to de-escalate tension and promote dialogue over the Qatar crisis, his spokesman Stephane Dujarric said. 
  • He confirmed Guterres spoke on Wednesday with Kuwait's Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al Hamad Al Sabah about the situation. 

12:50am - US and Qatar seal $12bn deal for F-15 fighter jets

  • Qatar's Defence Minister Khalid bin Mohammed Al-Attiyah and US defence secretary James Mattis signed the deal in Washington, DC.
  • Al-Attiyah said the agreement underscores the "commitment in advancing our military cooperation for closer strategic collaboration in our fight to counter violent extremism".
  • "Qatar and the United States have solidified their military cooperation by having fought together side by side for many years now in an effort to eradicate terrorism and promote a future of dignity and prosperity," he added.

12:40am - UN aviation agency to assess Gulf airspace closure, host states in Montreal talks

  • The United Nations aviation agency said on Wednesday it was reviewing a request from Qatar to intervene after its Gulf neighbours closed airspace to nation amid the worst diplomatic row in the region in years.
  • The International Civil Aviation Organization said would host talks of ministers and senior officials from Qatar, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt at its Montreal headquarters on Thursday to help find a "consensus-based solution" that addressed "current regional concerns".

00:20am - Tillerson: Blacklisting Muslim Brotherhood problematic

  • "There are elements of the Muslim Brotherhood that have become parts of governments," US Secretary of State Rex said, pointing out parliaments in Bahrain and Turkey as examples.
  • "Those elements... have done so by renouncing violence and terrorism," he said.
  • "So in designating the Brotherhood in its totality as a terrorist organisation… I think you can appreciate the complexities this enters into our relations with [governments in the region]."

14 June 2017

11pm - Gulf dispute tops agenda of France-Morocco talks

  • French President Emmanuel Macron has travelled to Morocco for talks on battling terrorism as well as the Libyan conflict and Qatar's dispute with its Gulf neighbours.
  • "President Macron has spoken with all the heads of state of the region and called for appeasement. This efforts could converge with the mediation that Morocco wants to attempt."
  • A French diplomatic source said "the priority is to help resolve the crisis".

9:30pm - Qatari businesses find new suppliers due to Gulf boycott

  • Businesses in Qatar say they are pulling the plug on UAE and Saudi contracts, and don't expect to resume them even if the diplomatic storm blows over.
  • "We are not working with them again. They didn't honour their agreements. Our products are being held up there," said Ahmed al-Khalaf, chairman of International Projects Development Co and owner of a Qatari meat processing plant that imports materials from the UAE.
  • "We may not have many factories in Qatar but we have the money to buy from other sources."
  • Millions of dollars of other goods and materials also come every month via Dubai's Jebel Ali port which serves as a major re-export hub for the Gulf.

9pm - Turkey's foreign and economy ministers arrive in Doha

  • Turkey's Foreign Minister MevlutCavusoglu praised the "wise and calm manner" in which Qatar has handled the Gulf crisis.
  • "All those we spoke to expressed their respect and appreciation of the Qatari position towards this crisis as well as Qatar's ideal handling of the crisis, for which it earned the respect of all," he said.
  • Cavusoglu noted that Turkey is exerting its utmost efforts to find solutions to this crisis.

6pm - Qatar National Bank sees no significant outflow of deposits

  • Qatar National Bank (QNB), the largest lender in the Middle East and Africa had also not seen any impact on its overall group operations from its business in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, the bank said in emailed answers to questions.
  • Last week, the UAE central bank urged banks in the UAE to act with caution in dealing with six Qatari lenders, including QNB.

5:30pm - Media blocks against Qatar violate free speech: HRW

  • Human Rights Watch has condemned the action taken by several Arab countries to block media outlets that have ties to Qatar or sympathise with the country as a "violation of freedom of expression".
  • The United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain have threatened criminal sanctions under existing laws against people who criticise moves taken by their governments against Qatar, or who have expressed sympathy towards the country, Human Rights Watch said in a report released on Wednesday.
  • "Individuals have a right to express a variety of perspectives on current events," said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch.
  • "Governments don’t have the right to close down media outlets and criminalise speech to shut out criticism they find uncomfortable," she said.
  • "The media need protection from political interference, not official muzzling," Whitson added.

4:40pm - Qatar's envoy to Turkey: Anti-Qatar 'sanctions will only serve to bolster our national unity'

  • Salem bin Mubarak Al Shafi, Qatar's ambassador to Turkey, told Anadolu news agency that anti-Qatar sanctions had "nothing to do with law, religion or morality".
  • "These sanctions will only serve to bolster our national unity and our commitment to our principles."
  • "Those who have tried to encircle us lost the moral high ground on the first day [of the sanctions] and lost the diplomatic war later," he said, pointing to calls by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to raise the ongoing blockade on Qatar.
  • "Following Tillerson's call, they [those countries imposing the sanctions] have tried to pull the wool over international community's eyes."
  • "We, as Qatar, plan to raise the issue with international institutions and organizations; we want a step-back away from these immoral approaches."
  • "Their attitude shows they are not in favour of dialogue or negotiation; this is apparent in their official statements."
  • "They want to enforce their directives no matter what, which is absolutely unacceptable for Qatar."
  • "Qatar is ready for sincere and constructive dialogue. But first they must withdraw [the sanctions] as we cannot negotiate when a gun is being held to our head."

4:33pm - Bahrain detains Qatar sympathiser

  • Bahraini authorities have detained a citizen for sympathising with Qatar on social media, the attorney general said on Wednesday, after authorities warned that sympathising with Doha was tantamount to a criminal offence.
  • The department of cybercrime referred a case to the public prosecutor's office in which "a person of interest had posted comments to social networks that constitute a violation" of a ban against sympathising with Qatar, said attorney general Ahmed al-Hammadi, head of Bahrain's Terrorist Crimes Commission.
  • "The prosecution has begun investigating the matter, and the suspect has been interrogated and is being held in custody," Hammadi said.

3:50pm - Qatar Airways says majority of network unaffected by airspace restrictions

  • Qatar Airways said on Wednesday the vast majority of its operations had not been affected by airspace restrictions recently imposed on it by four Arab countries.
  • Chief Executive Akbar al-Baker also repeated calls for the United Nations' aviation agency to intervene in the airspace rights dispute.
  • "We call upon the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to declare this an illegal act," al-Baker said in a statement. "We are not a political body, we are an airline, and this blockade has stripped us of the rights which are guaranteed to us."
  • Qatar Airways has said it will continue with plans to add 24 destinations between 2017 and 2018, including two in the next month, despite the restrictions that have forced the airline to fly longer routes to avoid the blocked airspace.
  • "As far as we are concerned, it is business as usual," al-Baker said.
  • Al-Baker said on Tuesday Qatar Airways would redeploy aircraft it used to fly to Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt to fast track its expansion plans.

3:40pm - UN's Zeid warns states to respect rights in Qatar row

  • The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain appear to be violating people's human rights by threatening to jail or fine them for expressing sympathy for Qatar, UN human rights chief Zeid Raad al Hussein said on Wednesday.
  • Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt, which have branded dozens of people and entities with alleged links to Qatar as "terrorists", must respect citizens' rights, Zeid said.
  • "It is becoming clear that the measures being adopted are overly broad in scope and implementation, and have the potential to seriously disrupt the lives of thousands of women, children and men, simply because they belong to one of the nationalities involved in the dispute," Zeid said in a statement.
  • He said directives issued by Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain to address the humanitarian needs of families with joint nationalities appeared to be inadequate, and his office had received reports of specific individuals being ordered to return home or to leave the country they are residing in.
  • "Among those likely to be badly affected are couples in mixed marriages, and their children; people with jobs or businesses based in States other than that of their nationality; and students studying in another country," he said.
  • "I am also extremely troubled to hear that the UAE and Bahrain are threatening to jail and fine people who express sympathy for Qatar or opposition to their own governments' actions, as this would appear to be a clear violation of the right to freedom of expression or opinion."

3:30pm - Turkey says Qatar crisis harms Islamic world

  • The crisis surrounding Qatar is damaging for the Islamic world and Turkey is working to help resolve the issue through diplomacy, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan's spokesman said on Wednesday.
  • Speaking at a press conference, Ibrahim Kalin said Turkey was sending food assistance to Qatar after neighbouring Gulf Arab states severed ties with Doha and imposed sanctions saying it supports terrorism and courts regional rival Iran.
  • Kalin also said a Turkish military base in Qatar, set up before the regional spat, was established to ensure the security of the whole region and did not have an aim of any military action against any country.

1:30pm - Syrian rebels fear Gulf crisis will deepen divisions

  • Rift between Qatar and Saudi Arabia is creating unease among Syrian rebels who expect the crisis between two of their biggest state backers to deepen divisions in the opposition to President Bashar al-Assad.
  • Together with Turkey and the United States, Qatar and Saudi Arabia have been major sponsors of the anti-Assad battle.
  • "God forbid if this crisis is not contained I predict ... the situation in Syria will become tragic because the factions that are supported by (different) countries will be forced to take hostile positions towards each other," said Mustafa Sejari of the Liwa al Mutasem rebel group in northern Syria.
  • "We urge our brothers in Saudi Arabia and Qatar not to burden the Syrian people more than they can bear."
  • A Syrian opposition source familiar with foreign support to the rebels said: "[The Gulf crisis] will increase the split between north and south, as the north is mainly funded by Qatar and Turkey, and the south is supported by Jordan and the (US-led) coalition."
  • A second opposition source, a senior rebel official, said the Gulf crisis "will certainly affect us, people are known to be with Saudi, or Qatar, or Turkey. The split is clear."
  • A senior Turkish official said it was very important that the Qatar crisis did not take on "further dimensions".
  • "These developments will have certain effects on the developments in Syria, its effects will be seen on the field. The elements which Qatar supports may slightly weaken on the field," the official said.

10:50am - Qatar's stock exchange shows modest recovery

  • Qatar's index, beaten down by the economic sanctions by other Gulf Arab states, rebounded 0.4 percent on Wednesday in a broad-based rally; 23 stocks gained and only seven dropped.
  • Gulf stock markets were mostly little changed, although amusement park operator DXB Entertainments led Dubai higher and Dana Gas continued its surge in Abu Dhabi.

10am - Qatar pulls all its troops from Djibouti-Eritrea border

  • About 450 Qatari peacekeeping troops were pulled back from the border between Djibouti and Eritrea, two East African nations who have a long-running dispute over the territory.
  • Both Djibouti and Eritrea have good relations with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which have taken their side in the Gulf split.
  • On Wednesday, Djibouti reduced its level of diplomatic relations with Qatar over the regional diplomatic crisis.

9:40am - Turkey's foreign minister to visit Qatar

  • Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu will visit Qatar on Tuesday to discuss bilateral relations as well as the Gulf crisis.
  • Cavusoglu will hold a meeting with the Qatar's foreign minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani. He will also be received by the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

7am - Bahrain human rights lawyer arrested for suing over Qatar blockade

  • Issa Faraj Arhama al-Burshaid was detained after challenging Manama's sanctions against Qatar, which include blocking Qataris from staying in the country along with other economic penalties.
  • He filed the case with the Supreme Administrative Court in Manama against the Cabinet, Interior Ministry and Foreign Ministry, describing the measures "arbitrary".
  • "This siege has broken up family ties and hurt all Bahraini families," said Burshaid. "The decision to cut diplomatic relations violates Bahrain's constitution and laws."

5am - Qatar risks FIFA action after t-shirt protest

  • Qatar's national football team could face disciplinary action from FIFA after players warmed up for a World Cup qualifier against South Korea on Tuesday in t-shirts showing support for the country's Emir.
  • The players prepared for the crucial game in Doha wearing white shirts emblazoned with a profile portrait of Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.
  • FIFA bans any unsanctioned political, religious or commercial messages on shirts.

3am - UAE: 'No military component' in actions against Qatar

  • The United Arab Emirates' Ambassador to the United States Yousef al-Otaiba said there was no military aspect to steps taken by Arab powers against Qatar.
  • The ambassador in Washington DC also told reporters said that economic pressure on Qatar is set to increase.
  • The United Arab Emirates' ambassador to the United States said on Tuesday the Gulf countries that cut ties with Qatar will hand over the list of demands to Washington "fairly soon".

13 June 2017 - Tuesday

11:42pm - US says 'worst behind us' in Qatar crisis

  • Progress has been made towards resolving the crisis between Qatar and its Gulf neighbours after senior US officials met leading players in the standoff, the State Department said on Tuesday.
  • "I would characterise the mood and the approach to that as being one that is hopeful, that believes that the worst is behind us," said spokeswoman Heather Nauert.

11:40pm - Turkey's FM to visit Qatar

  • Turkey will send its foreign minister to Doha on Wednesday and then if possible to Saudi Arabia in a diplomatic push to help end the Gulf crisis.
  • Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu will meet his Qatari counterpart and the country's emir, the foreign ministry said in a statement late on Tuesday.

11pm - King of Jordan visits Kuwait to discuss 'means of promoting Arab unity'

  • Jordan's King Abdullah II visited Kuwait on Tuesday to discuss the crises of the region with Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah, according to Kuwait's official KUNA news agency.
  • "The two sides discussed means of promoting Arab unity and joint action, along with the importance of reaching political solutions to the region's crises," KUNA reported.
  • King Abdullah's delegation included Jordanian Prime Minister Hani al-Mulki, chief of staff of the Jordanian Royal Court Fayez Al-Tarawneh and Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman al-Safadi.

10:30pm - UAE: Gulf air embargo only applies to Qatar companies

  • The air embargo imposed on Qatar applies only to airlines from Qatar or registered there, the United Arab Emirates Civil Aviation Authority said on Tuesday.
  • Saudi Arabia and Bahrain issued identical statements on the air embargo, which came into effect when Riyadh, Abu Dhabi and Manama broke off relations with Qatar on June 5.
  • The embargo bans "all Qatari aviation companies and aircraft registered in the state of Qatar" from landing or transiting through the airspace of the Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, according to the statements published by the national agencies of the three Gulf countries.
  • The three Gulf states' ban does not apply to aviation companies and aircraft not registered in Qatar and the three neighbouring countries, and which wish to cross their airspace to and from Qatar, they said.
  • An exception is made for private planes and charter flights to or from Qatar, which require permission to transit through the airspace of the three Gulf countries, the statements said.
  • A permission request must be submitted 24 hours in advance and include a list of the names and nationalities of both crew and passengers, as well as the nature of any cargo.

10:30pm - Morocco voices 'full support' for Gulf crisis mediation

  • Moroccan King Mohammed VI has expressed his "full support" for ongoing efforts by Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah al Ahmad al Jaber al Sabah to resolve the Gulf crisis.
  • The statement came in a verbal message conveyed by Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita to Sheikh Sabah, who received him in Kuwait City on Tuesday.
  • "In his message, the Moroccan king stressed the importance of containing the Gulf crisis and resolving differences through dialogue between brotherly countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council," Kuwait's official news agency reported.

9:30pm - Egypt to ease restriction on flights from and to Qatar

  • Egypt will allow airlines and aircraft that are not registered in Egypt or Qatar to use its airspace to fly to and from Qatar, the civil aviation ministry said on Tuesday.
  • A ban on flights to and from Egypt by Qatari planes remains in force, however.

8pm - Qatar's envoy to Russia: It's not a rift, it's an illegal blockade

  • Fahad bin Mohamed Al-Attiyah, Qatar's ambassador to Russia, has spoken to Al Jazeera from Moscow discussing anti-Qatar measures in the Gulf.
  • He said: "It is not a diplomatic rift as most people want to present, this is really an illegal blockade..."
  • "If [the crisis] is not resolved through mediation I think it should go to the [UN] Security Council and in that instance I think the members of the Security Council such as the US, Russia and other players will probably have to intervene to undo the violations to begin with. First of all condemn it and then undo it and then call the parties to come around the table of dialogue," he said.

7pm - Iraqi PM says he opposes Gulf's isolation of Qatar

  • Iraq is opposed to the isolation of Qatar by Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Arab neighbours because it hurts ordinary citizens, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said on Tuesday.
  • Abadi is due to travel to Saudi Arabia on Wednesday for talks with Saudi King Salman.
  • "Regimes are not affected by the blockade; the blockade hurts people," Abadi told reporters in Baghdad.
  • Abadi said he would seek clarification from Saudi Arabia about the accusations made against Qatar.

6:50pm - Qatar closes helium plants

  • Qatar, the world's second largest helium producer, has closed its two helium production plants because of the economic boycott imposed on it by its neighbours, industry sources told Reuters on Tuesday.
  • The helium plants operated by RasGas, a subsidiary of state-owned Qatar Petroleum, were shut because Saudi Arabia closed its border with Qatar, blocking overland exports of the gas, a Qatar Petroleum official told Reuters.
  • The official declined to be named under briefing rules. Phil Kornbluth, head of US-based industry consultants Kornbluth Helium Consulting said his sources had confirmed the closure.
  • The two plants have a combined annual production capacity of approximately 2 billion standard cubic feet of liquid helium and can meet about 25 percent of total world demand for the gas, according to RasGas' website.
  • Among its uses, helium is used to cool superconducting magnets in medical magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners, as a lifting gas in balloons and airships, as a gas to breathe in deep-sea diving and to keep satellite instruments cool. It is derived from natural gas during processing.

6:23pm - Qatar rift with its neighbours not affecting US military operations: US official

  • A rift between Qatar and other Arab states is not affecting US military operations, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said on Tuesday.
  • "We are watching that very, very closely but we have had good cooperation from all the parties to make sure that we can continue to move freely in and out of Qatar," Joseph Dunford told a US Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.

5:15pm - Saudi FM rejects branding anti-Qatar measures as a blockade

  • Adel al-Jubeir, Saudi foreign minister, said in Washington, DC, while posing for photographs with US State Secretary Rex Tillerson who called anti-Qatar measures "a blockade" last week:
  • "There is no blockade of Qatar. Qatar is free to... The ports are open, the airports are open. What we have done is, we have denied them the use of our airspace and this is our sovereign right. 
  • The limitation of the use of the Saudi airspace is only limited to Qatar Airways or Qatari owned aircraft, not anybody else. The sea ports of Qatar are open. There is no blockade on them. 

4:30pm - US envoy to Qatar to leave her position this month

  • The US ambassador to Qatar took to Twitter on Tuesday to confirm that her posting will come to an end this month.
  • "This month, I end my 3 years as US Ambassador to #Qatar. It has been the greatest honor of my life and I'll miss this great country," Dana Shell Smith said on Tuesday.
  • A State Department spokesperson said the ambassador will depart "Qatar later this month as part of the normal rotation of career diplomats throughout the world. Her decision to leave the Foreign Service was made earlier this year and we wish her the best as she moves on from the Department of State".

3pm - Russia warns Gulf crisis imperils Syria peace efforts

  • Russia has warned that the blockade against Qatar by Saudi Arabia and its allies would make it harder to reach a peaceful end to the war in Syria, after President Vladimir Putin discussed the crisis with Saudi King Salman.
  • In a phone discussion, the two leaders "touched on the aggravated situation around Qatar, which unfortunately does not help consolidate joint efforts in resolving the conflict in Syria and fighting the terrorist threat," the Kremlin said in a statement after the call.

2:30pm - Qatar aluminium exports go as planned 

  • Qatar's Qatalum aluminium plant is now exporting metals via ports in Kuwait and Oman, as well as a Qatari container port, the chief executive of Norsk Hydro told Reuters news agency.
  • Hydro owns owns 50 percent of the Qatalum plant, which produces more than 600,000 tonnes of primary aluminium per year. 

1:40pm - Erdogan urges Saudi king to resolve crisis with Qatar

  • President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to take a leading role in resolving the ongoing Gulf crisis with Qatar.
  • "Qatar along with Turkey is a country that took the most determined stand against the terrorist organisation, Daesh," he said.
  • The president said it appears some countries have already decided to hand down the death penalty to Qatar and urged Saudi Arabia to reconsider the harsh steps against it.

10:50am - Israel backs GCC states in rift with Qatar

  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that Arab states were now viewing Israel as a partner instead of an enemy.

7:50am - Pakistan PM 'reaffirms' commitment to Saudi Arabia

  • Following a meeting with Saudi Arabia's King Salman on Monday, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has "reaffirmed the strong commitment of the people and the government of Pakistan for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Kingdom".
  • A press release from the PM office also said "the Kingdom had a very special place in the hearts of Pakistanis and that the Muslim world looked upto the King as the custodian of the Two Holy Mosques".

6:30am - Al Jazeera off the table in any Gulf crisis talks: Qatari FM

  • Al Jazeera Media Network is an "internal affair" and there will be no discussion about the fate of the Doha-based broadcaster with nations that imposed a blockade on Qatar, its Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said at a press conference in Paris on Monday.
  • He said Qatar does not accept "foreign dictations". "Doha rejects discussing any matter related to Al Jazeera channel as it considers it an internal affair," Qatar News Agency quoted the foreign minister as saying.
  • "Decisions concerning the Qatari internal affairs are Qatari sovereignty - and no one has to interfere with them."

6:10am - Amnesty: Efforts to help Qatar families 'vague'

  • Measures taken by the Saudi-led bloc of nations to deal with their blockade's impact on Qatari families are "vague and insufficient" and do not address the human rights situation, Amnesty International said.
  • The comments came during the meeting between Qatar's Chairman of the National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) Ali bin Samikh Al Marri and Salil Shetty, secretary-general of Amnesty International in London.

4:15am - Former Al Jazeera director says blockade against Qatar 'will fail'

  • A senior Palestinian journalist said Qataris' "strong solidarity" had managed to keep the nation's economy stable, despite the ongoing blockade by several Gulf countries. Wadah Khanfar, president of Al Sharq Forum and former director-general of Al Jazeera Media Network, said the boycotting countries had expected Qatar to "be intimidated and surrender" immediately.
  • "That was not the case as the administration and people showed strong solidarity, therefore, basic human needs in the country were not negatively affected," said Khanfar.
  • He said all the boycotting measures were taken at once and there is "nothing else left to do against the country", he told Turkey's Anadolu news agency. "You cannot be successful. You will be weak strategically and politically. This blockade will fail."

3:30am - Pentagon chief: Blockade of Qatar a 'very complex situation'

  • US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said the blockade against Qatar by Gulf states, including Saudi Arabia, was a "very complex situation" and it was an area where common ground had to be found.
  • Mattis said Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani had inherited a difficult situation and was moving in the right direction.

3:00am - Qatari FM: No idea why Gulf nations imposed blockade

  • Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said Qatar still does not know the reasons that prompted economic sanctions imposed by a Saudi Arabia-led bloc of nations. 
  • Sheikh Mohammed stressed Qatar "does not accept any dictations", according to state-run Qatar News Agency. Speaking from Paris, France, the foreign minister added so far there was no European mediation efforts planned to resolve the crisis.

12 June 2017 - Monday

4:15am – Former Al Jazeera director says blockade against Qatar 'will fail' 

  • A senior Palestinian journalist said Qataris' "strong solidarity" had managed to keep the nation's economy stable, despite the ongoing blockade by several Gulf countries. Wadah Khanfar, president of Al Sharq Forum and former director-general of Al Jazeera Media Network, said the boycotting countries had expected Qatar to "be intimidated and surrender" immediately.
  • "That was not the case as the administration and people showed strong solidarity, therefore, basic human needs in the country were not negatively affected," said Khanfar.
  • He said all the boycotting measures were taken at once and there is "nothing else left to do against the country", he told Turkey's Anadolu news agency. "You cannot be successful. You will be weak strategically and politically. This blockade will fail." 

3:30am - Pentagon chief: Blockade of Qatar a 'very complex situation'

  • US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said the blockade against Qatar by Gulf states, including Saudi Arabia, was a "very complex situation" and it was an area where common ground had to be found. Mattis said Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani had inherited a difficult situation and was moving in the right direction.

3am - Tuesday - Qatari FM: No idea why Gulf nations imposed blockade 

  • Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said Qatar still does not know the reasons that prompted economic sanctions imposed by a Saudi Arabia-led bloc of nations. Sheikh Mohammed stressed Qatar "does not accept any dictations", according to state-run Qatar News Agency. Speaking from Paris, France, the foreign minister added so far there was no European mediation efforts planned to resolve the crisis.

11:30pm - Turkish foreign minister meets Gulf envoys in Ankara

  • Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has held a joint meeting with Saudi Ambassador Waleed A Elkhereiji, Emirati Ambassador Khalifa Shaheen Almarar and Bahrain's Acting Ambassador Komail Ahmed in the capital Ankara amid the escalating Gulf crisis, according to a Turkish diplomatic source.
  • Cavusoglu raised concerns of Turkey and expectations from the international community over the crisis at the meeting.
  • He also mentioned the contacts he made to resolve the issue, the source said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to brief the media.

10pm - Eritrea expresses support for anti-Qatar measures

  • Despite previously close ties with Qatar, the Eritrean information ministry has issued a statement praising steps taken against Qatar as "one initiative among many in the right direction that envisages full realisation of regional security and stability".

9:30pm - Kuwait's Emir: The Gulf rift may lead to undesirable consequences

  • Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah has said it was difficult for him to see the crisis among the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council almost four decades after participating in building the alliance.
  • "It is quite difficult for us, the generation that built the GCC 37 years ago, to see the divisions among its members which may lead to undesirable consequences," he was quoted as saying by the state news agency Kuna.
  • He also said: "Almost four decades ago, I lived the first moments of building the GCC and this is why I cannot stand silent without trying to mediate for the rapprochement among the brothers. It is a duty that I cannot walk away from."
  • "No matter how difficult the efforts, I will do my best to mediate among the brothers," he said.

9pm - UAE condemns Qatar for 'internationalising the crisis with its brothers'

  • Anwar Gargash, the foreign minister of the UAE, has said on Twitter: "After much effort to internationalise the crisis with its brothers, after [Qatar kept] drumming up its media and screaming it is oppressed, our brother [Qatar] will soon realize the solution is in Riyadh and at [the hands of King] Salman."
  • The comment came a week after Qatar's foreign ministry said in its statement: "The aim is clear, and it is to impose guardianship on the state. This by itself is a violation of its [Qatar's] sovereignty as a state."

8pm - Morocco to send food products to Qatar

  • Morocco has decided to send airplanes loaded with food products to Qatar, according to the country's foreign ministry statement.
  • The document said King Mohammed VI instructed the government to do so "in accordance with our Islamic teachings especially in the holy month of Ramadan".
  • It stressed that the move was not connected to the Gulf crisis.

7:30pm - Pakistan's PM in Saudi Arabia over Gulf rift

  • Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has arrived in Saudi Arabia's Jeddah for a "consultation" with the Saudi leadership over the Gulf crisis, according to local media.
  • Sharif, who enjoys equally good relations with the Saudi and Qatari royal families, will address the "emergent situation among the [Gulf Cooperation Council] GCC countries", state-run Radio Pakistan reported.
  • He was accompanied by Pakistan's army chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, and his foreign affairs adviser, Sartaj Aziz.

7:30pm - Pakistan's PM in Saudi Arabia over Gulf rift

  • Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has arrived in Saudi Arabia's Jeddah for a "consultation" with the Saudi leadership over the Gulf crisis, according to local media.
  • Sharif, who enjoys equally good relations with the Saudi and Qatari royal families, will address the "emergent situation among the [Gulf Cooperation Council] GCC countries", state-run Radio Pakistan reported.
  • He was accompanied by Pakistan's army chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, and his foreign affairs adviser, Sartaj Aziz.

7pm - Oman welcomes step on intermarried families in Qatar crisis

  • Oman welcomed a decision by three Gulf countries to give special consideration to families with Qatari spouses and children on Monday, after they cut ties with Qatar last week and expelled Qatari nationals from their countries.
  • Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain announced hotlines to help the mixed families on Sunday, a step Oman said would aid "humanitarian cases of families shared between them and Qatar" in a statement on state news agency ONA.
  • "It is considered by the Sultanate to be a good step toward calm," the statement said.

6:57pm - Macron speaks to Emir of Kuwait

  • France's President Emmanuel Macron spoke with Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah, who is leading mediation efforts to patch the rift between Qatar and Arab states.
  • Macron has held a series of conversations over the past week with the Emir of Qatar, the king of Saudi Arabia, the Turkish president and the crown prince of Abu Dhabi. 
  • Earlier on Monday, Macron's Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian met with his Qatari counterpart, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, who said Qatar supported Kuwait's mediation efforts and was ready to engage in talks that conform with international law.

6:00pm - Qatar FM denounces 'unfair', 'illegal' sanctions

  • Qatar's Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani on Monday denounced the sanctions imposed against Doha by Saudi Arabia and its allies as "unfair" and "illegal".
  • "Whatever relates to our foreign affairs... no one has the right to discuss," Sheikh Mohammed said during a visit to Paris.
  • "Qatar is willing to sit and negotiate about whatever is related to Gulf security," he said.

5:50pm - UK urges Gulf states and Egypt to ease blockade against Qatar

  • Britain's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said he would urge Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain along with Egypt "to ease the blockade on Qatar".
  • "I call on all states to take immediate steps to de-escalate the situation and to find a rapid resolution through mediation."

5:00pm - Hundreds of containers on their way to Qatar from Oman

  • A Qatari food company owner said shipments began arriving on Sunday from Oman, and that about 12 vessels were headed to Qatar from Sohar and Salalah.
  • "There are around 300 containers of fresh and frozen food coming. Some have arrived and the others are on their way," Ahmed al-Khalaf said.
  • He said containers at Jebel Ali port of the United Arab Emirates were still stuck, but that others, including from Europe, were being diverted to Oman's ports.
  • The world's number 1 container line, Maersk of Denmark, said on Monday it would accept new bookings for container shipments to Qatar from Oman.
  • Swiss-based MSC, the world's number 2 line, said it would deploy a new dedicated shipping service to Qatar from Salalah.

4:50pm - Saudi carrier looks to poach Qatar Airways staff

  • 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.
  • In a post on Twitter on Monday, the small budget airline says it welcomes applications from Saudi nationals working for Qatar Airways on the Airbus A320.

4:20pm - Qatar Airways CEO: UN body should call Qatar measures illegal

  • The International Civil Aviation Organisation, a UN agency which administers the Chicago convention that guarantees civil overflights, should declare Gulf Arab measures against Qatari air traffic as illegal, the chief executive of Qatar Airways said in comments to CNN published on Monday.
  • "We have legal channels to object to this," Akbar Al Baker said. "ICAO... should heavily get involved, put their weight behind this to declare this an illegal act."
  • The UAE and Bahrain have signed the convention. Saudi Arabia is not a signatory.

3:50pm - Italy and Qatar agree to continue economic cooperation

  • Italy and Qatar agreed on Monday to continue their close economic and financial cooperation, the two countries' said in a statement on Monday that signalled Italian support for Qatar during the Gulf crisis.
  • Qatari Finance Minister Ali Sherif al-Emadi met Italian Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan in Rome on the first leg of a tour of major Western capitals that will also take him to Paris, London, Berlin and Washington.
  • "The meeting took place in a highly cordial atmosphere, in line with the excellent state of political and economic relations between the two countries," the joint Qatari-Italian statement said.

2:54pm: Iran reiterates need for dialogue

  • In a weekly news conference in Tehran, Bahram Ghasemi, Iranian foreign ministry spokesman, said Qatar and its neighbours should "try to settle their differences at the negotiating table".
  • Ghasemi also said the countries involved "should move toward peace and stability in the region and we invite them to negotiating and exercising restraint".

2:47pm: Qatar Central Bank says operating normally despite rift

  • In further news over Qatar's economy, the central bank says transactions at home and abroad continue normally.
  • In a statement released on Qatar's state-run news agency, QNA, the bank said its central governor Sheikh Abdullah bin Saud Al-Thani dismissed concerned over liquidity levels.

2:30pm: Qatar markets stabilise

  • Reuters news agency reports that Qatar's financial markets have recovered following a week of losses after the blockade was announced.

2:15pm: Qatar Foreign Minister urges countries to back Kuwait in solving GCC crisis

  • Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani confirmed that Qatar and the US are in contact with Kuwait, which is leading mediation efforts.
  • Speaking from London where he is due to meet Boris Johnson, his British counterpart, the minister also said: "Diplomatic dialogue is the solution, but it needs foundations not yet available. We're focused on solving humanitarian problems resulting from the illegal blockade."
  • He called on countries to support the efforts of Kuwait's emir in finding a solution, and invited "friendly states" to participate in that effort.

12:15pm: UAE media says Qatari spouses will not be deported

  • Abu-Dhabi's The National newspaper says Qataris married to Emiratis will not be deported, one week after the UAE said it would give Qataris 14 days to leave the country.
  • The government-sponsored broadsheet, which did not provide a source, also said Qataris who were "immediate relatives of Emiratis" could "pass through".
  • Qatar previously dismissed a telephone hotline to assist mixed-citizenship families as "little more than a face-saving exercise".

11:30am: 'Urgently lift blockade against Qatar', says Azerbaijan rights group

  • The Azerbaijan Institute for Democracy and Human Rights has called for countries opposing Qatar to lift their blockade against the peninsula, saying the punishing measures are in violation of international law.
  • "The recent crisis in the Gulf region serves only those who are gaining something from the instability in the Middle East," the group said. "Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE are toying with the lives of thousands of Gulf residents as part of their dispute with Qatar, splitting up families and destroying peoples' livelihoods and education."
  • The organisation also condemned 'strong violation of media freedom' as the Gulf States have attempted to censor the Al Jazeera Media Network.

11:00am: France attempts to calm tensions, boost profile

  • The office of French President Emmanuel Macron is attempting to reconcile tensions between Qatar and its neighbours.
  • The president says he has held a series of calls with the emir of Qatar, Saudi Arabia's king, Turkey's president and the crown prince of Abu Dhabi.
  • Jean-Yves Le Drian, foreign minister, is scheduled to hold talks with his Qatari counterpart on Monday.

9:00am: Qatar finance minister says economy can survive sanctions

  • Ali Sherif al-Emadi told CNBC that the economy of gas-rich Qatar, which has significant reserves and investment funds, will not be harmed by sanctions.
  • "We are extremely comfortable with our positions, our investments and liquidity in our systems," he said.
  • He explained that the countries sanctioning Qatar would also lose money because of damage to business in the region. "If we're going to lose a dollar, they will lose a dollar also," he said.

8:00am: Pakistan PM heads to Saudi Arabia

  • Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is travelling to Riyadh on Monday in context of the "situation among GCC countries", his office announced.
  • On Thursday, Pakistan's lower house of parliament expressed "deep concern", calling on all parties "to show restraint and resolve all differences through dialogue".
  • On Sunday, Pakistan's Foreign Office denied reports that Pakistani troops had been deployed to Qatar to support a Turkish troop contingent as "part of a malicious campaign aimed at creating misunderstanding between Pakistan and brotherly Muslim countries in the Gulf".

5:30am: Qatari human rights organisation denounces blockade

  • Qatar's National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) says the moves against the country by Arab countries constitute human rights violations.
  • "The NHRC adds that the siege of Qatar constitutes international human rights crimes and is not only a gross violation of the rights of Gulf citizens [both Qatari and non-Qatari], but also the rights of expat residents in the state of Qatar."

3am - Monday - Qatar denounces Gulf states' 'policy of domination'

  • A senior counter-terrorism adviser to Qatar's foreign minister has hit out at the diplomatic squeeze on Doha by several Gulf states, calling it a "policy of domination and control".
  • Mutlaq al-Qahtani, a special envoy to Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, said the decision to sever ties by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt - as well as other allies - over Qatar's alleged funding of armed groups would not prove successful.

11:50pm: Qatar inaugurates direct maritime service between Hamad Port and Oman's Sohar Port

  • Qatar Ports Management has launched a new direct service linking Hamad port in the Qatari capital with Sohar Port in the Sultanate of Oman.
  • At a press conference held at Hamad Port, Qatar Ports Management said: "In light of the recent developments in the region, Mwani Qatar (Qatar Ports Management) and its partners have ensured the business continuity of its ports and shipping operations in and out of Qatar to mitigate the impact of any action that would affect the imports and exports to and from the country." 
  • The service will operate three times a week and journey's will take up to one and a half days.

10:20pm: FIFA President says Qatar World Cup is not under threat

  • FIFA president Gianni Infantino has said he does not believe the diplomatic crisis which involves 2022 World Cup host nation Qatar will threaten its hosting of the tournament.
  • In an interview published in Swiss newspapers Le Matin Dimanche and Sonntagszeitung, Infantino said he expects the diplomatic situation will be back to normal by the time the tournament is played in five and a half years’ time.
  • Infantino said that FIFA was watching the situation and was in regular contact with the Qatari authorities.

9:55pm: Qatar allows residents from boycotting states to stay

  • Nationals of countries that cut diplomatic ties with Qatar this week are free to remain in the Gulf state.
  • There is no change in policy towards the nationals of "brotherly and friendly countries which cut or reduced diplomatic relations following the malicious and hostile campaigns against Qatar," Qatar's state news agency (QNA) reports.

8:35pm: Iran sends warships to Oman amid Gulf dispute

  • Iran is sending two warships to Oman before they start their mission in international waters near the coast of Yemen, the country's navy says.
  • The two ships, an Alborz destroyer and a Bushehr logistics warship, will go to the north of the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden.
  • The Gulf of Aden is a strategic shipping lane which connects the Indian ocean with the Red Sea and Suez Canal.

8:20pm: Iraq: Qatari 'ransom' money with us, not armed groups

  • Iraq's prime minister has rejected Saudi and UAE media claims that a $500m ransom was paid by Qatar to Shia Muslim armed groups in Iraq to secure the release of 26 kidnapped Qatari hunters.
  • Haider al-Abadi said the money was received by the Iraqi government and that the sum was still in the Iraqi central bank. 
  • He added that the money was "never cashed out." 

7:45pm: Qatar's NHRC: Hotline for mixed-families a face-saving act 

  • Qatar's National Human Rights Committee has called a Saudi, UAE and Bahrain initiative to assist mixed-citizenship families who face the prospect of being split up, a "face-saving" exercise.
  • It said a hotline set up by the three countries to assist mixed Qatari families who faced the prospect of deportation and expulsion was "too vague to have any practical impact" and was "void of a mechanism to be of assistance to those affected."
  • It called for an end to the blockade on Qatar and urged the countries to abide by international human rights treaties.

4:55pm: US and Russia call for dialogue over Qatar-GCC dispute

  • US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov call for dialogue over Qatar-GCC dispute.
  • Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the two leaders spoke on the phone and "discussed the consequences of the decision by a number of Arab countries to break diplomatic ties with Qatar."
  • It noted that "Sergey Lavrov and Rex Tillerson pointed to the need of resolving disagreements through negotiations and expressed their willingness to contribute to such efforts."

4:35pm: Qatar hosted Taliban 'at request of US government'

  • Qatar hosted the Taliban at the request of the US government, the special envoy on counterterrorism for Qatar's foreign minister told Al Jazeera.
  • Mutlaw Al Qahtani said the Gulf country hosted the Taliban "by request by the US government" and as part of Qatar's "open-door policy, to facilitate talks, to mediate and to bring peace".
  • He added that Qatar "was facilitating the talks between the Americans, the Taliban and the government of Afghanistan".
  • The Taliban opened its "political office" in Qatar in 2013.

3:13pm: Inside Story - Blockade on Qatar 'toying' with people's lives

  • Human rights group Amnesty International has condemned the blockade taken by Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain against Qatar, saying the countries are toying with the lives of thousands of Gulf residents as part of their dispute with Qatar.
  • On Monday, the three Gulf countries ordered Qatari nationals to leave their countries within 14 days.
  • Their citizens were also given the same time to leave Qatar. As a result, hundreds of mixed-families are facing the grim prospect of being separated from their loved ones.
  • The US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has urged Saudi Arabia and its allies to ease their blockade on Qatar, saying it is causing unintended humanitarian consequences.

2:55pm - Kuwait: Qatar ready to heal Gulf rift

  • Kuwait on Sunday said that Qatar is willing to hold a dialogue with Gulf Arab countries that cut ties with it and was ready to listen to their concerns, in the latest twist of a major diplomatic rift.
  • "(Kuwait) affirms the readiness of the brothers in Qatar to understand the reality of the qualms and concerns of their brothers and to heed the noble endeavours to enhance security and stability," Kuwait's state-run KUNA news agency quoted Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah al-Khalid al-Sabah as saying on Sunday.

12:25pm - Ethiopia support Kuwait's mediation initiative

  • Ethiopia said it backs Kuwait's mediation efforts to end the Qatar-Gulf diplomatic dispute, adding it will play a constructive role for a peaceful resolution of the crisis.
  • In a statement carried by state media on Saturday, Ethiopia's foreign ministry said it did not support any kind of negative media reports that incite instability in countries.
  • The ministry also said it will continue working together with countries to fight against the "global threat of terrorism".
  • Kuwait and Oman, also members of the Gulf Cooperation Council, did not join Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain in severing ties with Qatar. In recent days, Kuwait's emir, Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah, has held talks with Gulf leaders as part of an initiative to resolve the crisis.

11:45am - Qatar's charity body denies 'terrorism' allegations

The official overseer of Qatar's charities rejected allegations that charitable groups in the country supported "terrorism" following the release of a blacklist by four Arab countries.

"The Regulatory Authority for Charitable Activities (RACA) deplores the accusation that Qatari humanitarian organisations support terrorism," the body said in an official statement on Sunday.

RACA has succeeded in protecting NGOs based in Doha "from the risk of being exploited to launder money and finance terrorism", it said, adding that it is prepared to take legal action against the Arab states to protect the humanitarian work its charities do.

10:21am - Iran Air says five planes of food have arrived to Qatar

  • Iran's national carrier says that five planes of food exports, including fruit and vegetables, have been sent to Qatar, which has been hit by a land, air and sea blockade imposed by three Arab Gulf countries. 
  • Each aircraft carried around 90 tonnes of cargo, "while another plane will be sent today," Iran Air spokesman Shahrokh Noushabadi told the AFP news agency on Sunday.
  • Three ships loaded with 350 tonnes of food were also set to leave an Iranian port for Qatar, the Tasnim news agency quoted a local official as saying. 
  • Food imports were affected after Saudi Arabia ordered the closure of Qatar's only land border. 
  • Qatar, which relies heavily on food imports, assured residents it has taken measures to ensure that normal life continues.

8:49am - Gulf countries announce hotline for mixed Qatari families

  • Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, which have cut ties with Qatar, announced via state media on Sunday the creation of hotlines to help families with Qatari members.
  • The statements carried by their official news agencies did not specify what services the hotline would provide.
  • The moves against Qatar include a land, air and sea blockade, as well as a ban on Qatari citizens from entering the three countries. Qatari nationals were also ordered to leave within 14 days, leaving hundreds of mixed-citizenship Qatari couples with the grim prospect of being split from their families. 
  • Amnesty International criticised the measures as sweeping and arbitrary and said they had split up families and destroyed peoples' livelihoods and education. Qatar’s National Human Rights Committee has also said that the Saudi-led move went far beyond a simple diplomatic dispute and will break up families and disrupt young people’s education.

7:37am - Turkish PM warns of global consequences

  • Binali Yildirim, Turkey's prime minister, said on Saturday the diplomatic crisis in the Gulf could turn into a global problem if tensions flare.
  • "A new problem area that may be created here [in Qatar] would not be limited inside the region," Yildirim told a fast-breaking dinner in Istanbul.
  • "The risk of this issue becoming a global problem is very high due to the geostrategic nature of the region. We call on the parties in the tension to act responsibly and contribute to reducing the tension rather than increasing it".
  • Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has previously requested the full removal of a Saudi-led blockade of Qatar and has approved the deployment of Turkish troops there.

7:25am - Qatar to hire international law firm to seek reparations for those hit from blockade

  • Qatar’s National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) is working to hire an international law firm to handle cases related to Qatari and Gulf Cooperation Council citizens who sought legal help after being affected by the blockade and embargo imposed on Qatar.
  • Ali bin Sumaikh Al Marri, NHRC chairman, said the law firm will sue and request damages from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain at national courts, Qatar News Agency reported.

2:17am - Reported blocking of Qatari pilgrim at the Holy Mosque condemned

  • The Al Sharq newspaper reported Qatar's National Commission for Human Rights (NHRC) received a complaint from a Qatari citizen that Qatari pilgrims were barred from entering the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca.
  • Ali bin Smaikh al-Marri, the NHRC head, called the reported incident a flagrant violation of the right to practise religious rites as permitted by human rights conventions.

1:40am - Qatar will not expel nationals from countries that cut ties

  • Nationals of countries that cut diplomatic ties with Qatar this week are free to remain in the Gulf state in line with existing regulations, according to a statement carried by Qatar state news agency.
  • The statement, attributed to the Ministry of Interior, said there was no change in policy toward the nationals of "brotherly and friendly countries which cut or reduced diplomatic relations following the malicious and hostile campaigns against Qatar".

1:10am - Qatari Foreign Minister: Hamas is a legitimate resistance group

  • Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, foreign minister of Qatar, has said Hamas is a "legitimate resistance movement" and "not a terrorist organisation as viewed by the US".
  • "We do not support Hamas, we support the Palestinian people," he said.

12:48am - Sunday, June 11 - Hamas: Arab differences are internal affairs

  • Musa Abu Marzouk, senior Hamas leader, commenting on the Gulf diplomatic crisis, has said that "Arab differences are internal affairs".
  • "The Hamas focus will remain directed towards Palestine and Jerusalem, and towards national unity and the cohesion of the Palestinian people," Marzouk, a member of Hamas' political bureau, told a press conference in Beirut after meeting with Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri.
  • Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain on Monday cut off diplomatic ties with Qatar accusing Doha of supporting "terrorists" - a charge Qatar denies.
  • "It is supposed that no one should differ over supporting the Palestinian cause," he said, adding that "our weapons will remain directed solely at the Zionist enemy [Israel] which we will continue to resist".

6.59pm - Russia calls for dialogue to solve Gulf dispute

  • Russia called Saturday for dialogue to resolve the dispute between Qatar and its Gulf neighbours.
  • "We cannot be happy in a situation when the relations between our partners are worsening," Lavrov said.
  • "We are in favour of resolving any disagreements through ... dialogue."
  • Russia is "ready to try to do everything in its power" to help resolve the crisis.

6:24pm - German FM warns Gulf crisis could lead to war

  • The dispute between Qatar and other Arab states could lead to war, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel told a newspaper on Saturday, adding that he still saw a chance to defuse the tension.
  • "There is a danger that this dispute could lead to war," Gabriel told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, citing what he called a "dramatic" harshness in relations between allied and neighbouring countries in the Gulf.
  • The minister said personal talks this week with his counterparts from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, and phone calls with the foreign ministers of Iran and Kuwait underscored his concerns.
  • "After my talks this week, I know how serious the situation is, but I believe there are also good chances to make progress."

4:13pm - Turkey: Qatar military base for the security of entire Gulf region

  • Turkey's military base in Qatar is aimed at contributing to the security of the entire Gulf region and not aimed at a specific Gulf state, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Saturday.
  • In a joint news conference with Bahrain's Foreign Minister Khalid bin Al Khalifa, Cavusoglu said Turkey would continue its efforts to resolve the Gulf dispute.
  • Cavusoglu also said that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told the Bahraini foreign minister that the dispute between Qatar and other Arab states should be resolved by the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

3:30pm - Qatar Petroleum says business as usual despite diplomatic rift

  • Qatar Petroleum (QP) said on Saturday that it was conducting "business as usual" throughout its upstream, midstream and downstream operations, despite rising diplomatic tensions with its Gulf neighbours.
  • QP was prepared to take any "necessary decisions and measures, should the need arise, to ensure that it honored commitments to customers and partners", the statement said.
  • Qatar is the world's biggest liquefied natural gas (LNG) producer and accounts for more than 30 percent of global trade.

3:22pm - Egypt's Sisi praises Trump's stance on Qatar

Egypt President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has praised US President Donald Trump for his role in "the formation of a united front to combat terrorism".

Sisi’s praise-filled phone call Saturday came after Trump echoed accusations made against Qatar by a Saudi-led group that cut diplomatic ties with Qatar earlier this week.

Sisi thanked Trump for his participation in a counterterrorism summit in Riyadh last May, in which he vowed to “fight terrorism in partnership with Middle East leaders”.

2:17pm - Niger recalls ambassador to Doha

  • Niger announced it had recalled its ambassador to Qatar following the latest developments in the Gulf.
  • The foreign ministry issued a statement expressing "its solidarity" with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and their allies, which on Monday severed diplomatic with Doha, accusing it of supporting "extremists" - a charge strongly denied by Qatar.

1:05pm - Qatari FM in Moscow for talks with Russian counterpart

  • After holding talks in Germany on Friday, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, Qatar's foreign minister, met with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, in Moscow.
  • The two diplomats are not expected to hold a press conference after the talks, but spoke briefly in front of cameras at the start of their meeting. 
  • Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said only dialogue will resolve the dispute, adding that "the Gulf Cooperation Council is the right platform to achieve this".
  • For his part, Lavrov also called for talks to end the crisis. "We call for all contradictions to be resolved at the negotiation table through a mutually respectful dialogue," the Russian foreign minister said, adding that Arab states should unite to effectively fight "terrorism".
  • "As a matter of policy we do not interfere in the internal affairs of other countries or their bilateral relations with each other. But it does not give us joy when relations between our partners deteriorate," Lavrov said.
  • "The position of Russia and the moment seems to be 'yes, we'll listen to you but we don't want to take sides,'" Al Jazeera's Rory Challands, reporting from Moscow.

11:33am - Saudi Arabia welcomes Trump's remarks, does not respond to Tillerson call

  • With the US administration sending mixed signals in regards to its stance to the crisis, Saudi Arabia, via a statement on its state media, welcomed US President Donald Trump's call on Qatar and other countries to increase their efforts against "terrorism", but did not respond to a state department request to ease pressure on its neighbour.
  • Just minutes before Trump's speech on Friday, Rex Tillerson, the US secretary of state, had urged Saudi Arabia and its allies to ease their blockade on Qatar, saying it is causing unintended humanitarian consequences and affecting the US-led fight against ISIL.
  • Tillerson also said that Qatar has a history of supporting groups across a wide political spectrum, including those that engage in violence, and that the emir of Qatar had made progress in halting financial support for "terrorism" but that he must do more.
  • A separate report on Saudi's state-run news agency SPA acknowledged Tillerson's call for Qatar to curtail support for "terrorism", but did not mention his remarks that the crisis was hurting ordinary Qataris, impairing business activities and harming the fight against ISIL.

10:50am - Qatar row 'no impact' on global oil pact

  • Khalid al-Falih, Saudi Arabia's energy minister, said the decision by the kingdom and some of its allies to severe ties with Qatar this week would not affect a pact by global oil producers to reduce output.
  • "I don't expect the diplomatic and political issues that have surfaced with Qatar to have any impact whatsoever on the oil production agreement," Falih told reporters in Kazakhstan.

6:58am - Merkel calls for regional cooperation

  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed her concern about the situation in Qatar, saying that all Gulf countries, and also Iran and Turkey, should work together to end the regional crisis.
  • "We have to see that the political solution of conflicts ... such as the situation in Syria, such as the situation in Libya or the situation in Iraq, won't happen if certain players are no longer even included in the conversation, and that includes Qatar, it includes Turkey, it includes Iran," said Merkel, speaking alongside Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto during a visit to Mexico City.
  • Merkel said she wanted the balance of power to be maintained "sensibly" in the region, and that security would be on the agenda when G20 leaders meet next month in the German city of Hamburg.

4:20am - Eritrea rejects severing Qatar ties

  • Eritrea declined a request by Saudi Arabia and the UAE to cut diplomatic ties with Qatar. 
  • The African nation’s foreign ministry said in a statement it "rejected" the demand to cut ties "with brother Doha". 
  • It said Eritrea had "strong ties with the brother people of Qatar", and it was "impossible to cut ties".

11:30pm - Erdogan says Turkey won't leave Qatar isolated

  • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reaffirmed his backing for Qatar in its dispute with other Gulf nations, saying Turkey would never leave the country isolated.
  • Delivering a speech at a Ramadan fast-breaking dinner in Istanbul, Erdogan said on Friday that Turkey would provide food and medicine to help Qatar ease its isolation despite the other nations "displeasure".
  • He called on Saudi Arabia and other countries of the region to end their sanctions, rejecting accusations by these countries that Qatar supports "terror groups".
  • Referring to a statement by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson calling on the Arab nations to immediately ease their blockade of Qatar, Erdogan said: "I say let's lift it entirely".
  • On Wednesday, Turkey's parliament passed legislation permitting the deployment of troops to a Turkish military base in Qatar.

11:15pm - Amnesty condemns actions taken against Qatar

  • Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are toying with the lives of thousands of Gulf residents as part of their dispute with Qatar, splitting up families and destroying peoples’ livelihoods and education, Amnesty International said on Friday.
  • The organisation's researchers have interviewed dozens of people whose human rights have been affected by a series of sweeping measures imposed in an arbitrary manner by the three Gulf countries in their dispute with Qatar.
  • "These drastic measures are already having a brutal effect, splitting children from parents and husbands from wives. People from across the region - not only from Qatar, but also from the states implementing these measures - risk losing jobs and having their education disrupted. All the states involved in this dispute must ensure their actions do not lead to human rights violations," said James Lynch, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Global Issues Programme, who was in Doha last week.  

Read the full statement here 

10:45pm - Rights committee present reports on effects of the blockade

  • Qatar's National Human Rights Committee presented 300 international and regional organizations with detailed reports that reveal the humanitarian conditions of the citizens of GCC countries as a result of the blockade in Qatar.

10:00pm - Trump accuses Qatar of 'funding terrorism

  • US President Donald Trump accuses Qatar of "funding terrorism" at "very high level" when speaking at the White House on Friday, where he was holding a joint news conference with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis. 

Read the full story here 

9:40 - Blockade 'hindering' planning for long-term operation - Pentagon

  • A blockade against Qatar by Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states was not affecting current operations against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group, but was "hindering" the ability to plan for long-term operations, the Pentagon said on Friday.
  • "While current operations from Al Udeid Air Base have not been interrupted or curtailed, the evolving situation is hindering our ability to plan for longer-term military operations," Captain Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, said in a statement.
  • Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar is home to more than 11,000 US and coalition forces and an important base for the fight against ISIL. He did not explain how exactly it was affecting planning for longer-term operations.
  • Davis said Qatar remained critical for air operations against ISIL.

9:30 - Trump, Egypt's Sisi discuss Arab unity, fighting terrorism

  • US President Donald Trump spoke on Friday with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and emphasised the importance of maintaining unity among Arab countries, the White House said in a statement.
  • It was the fourth call Trump has had with a regional leader since Gulf allies severed diplomatic ties with Qatar on Monday.

8:40pm - US secretary of state makes statement on Gulf diplomatic crisis

  • Rex Tillerson calls on Saudi Arabia, Egypt and UAE to ease the blockade against Qatar. 
  • Tillerson says US urges no further escalation in Gulf crisis with Qatar.
  • Tillerson: Blockade hindering US military action against ISIL.
  • US expectation is that Gulf countries would immediately take steps to de-escalate situation in region - Tillerson

Read the full story here

4:30 - UN's response to the 'terror list'

  • The United Nations (UN) said it is bound only by the list of sanctions adopted by the organs of the United Nations and the Security Council.
  • This came in UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric response to a question about the list, made by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE and Bahrain, of so the called "terrorist organizations and entities" featuring the name of Qatar Charity.
  • Dujarric said that the UN has signed significant work with Qatar Charity in Yemen , Iraq and Syria and said that they are coordinating the aid work together.
  • The spokesman said that in principle, the UN relies solely on the list of sanctions adopted by the UN Security Council, and the UN is not obliged to take into account any lists other than that.

Read the full story here 

4:20pm - UAE Central Bank asks banks to adopt 'terror list'

  • UAE banks and other financial institutions have been instructed to search for and freeze any accounts or deposits or investments held by individuals or entities that are in the "terror list" issued by Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt late on Thursday.
  • In another circular, the Central Bank advised banks and other financial institutions operating in the UAE to apply enhanced customer due diligence for any accounts they hold belonging to six Qatari banks.
  • A bank press statement said the two circulars were issued based upon a UAE cabinet resolution designating 59 individuals and 12 entities as "terrorists or terrorist organisations".

2:15pm - Saudi tourism ministry orders facilities to remove Al Jazeera from available TV channels 

  • The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage issued a circular in the early hours of Friday, ordering all "tourist facilities" to remove satellite channels that include religious, political or moral violations, including the Al Jazeera Media Network. 
  • The circular read: "All tourist facilities must commit to choosing the appropriate TV channels in line with the official Saudi TV channels … and not to operate channels deviant to the Islamic religion or the state's policies, or morals."
  • It added: "The authority ensures the importance of removing all the 'Al Jazeera channels' from the list of available channels in rooms and other tourism accommodation facilities in order to prevent anyone who violates this circular from facing penalties, which could amount to 100,000 Saudi riyals ($26,600) or the revocation of their license, or both."



1:28pm - Germany calls for an end to Qatar blockade

  • German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel called for an end to the land, sea and air blockade imposed by Arab countries on Qatar after a meeting with Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani in Wolfenbuettel, Germany.
  • Gabriel also called for increased diplomatic efforts to resolve the crisis.
  • "We are convinced that now is the hour of diplomacy and we must talk to each other," he told reporters 
  • "Along with our American colleagues but above all our colleagues in the region, we must try to find solutions, especially lifting the sea and air blockades," he said.

12:15pm - Saudi-led bloc list 'arbitrary'

  • The UK-based Arab Organisation for Human Rights (AOHR) called the Saudi bloc's list "arbitrary", saying it "was clearly made up arbitrarily, to serve political agendas, without relying on any evidence or an impartial judicial authority". 
  • AOHR also said: "The exact legal definition and crime of 'terrorism' needs to be determined by a neutral judicial authority, which is not available in these countries [Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, and Bahrain]."
  • The independent group also warned that the list violated clear laws against defamation, as the reputation of individuals and charitable organisations is put at risk.

11:45am - Qatar FM calls blockade 'violation of international law' 

  • Qatar's Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani on Friday said the blockade of his country is a violation of international law.
  • "These procedures that were taken have clear violations of international law and international humanitarian law. They will not have a positive impact on the region but a negative one," he said during a joint press conference with his German counterpart during a visit to Germany. 

11:30am - Qatar rejects Saudi-led bloc's 'terror' list 

  • Qatar on Friday rejected allegations of supporting individuals and groups blacklisted as "terrorists" by a bloc of Arab neighbours that has imposed an economic blockade on it amid major diplomatic fallout.
  • The Qatari government said the list of 59 people and 12 groups, with ties to Qatar, "reinforces allegations that hold no foundation".

10:15am - Five days on, five things to know about the Qatar-Gulf rift

  • Despite mediation efforts led by Kuwait, the standoff continues five days into the dispute between Saudi and its allies, and Qatar. We look at some of the key points of the ongoing rift. 
  • Economic blockade: Along with the severing of diplomatic ties, a Riyadh-led blockade was imposed against Doha. Saudi, which shares the only land border with Qatar, shut the crossing and halted transport of goods into its gas-rich neighbour. Saudi, UAE and Bahrain also close their airspace to flights from and to Qatar. Qatari citizens were ordered out of the three countries and sea links were cut. 
  • Turkey sending troops: Following the threats made against Qatar, its close ally Turkey voted to accelerate the deployment of troops to its base in the peninsula.
  • Media attacks: As accusations heated up, Saudi signalled that it was escalating the row in the media sphere - first by shutting down the local office of the Doha-based Al Jazeera Media Network. Days before the diplomatic spat boiled over, Al Jazeera's websites were already blocked in Saudi, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt.
  • Trump's tweets: In the first hours of the diplomatic scuffle, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said it is important that the GCC members remain "unified". Tillerson's assurances, however, were thrown in doubt after US President Donald Trump wrote a post on social media referencing Qatar when he said leaders of the Middle East had stated that they "would take a hard line on funding extremism". He later made a phone call to Qatar's leader to offer help in resolving the crisis. Instead of diffusing the already heated situation, Trump's tweets only led to more discord.
  • 'Terror list': On Thursday evening, a joint action by Saudi, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt placed 59 individuals and 12 organisations on a "terror list". It includes the Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader Yousuf al-Qaradawi and 18 prominent Qataris. On Friday, Qatar dismissed the list as "baseless" allegations that "hold no foundation in fact". 

7:15am - UAE minister calls Qatar to 'change course'

  • Anwar Gargash, minister of state affairs for the United Arab Emirates accused Qatar of escalating the crisis by seeking help from Turkey and Iran.
  • "The request for political protection from two non-Arab countries and military protection from one of them could be a new tragic and comic chapter," he wrote on Twitter late on Thursday.
  • Gargash also called Qatar to "change its course" and "abandon its stubbornness".

5:30am - US senators push for strategy amid crisis

  • "We've got to be concerned about putting our thumb too heavily on one side of the scale when we are dealing with people in the region we want to maintain a relationship with," Senator Bob Corker, the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told Al Jazeera.

1:20am - Arab nations add Qatar residents, charities to 'terrorism' lists

  • Four Arab countries that cut ties with Qatar designated dozens of people with alleged links to Doha as "terrorists", intensifying a row that threatens the region's stability.
  • Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Bahrain said in a statement published by the Saudi state news agency that 59 people - including Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader Yousuf al-Qaradawi - and 12 entities, among them Qatari-funded charities, were named on the "terrorism" list.

01:10am - Qatar urges citizens to take high-road on social media

  • Qatar's communications office issued a statement urging citizens and residents to mind "Islamic and Arab values" on social media during the standoff with Gulf neighbours.
  • "Based on the principles of our true Islamic religion, our humanitarian values and our authentic Qatari culture, we call on all those who live on this good land to rise and continue to avoid responding similarly to the abuses that spread in various means of mass communication. We also call upon you to show more responsibility, of which you are well known, and not to insult countries, their leaders or peoples," the statement said.

00:55am - UN chief wades into Qatar-Gulf dispute

  • UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says he is ready to support diplomatic efforts to resolve tensions between Qatar and other Gulf Arab states "if desired by all parties". Guterres' spokesman said in a statement the secretary-general urged countries in the region to avoid an escalation, adding he is following the situation with "deep concern".

00:41am - Friday - Turkey's president ratifies Qatar military deals

  • Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan late on Thursday ratified two deals on deploying Turkish troops in Qatar and training the country's military, according to the Turkish leader's office. The deal on sending soldiers was signed in April in Doha. "The move aims to contribute to regional and world peace," Anadolu news agency quoted the Turkish presidency as saying.

10pm - Saudi FM holds talks in Oman

  • Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir has travelled to Oman's capital Muscat to hold talks with Omani officials, according to Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya television.
  • No details have emerged about their discussions.

8:30pm - UAE forecasts 'new tragic and comic chapter' in Gulf row

  • Anwar Gargash, the foreign minister of the United Arab Emirates, has said on Twitter that Qatar is seeking help from Turkey and Iran for dealing with the diplomatic rift in the Gulf and it could bring "new tragic and comic chapter" in the crisis.
  • "The great escalation from the confusing and confused brother country and the request for political protection from two non-Arab countries and military protection from one of them could be a new tragic and comic chapter."

7:15pm - Shell diverts US LNG cargo to Dubai after Gulf rift

  • Royal Dutch Shell has sent a replacement cargo of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the United States to Dubai, shipping data shows, after a diplomatic row disrupted typical trade routes from Qatar.
  • Shell has a deal to supply the Dubai Supply Authority (DUSUP) with LNG which it typically sources from Qatar because of its proximity.
  • But bans on Qatari vessels entering ports in the United Arab Emirates, imposed after top Arab powers severed diplomatic and transport links with Qatar on Monday, meant it had to source the LNG from elsewhere.
  • The Maran Gas Amphipolis tanker, carrying around 163,500 cubic metres of LNG produced in the US, was initially headed toward Kuwait's port of Mina Al-Ahmadi but made a U-turn on Wednesday to head for Dubai's port of Jebel Ali.
  • The tanker is currently unloading at DUSUP's floating import terminal at Jebel Ali, data showed.

7pm - Two Qatari LNG ships change course

  • Two Qatari liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers have changed course in the Gulf of Aden away from their expected destination of Britain, according to shipping intelligence firm Kpler and shipping data.
  • The Al Mafyar tanker, carrying about 262,000 cubic metres of LNG from Qatar, is no longer heading towards the Suez Canal, shipping data shows. Its new destination is unknown.
  • The Zarga tanker, with a capacity of 262,000 cubic metres, executed a U-turn and appears to be heading back in the direction from which it came, shipping data shows.

6pm - Sudan says it will not take sides in Gulf rift

  • Sudan has said it will not take sides in the diplomatic crisis in the Gulf amid calls from Sudanese legislators to back Qatar.
  • Responding to questions from lawmakers on Wednesday, Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour said he expected Gulf Arab states to overcome the crisis given the "strong relations and blood ties" between them.
  • Sudan also offered to mediate to defuse tensions, according to its state news agency.

5pm - Qatar's FM: 'We are not ready to surrender'

  • Qatar's Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani has said the Gulf rift is threatening the stability of the entire region.
  • He also said diplomacy was still Doha's preferred option and there would never be a military solution to the problem.
  • Qatar had never experienced this type of hostility, even from an enemy country, he said.
  • "No one has the right to intervene in our foreign policy."
  • "We are not ready to surrender, and will never be ready to surrender, the independence of our foreign policy."
  • He also said the Emir of Qatar would not travel to Washington for GCC crisis talks suggested by US President Donald Trump because he did not want to leave his country while it is "in blockade".

3:45pm - Chad recalls its ambassador from Qatar

  • Chad has recalled its ambassador from Qatar with the country's foreign ministry calling involved in the Gulf diplomatic crisis to use dialogue to resolve the dispute.

2pm - Bahrain bans showing sympathy to Qatar

  • Bahrain is warning the island's media outlets not to "publish or circulate anything that condones or justifies Qatari policies by any means".
  • Bahrain's Information Affairs Ministry said on Thursday that those who do publish material sympathetic to Qatar "will be held responsible".
  • "Any expression of sympathy with the government of Qatar or opposition to the measures taken by the government of Bahrain, whether through social media, Twitter or any other form of communication, is a criminal offence punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine," the ministry statement said.

1:50pm - UAE blocks access to Qatar Airways website

  • The United Arab Emirates has blocked access to the website of Qatar Airways. It began on Thursday and follows the UAE blocking access to a series of Qatari media websites, including those of Al Jazeera media network.

1:25pm - Bahrain FM demands Doha shun Iran

  • Bahrain has reiterated on Thursday a demand that Qatar distance itself from Iran and stop support for "terrorist" groups. "Qatar has to redress its path and has to go back to all previous commitments, it has to stop media campaigns and has to distance itself from our number one enemy, Iran," Bahrain's Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed al-Khalifa told Saudi-owned Asharq al-Awsat newspaper. "It has to realise its interests are with us, not with another country that conspires against us, wants to dominate and divide us. It has to stop supporting terrorist organisations, Sunni or Shia, and its policy has to be for the benefit of its people."

12:32pm - Pakistan to continue LNG imports from Qatar

  • Pakistan's government says it will continue to import liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Qatar under a 15-year $1bn deal signed last year. 
  • Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Pakistan's federal minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources, said since no sanctions have been imposed on Qatar by the UN, Islamabad and Doha were bound to abide by the agreement.

11:44am - Qatari stock market rebounds

  • Qatar's stock index has rebounded in early trade after losing 9.7 percent since the start of the diplomatic crisis earlier this week. 
  • The market was up 2.5 percent with all 17 companies that have a market capitalisation of over $1bn rebounding. 

10:15am - UAE postal group suspends all services to Qatar

  • Emirates Post Group has halted postal services to Qatar from all of its postal offices in the United Arab Emirates until further notice, the country's state news agency reported. All as yet undelivered items will be returned with the corresponding postal fees according to procedures and regulations.

8:00am - France's Macron calls all sides to 'pursue dialogue'

  • For the second time in 24 hours, French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday held a phone conversation with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani to discuss efforts to solve the crisis in the Gulf. Macron expressed France's readiness to act as a mediator and stressed the importance of dialogue in order to preserve stability in the region. The French president also spoke to Saudi King Salman and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and "invited all parties to pursue dialogue". 

5:25am - Qatar's defence ministry plays down border report

  • A news report that Qatar's military was put on high alert on the country's southern border with Saudi Arabia is downplayed. "The ministry of defence is always on alert to protect the borders of the state of Qatar from a 360-degree approach - land, sea and air - 24 hours a day, every day of the year," said a ministry statement.

3:40am - Trump calls UAE's crown prince over crisis

  • US President Donald Trump spoke with Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates, a White House statement said. "Most importantly, the leaders agreed on the importance of implementing agreements reached in Riyadh to counter extremism and to combat the funding of terrorist groups. Additionally, the president emphasised 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."

2:30am Thursday - US talking to all sides involved in Gulf crisis

  • "We are continuing to talk to multiple members in the region. We'll continue to do that and monitor it," Sarah Sanders, deputy White House press secretary, told reporters aboard Air Force One.

11:50pm - Kuwait's Emir departs from Qatar after a brief visit

  • Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah has departed from Qatar's capital Doha after meeting Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani to discuss the GCC crisis.

11:15pm - Bahrain foreign minister says all options open on Qatar

  • Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed al-Khalifa, Bahrain's foreign minister, said according to the Saudi newspaper Mecca: "The emir of Kuwait is a messenger of good, but the policies of Qatar have not granted his endeavours success. We will not hesitate to protect our interests and the road is open to any options to protect ourselves from Qatar."

9:30pm - Kuwait's Emir arrives in Qatar

  • Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah has arrived in Qatar's capital of Doha after a short trip to Dubai in an effort to mediate a solution to the Gulf diplomatic spat.

8:25pm - Media watchdog condemns Saudi closure of Al Jazeera office

  • Reporters Without Borders has condemned Saudi Arabia's decision to close the Riyadh office of Qatar's Al Jazeera media network.
  • The media rights group, also known as RSF, said Al Jazeera was a "collateral victim of (the) diplomatic offensive against Qatar".

8:20pm - Qatar's National Committee for Human Rights demands end of sanctions

  • The government body said: "Such decisions violate the private ownership rights since thousands in the GCC own residences, factories and business within the GCC and the travel ban will prevent them from attending to their business and carrying out their business and access to their properties. These sanctions also violate the citizens within the GCC their rights to health and work access."
  • It also said: "National Committee for Human Rights in Qatar warn of more violations that may take place that can affect the peace and security of the GCC as a whole and the dangerous repercussions that these sanctions will lead to."

8:15pm - Trump holds a phone conversation with Qatar's Emir

  • US President Donald Trump has spoken by telephone with Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, expressing readiness to participate in the efforts to resolve the crisis in the GCC.
  • The White House statement: "The president emphasised the importance of all countries in the region working together to prevent the financing of terrorist organisations and stop the promotion of extremist ideology. The president reiterated that a united Gulf Cooperation Council and a strong United States-Gulf Cooperation Council partnership are critical to defeating terrorism and promoting regional stability. The president offered to help the parties resolve their differences, including through a meeting at the White House if necessary."

8pm - Turkish parliament approves troop deployment in Qatar

  • Turkey's parliament has approved a legislation allowing its troops to be deployed to a Turkish military base in Qatar.
  • The bill, first drafted in May, passed with 240 votes in favour, largely with support from the ruling AK Party and nationalist opposition MHP.

7:50pm - Top Emirati diplomat says leaked emails were true

  • Anwar Gargash, the UAE foreign minister, has acknowledged that leaked emails published by news outlets from Emirati ambassador to the US were true.

7:40pm - Kuwait's Emir meets two top officials in the UAE

  • Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah met in Dubai with Abu Dhabi's Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Dubai's ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to try and mediate a growing diplomatic rift over Qatar. No details have emerged about their discussions.

7:30pm - Senegal cuts diplomatic ties with Qatar

  • Senegal's foreign ministry has recalled its ambassador from Qatar, saying it was acting in solidarity with other countries in the Gulf who had cut diplomatic ties with Doha.

7pm - Turkey debates law for military support for Qatar

  • Turkey's parliament has begun debating legislation for increased military cooperation with Qatar in an apparent move to support the country amid its dispute with Saudi Arabia and other regional nations.
  • Separate bills for the training of military personnel and the deployment of troops to a Turkish military base in Qatar were moved up parliament's agenda on Wednesday.

5:10pm - Qatar brings stranded passengers from Saudi via Oman

  • Qatar Airways has chartered three flights on Oman Air to bring passengers from Saudi Arabia's Jeddah to Qatar's Doha. All passengers arrived safely home via Oman's capital Muscat late on Tuesday, the airline said on Wednesday.
  • The airline has also organised a flight with Kuwait Airlines on Wednesday to transport remaining passengers from Saudi Arabia to Doha via Kuwait. The flight will depart at 19:15 local time on Wednesday.
  • Qatar Airways said it is supporting its staff affected by the situation in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, the Kingdom of Bahrain and Egypt due to suspension of operations in those countries.
  • All passengers booked on affected flights will be provided with alternative options, including the option of a full refund on any unused tickets and free rebooking to the nearest alternative Qatar Airways network destination.

5pm - Emirati diplomat: "Nothing to negotiate" with Qatar

  • Anwar Gargash, the foreign minister of the UAE, has said "there's nothing to negotiate" with Qatar, signaling Arab countries trying to isolate Doha won't back down.

4:15pm - France urges Qatar to answer neighbours' questions

  • Christophe Castaner, the French government spokesman, said his country was not taking sides in the Gulf spat, but said "Qatar must be completely transparent and answer precisely the questions that have been asked notably by its neighbours".

4pm - Turkish exporters ready to meet Qatar's food, water demand

  • Mehmet Buyukeksi, chairman of the Turkish Exporters Assembly (TIM), has said that exporters stood ready to fill the gap after the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia cut trade ties with Qatar.

1:50pm - UAE port 'eases restrictions'

  • Abu Dhabi Petroleum Ports Authority has eased restrictions on cargoes going to and from Qatar, Reuters news agency reports. 
  • A new circular states all vessels carrying the Qatari flag and vessels owned or operated by Qatar are not allowed into its petroleum port, removing a reference to vessels arriving from or destined to Qatar.

1:30pm - UAE wants change in Qatar's policies

  • The UAE wants to change Qatar's policies, not "its regime", Saudi-owned Al Arabiya television said citing a government official.

12:30pm - Kuwait emir heading to Abu Dhabi

  • Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah has flown to Abu Dhabi to continue talks on resolving the Gulf crisis. 

11am - Moscow: No proof Russian hackers involved in Qatar crisis

  • Moscow has dismissed allegations that Russian hackers helped spark the diplomatic crisis around Qatar, after CNN reported that US officials believed they planted a false news story. 
  • "We're getting tired of reacting to unsubstantiated banalities," Andrei Krutskikh, a Kremlin advisor on cybersecurity, told the Interfax news agency.
  • "Whatever happens it is hackers. It's a stale claim and as ever there is zero evidence, and conclusions are drawn before the incident is even investigated," he said.

9:50am - Etihad Airways: Qataris barred from travel/transit via UAE 

  • Abu Dhabi state-owned Etihad Airways said all travellers holding Qatari passports are currently prohibited from travelling to or transiting through the United Arab Emirates as part of government instructions.
  • Expatriates residing in Qatar and in possession of a Qatari residence visa will also not be eligible for visa on arrival in the UAE, Etihad spokesman said in an email.

8:30am - UAE bans show of sympathy towards Qatar 

  • "Strict and firm action will be taken against anyone who shows sympathy or any form of bias towards Qatar, or against anyone who objects to the position of the United Arab Emirates, whether it be through the means of social media, or any type of written, visual or verbal form," Gulf News quoted UAE Attorney-General Hamad Saif al-Shamsi as saying.
  • Offenders could be punished with a jail term of up to 15 years and a fine of at least 500,000 dirhams ($136,000), Gulf News reported. 

7:40am - Hamas 'shocked' by Saudi comments on Qatar

  • Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told reporters in Paris on Tuesday that Qatar must sever ties with Hamas and its historic parent, the Muslim Brotherhood.
  • Hamas said in a statement early on Wednesday that Jubeir's remarks "constitute a shock for our Palestinian people and the Arab and Islamic nations." 

6:30am - Qataris banned from Qantas flights to Dubai 

  • Qatari nationals will not be allowed to board Qantas flights to Dubai because the UAE has banned them from passing through its airports, an executive at the Australian airline has said.
  • The UAE had already said Qatari nationals would not be allowed to enter the country or cross its points of entry, although the practical effects on airline passengers had been unclear until now.

5:10am - Mauritanians protest in front of Qatar embassy

  • In a show of solidarity with Qatar, people in capital Nouakchott demonstrated outside of the Qatari embassy against its government's decision to severe ties with the Gulf state.

4:05am - Qatari ambassador to US discusses crisis

  • "All these issues are based on fabricated allegations. There is no proof.
  • "There's proof that Qatar is combating terrorism. In Riyadh, Qatar was commended on that. Our commitment to the US is a solid commitment, and our commitment to the region is also solid, so this is not a question," the ambassador said.

1:56am - Qatar's gas exports unaffected

  • ExxonMobil Corp says production and exports of liquefied natural gas from Qatar have not been affected. 
  • The growing diplomatic rift has raised concerns about global access to Qatar's LNG, especially after some regional ports in the Gulf said they would not accept Qatari-flagged vessels.

1:48am - Trump talks to Saudi King Salman

  • "The two leaders discussed the critical goals of preventing the financing of terrorist organisations and eliminating the promotion of extremism by any nation in the region," according to a White House statement. 
  • "The president underscored that a united Gulf Cooperation Council is critical to defeating terrorism and promoting regional stability."

1:35am - Mauritania breaks diplomatic ties with Qatar

  • "The state of Qatar has linked its policies ... in support of terrorist organisations and the propagation of extremist ideas," said a statement from the ministry of foreign affairs of the West African country, a member of the Arab League.

1:10am - Pentagon chief speaks to Qatar's defence minister

  • US Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis has spoken by phone with his Qatari counterpart. No details of the talks were given, Reuters news agency quoted a source as saying. 
  • The Pentagon earlier renewed praise of Qatar for hosting a vital US air base and for its "enduring commitment to regional security". 

00:30am - Moroccan airline halts Doha transit flights

  • Royal Air Maroc (RAM) has announced that it had to suspend transit flights via Doha to and from UAE, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Egypt due to the cancellation of flights from Qatar to these countries.
  • RAM's direct flights continue to operate to and from Qatar to Morocco.

11:51pm - Erdogan criticises Qatar sanctions, wants stronger ties

  • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said "the sanctions taken against Qatar are not good".
  • "Turkey will continue and develop our ties with Qatar, as with all our friends who have supported us in the most difficult moments," he added in reference to last year's failed coup.

11:20pm - Jordan downgrades relations with Qatar

  • Jordan has said it will downgrade its diplomatic representation with Qatar after examining the "cause of the crisis" in the Gulf.
  • The country also revoked the license of Al Jazeera media network, Jordan's government spokesman Mohammad al-Momani said.

10pm - Kuwaiti Emir departs for Saudi

  • Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah flies to Saudi Arabia to meet King Salman.
  • Al Sabah had asked Qatar's emir to postpone speech, to give time to solve the crisis.

9:13pm - Saudi Arabia: Qatar must "change policies"

  • Saudi Arabia's foreign minister has said the damage caused by economic measures taken by some Arab states against Qatar should convince it change its policies.
  • Qatar must end its support for Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, the foreign minister said.
  • "We believe that common sense and logic and will convince Qatar to take the right steps," Adel al-Jubeir said in Paris.
  • "The decisions that were made were very strong and will have a fairly large cost on Qatar and we do not believe that Qataris want to sustain those costs."

8:30pm - IATA calls for restoring air links with Qatar

  • The International Air Transport Association has called on the countries that acted against Qatar to restore air links with the country, warning of major travel disruptions. 
  • "Of course, we accept that countries have the right to close their borders," said IATA director general Alexandre de Juniac. "But connectivity with Qatar must be restored as quickly as possible."

7:25pm - French president keen to seek resolution of Gulf spat

  • The president of France, Emmanuel Macron, has told Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani in a phone conversation that he plans to seek ways to reduce tensions between Qatar and its neighbours.

7:22pm - Pentagon grateful to Qatar

  • Pentagon has said the US military is grateful for Qatar's support of US army presence in the country and "enduring commitment to regional security". 
  • The spokesperson declined to comment on US President Donald Trump's tweets.

4:45pm - Trump tweets on Qatar for the second time

  • US President Donald Trump has said on Twitter: "So good to see the Saudi Arabia visit with the King and 50 countries already paying off. They said they would take a hard line on funding extremism, and all reference was pointing to Qatar. Perhaps this will be the beginning of the end to the horror of terrorism!"

3:45pm - Philippines bars workers from travelling to Qatar

  • The Philippine government temporarily has suspended the deployment of Filipino workers to Qatar, the labour secretary said. Silvestre Bello said there was no plan yet to repatriate the more than 200,000 Filipino workers in Qatar.

3:06pm - US President Donald Trump tweets

  • For the first time since the crisis unfolded, Trump has weighed in. His tweet: "During my recent trip to the Middle East I stated that there can no longer be funding of Radical Ideology. Leaders pointed to Qatar - look!"

12:20pm - Saudi suspends Qatar Airways license

  • According to the Saudi press, transport authorities in Saudi have cancelled Qatar Airways license to operate in Saudi Arabia.  
  • The authorities also decide to close all Qatar's Airways offices in the Kingdom.

11:50am - BeIn sports network appears blocked in UAE

  • Authorities and telecommunications companies did not provide further details. BeIN acquired Al Jazeera's sports channels in 2013.

11:20am - UAE demands guarantees before mending Qatar ties

  • "We need a guaranteed roadmap to rebuild confidence after our covenants were broken," UAE state minister for foreign affairs Anwar Gargash said on Twitter.
  • Gargash accused Doha of turning to "money and media and partisanship and extremism" in a series of tweets early on Tuesday. Qatar has denied the allegations.

10:00am - Qatar stocks rebound in early trade

  • Qatar's stock market rebounded in early trade on Tuesday after plunging 7.3 percent on Monday.
  • The Qatari stock index was up 2.7 percent after half an hour of trade; it rose as much as 3.2 percent at one stage.

9:20am - Aluminium exports from Qatar blocked

  • Exports of aluminium from the Qatalum metals plant in Qatar have been blocked by the UAE, Norway's Norsk Hydro said.
  • Norsk Hydro owns a 50-percent stake on the Qatalum joint venture, which produces more than 600,000 tonnes per year of primary aluminium to customers in Asia, Europe and the United States.
  • "Most Qatalum shipments normally go through the large Jebel Ali port in UAE, but this port looks to be closed for all Qatar shipments from Tuesday morning," Norsk Hydro said in a statement.

8:23am - Qatar Airways suspends flights to UAE, Egypt, Bahrain

  • Qatar Airways has cancelled flights to Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates from Tuesday until further notice, the airline said on its website, a day after it had suspended flights to Saudi Arabia.
  • The airline said passengers holding a confirmed Qatar Airways ticket to any of the four countries between June 5 and July 6 are permitted to rebook their flights up to 30 days after their current departure date.
  • Qatar Airways said its offices will continue to operate as normal in affected countries until further notice.

8:00am - Erdogan holds talks on lowering tensions

  • Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan spoke by phone with the leaders of Qatar, Russia, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia on lowering tension, presidential sources said.

"The importance of regional peace and stability was underlined in the talks, as well as the importance of focusing on the path of diplomacy and dialogue to lower the current tension," according to the sources.

1:30am, Tuesday - Qatar's foreign minister interview

  • "For us, the strategic choice of the state of Qatar is to solve any dispute through dialogue," Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman Al Thani says.
  • "Regarding the reasons for this escalation, honestly, we don't know if there were real reasons for this crisis", Qatar's Foreign Minister Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman Al Thani says.
  • "There were no indications [of a crisis] whatsoever," in the latest GCC meeting, or the American-Islamic-Arab summit. 
  • He said the emir of Kuwait was traveling to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday to assist in "containing the crisis". 
  • Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani will give a speech to the nation on Tuesday to address the situation.
  • He added there's a big question mark over the future of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). 
  • "There was an unprecedented escalation from the [Gulf] mass media… but Qatar has not met this escalation with escalation".

10:40pm - Kuwait calls for restraint

  • Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah has called Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and "urged him for restraint and not to take any measure that could escalate" the situation in the Gulf, according to the state-run KUNA news agency.

8:30pm - Saudi banks asked to sell Qatari Riyals

  • Saudi Arabia's central bank asks local banks to sell Qatari Riyals and not to buy anymore of it, local media and Reuters report.

8:30pm - Turkey is seeking to resolve Gulf spat

  • Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is "actively involved" in efforts to resolve the diplomatic spat between Qatar and its neighbours, according to Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus.

8pm - US military has "no plans" for change

  • The US military's Central Command says it has "no plans to change our posture in Qatar" amid a Gulf diplomatic crisis. Major Adrian J T Rankine-Galloway said in a statement that US military aircraft continue to fly missions in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria from Qatar's Al-Udeid air base.

7:30pm - Egypt airspace to close on Tuesday morning

  • Egypt's ministry of civil aviation has announced that the country's airspace will be closed to Qatari flights starting Tuesday 04:00GMT.

6:30pm - Israel praises anti-Qatar moves

  • Avigdor Lieberman, Israel's defence minister, has praised the measures against Qatar, saying "there is no doubt that this opens very many possibilities of cooperation in the struggle against terror".

6:25pm -  Saudi shuts Al Jazeera office 

  • Saudi Arabia has shut down Al Jazeera Media Network's local office, according to Saudi state media

5:40pm - No Qatari vessels allowed in Saudi ports

  • The Saudi Ports Authority has notified shipping agents not to receive vessels carrying Qatari flags or ships that are owned by Qatari companies or individuals.

5:10pm - Egypt suspends air and sea links

  • Egypt's foreign ministry said in a statement the country was suspending air and sea links to Qatar, citing national security.

4:40pm - Turkey expresses 'sorrow'

  • Turkey is ready to help however it can to bring the disputes to a manageable level, said Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu speaking at a joint press conference in Ankara.
  • Cavusoglu also said: "Turkey sees the unity and solitary among Gulf states as our own unity".

4pm - Iran's food 'can reach in 12 hours'

  • Food shipments sent from Iran can reach Qatar in 12 hours, said Reza Nourani, chairman of the union of exporters of agricultural products.

3:30pm - UAE port to turn away Qatar-bound vessels

  • UAE's Port of Fujairah says all vessels flying the flag of Qatar or destined for Qatar will not be allowed to call at the port.

3:30pm - Iran calls for dialogue

  • Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi was quoted on the ministry's website as calling for a "clear and explicit dialogue" among the feuding nations. Iran says rising tensions among its Arab Gulf neighbours threaten the interests of everyone in the region.

3:15pm - Maldives cuts ties with Qatar

  • Decision made because of the Maldives "firm opposition to activities that encourage terrorism and extremism".

3:10pm - Egypt recalls ambassador

  • Egypt's foreign ministry says it has given the Qatari ambassador in Cairo 48 hours to leave the country and has ordered its own envoy in Doha to return home, also within two days.

2:50pm - Libya's Haftar cuts ties with Qatar

  • The faction led by Khalifa Haftar, one of three rival governments in Libya, announced it is cutting ties with Qatar.
  • Haftar's foreign minister accuses Qatar of "harbouring terrorism". 

2pm - Saudi closes border with Qatar

  • Saudi Transport authority confirms immediate border closure with Qatar by land and by sea.

1:30pm - Saudi border line up

  • Reports of trucks being lined up across the border in Saudi Arabia unable to enter Qatar.

1:20pm - Updates from FIFA

  • Football's world governing body says it remains in "regular contact with Qatar".
  • FIFA issued a short statement saying it has spoken with "the Qatar 2022 Local Organizing Committee and the Supreme Committee for Delivery Legacy handling matters relating to the 2022 FIFA World Cup".
  • It said: "We have no further comments for the time being".

1:15pm - Air Arabia flights suspended from Tuesday

  • Air Arabia, a low-cost airline based in the United Arab Emirates, said it is suspending flights to Qatar along with other Emirati airlines over a growing diplomatic crisis.
  • Air Arabia says its flights will be suspended from Tuesday "until further notice".

EXPLAINED: How diplomatic rift affects air travel

12:10pm - Saudia flights suspended from Monday

  • Saudi Arabian Airlines says it is suspending flights to the Qatari capital, Doha.
  • The airline, also known as Saudia, posted on Twitter that it would be halting flights from Monday morning, without elaborating.

11:05am - FlyDubai flights cancelled from Tuesday

  • Dubai's budget carrier FlyDubai says it has canceled its flights to Qatar amid a diplomatic dispute between it and other Arab countries.
  • The carrier said on Monday that, starting Tuesday, all flights would be suspended. It offered no other details.
  • FlyDubai's decision follows that of Emirates and Etihad in canceling flights to Doha.

10:45am - Yemen cuts ties with Qatar

  • Yemen's internationally recognised government has cut relations with Qatar and says it supports the decision by the Saudi-led coalition to end Qatar's participation in the war on the Houthis in Yemen. Qatar has been part of the coalition since March 2015.
  • The government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi says it severed ties with Qatar in part over is support of extremist groups in Yemen "in contradiction with the goals announced by the countries supporting the legitimate government".

10:20am - Emirates flights cancelled from Tuesday

  • The Dubai-based airline Emirates says it is suspending flights to Qatar amid a growing diplomatic rift.
  • Emirates said on its website on Monday flights would be suspended until further notice starting Tuesday.

10am - US urges GCC unity

  • US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters in Sydney: "It is important that the GCC remain a unified [front]".
  • Tillerson does not expect the rift "to have any significant impact, if any impact at all, on the unified fight against terrorism".
  • Qatar hosts the largest US military base in the Middle East.

9:55am - Qatar's official reaction

  • Qatar says there is "no legitimate justification" for four Arab nations to cut diplomatic ties.
  • Qatar also says the decision is a "violation of its sovereignty", vowing to its citizens it will not affect them.

READ: Qatar's reaction in full

8:35am - Etihad suspends flights from Tuesday

  • Abu Dhabi-based airline Etihad said it is suspending flights to Qatar from June 6 "until further notice".
  • Etihad said its last flights would leave early Tuesday morning.
  • Etihad gave no reason for the decision. It is the flag carrier of the United Arab Emirates.

6:10am - UAE, Egypt cut ties with Qatar

  • The United Arab Emirates and Egypt have cut diplomatic ties with Qatar.
  • Both the UAE and Egypt made the announcement on their state-run news agencies within minutes of each other.

6am - Saudi cuts ties with Qatar

  • Saudi Arabia says it is cutting diplomatic ties to Qatar and it has pulled all Qatari troops from the ongoing war in Yemen.
  • Saudi Arabia made the announcement via its state-run Saudi Press Agency early on Monday. It appeared to be timed in concert with an earlier announcement by Bahrain similarly cutting ties.
  • The dispute between Qatar and the Gulf's Arab countries escalated recently over a hack of Qatar's state-run news agency. It has spiraled since.

5:50am - Bahrain cuts ties with Qatar

  • Bahrain says it is cutting diplomatic ties to Qatar amid a deepening rift between Gulf Arab nations.
  • Bahrain's Foreign Affairs Ministry issued a statement early on Monday saying it would withdraw its diplomatic mission from the Qatari capital of Doha within 48 hours and that all Qatari diplomats should leave Bahrain within the same period.

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