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Gulf crisis: Qatar FM meets UN Security Council members

Foreign minister asks non-permanent members of UN Security Council to call for an end of the blockade on Qatar.

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 said 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.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut diplomatic ties with Qatar on June 5 over allegations that it supports "extremism" and is too close to Iran - charges Doha has repeatedly denied.

After more than two weeks, the four Arab countries gave Doha a 10-day ultimatum to comply with a 13-point list of demands in exchange for the end of the anti-Qatar measures.


Qatar-Gulf crisis: All the latest updates


The demands include that Qatar shut down the Al Jazeera Media Network, close a Turkish military base, scale down ties with Iran, and pay an unspecified sum in reparations.

Egypt, a non-permanent member of the Security Council through the end of this year, did not attend the meeting with Al Thani in New York. 

Airspace blockade

Meanwhile, Qatar's transport minister has met twice this past week with the UN's International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) at its headquarters in Montreal, Canada, asking it to intervene in the crisis. 

For nearly a month, many Qatar Airways flights to and from Doha have had to make huge detours, thanks to the airspace blockade by the Saudi-led bloc of states.

It has been costly to the airline, disruptive to passengers and, according to the Qataris, dangerous to passengers and illegal under international law.

"Really it's not a political issue, we are talking here about a technical issue, which means safety and security of the aviation," Qatar's Minister of Transport and Communications, Jassim Saif Al Sulaiti, said.

"I don't mean just Qatar Airways, but the entire international [airlines]."

It recently celebrated its 10th anniversary of flights into New York by lighting the Empire State Building in the airline’s colours. And just last month it announced it wanted to buy 10 percent of American Airlines.

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