The stunning assault capped several days of spiraling tensions that kicked off when Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates led a group of Arab allies to move against Qatar – a US partner and host of the main American air base in the region – which had sought accommodation with Iran. “The government of Qatar is in denial”, said Gargash, accusing Qatar of being “the main champion of extremism and terrorism in the region”.
In Berlin, Foreign Ministry spokesman Martin Schaefer said Wednesday that while statements from the U.S. State Department were in line with Germany’s position, “I can indeed see differences in some 140 character comments by the American president”.
Saudi Arabia has already closed its airspace to Qatari planes, and – along with Bahrain – has revoked the licence of Qatar Airways. It provides a haven to anti-Western groups like the Afghan Taliban, Palestinian Hamas and Algeria’s Islamic Salvation Front but says it does not accept its neighbours’ view that any group with an Islamist background is terrorist.
Ankara also has cordial relations with Iran, whose top diplomat was in Turkey on Wednesday to discuss regional issues including the over six-year Syrian conflict.
Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al- Thani told reporters on June 8 in Doha that diplomacy was still Doha’s preferred option and there would never be a military solution to the problem.
CNN and The Guardian have also reported that the Federal Bureau of Investigation believes Russian hackers planted a false story about the emir of Qatar in recent weeks, potentially contributing to the crisis.
“We have great confidence in the president’s ability to calm this crisis and to resolve it”, Al Thani said in an interview. The Associate Press reported he met Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, on his arrival Wednesday night.
President Donald Trump spoke to Qatar’s emir on Wednesday, offering United States mediation in a crisis that has split Washington’s allies and pushed regional powers toward confrontation.
Asked if he expects Qatar to change its policies at home and in the region, he replied “Our hope that this is the case”. It’s also the world’s largest exporter of liquid national gas.
The group said the list shows Qatar “announces fighting terrorism on one hand and finances and supports and hosts different terrorist organisations on the other hand”.
The announcement increases pressure on Qatar in a diplomatic and economic campaign to isolate the small Gulf Arab state, which is a critical global supplier of gas and hosts the biggest USA military base in the Middle East.
Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt and Yemen have accused Qatar of harboring extremists and backing Riyadh’s regional rival, Iran.
Turkey had set up a temporary military base in Qatar, its first such installation in the Middle East.
– The Muslim Brotherhood rejected what it called false accusations of terrorism by Saudi Arabia.
In an article entitled “Five Reasons Why Israel Should Care about the Qatar Crisis”, Jerusalem Post said the decision to cut ties with Doha “brings Israel closer to Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the Gulf”.
“And we hope that our brother Qatar will now take the right steps in order to end this crisis”. “This policy led to the eruption of protests in the Muslim countries known as the Arab Spring in Tunisia and Egypt and became one of the causes of the war in Syria”, the expert said.
Slogans against and in support of Qatar in Arabic have dominated Twitter, which is hugely popular in the region, and have grown steadily more nationalistic and aggressive in tone.