Published: Wed, June 21, 2017
Business | By Max Garcia

Gulf crisis: Qatar slams Saudi Arabia, allies' terrorism list as 'baseless'

Gulf crisis: Qatar slams Saudi Arabia, allies' terrorism list as 'baseless'

Others say Sheikh Tamim's silence displays the tact U.S. President Donald Trump lacked when he posted a series of Tweets on Tuesday appearing to take sides against Qatar in the dispute.

"Qatar is accused of having a hidden relationship with Iran, but its relations with Iran are clear, transparent and time-tested", said Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, noting that the UAE does more trade with Iran than Qatar does.

He also emphasized the importance of all countries in the region to work together to prevent the financing of terrorist organizations and stop the promotion of extremist ideology, according to a White House statement.

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 US military base in the Middle East.

The latest development in the regional rift between Saudi Arabia and Qatar now includes Turkey.

The rupture is based on the accusation that the Qatari government finances terrorist organisations, including the Islamic State, Al Qaida and the Muslim Brotherhood, an accusation that Qatar has denied.

Tillerson, speaking at the State Department, said the USA would help support efforts to mediate the crisis, along with Kuwait - another Gulf country that has stepped up to try to broker a resolution.

Hours later supermarkets in Doha visited by a Reuters reporter had nearly run out of dairy products as scores of people waited in checkout lines and stocked up on beans and other staples.

But Tillerson also noted that other countries must do more - and he urged Riyadh and its allies to soften their embargo.

This acceptance might perhaps be indicative of the fact that Qatar might want to avoid any further escalations and to come in from the cold.

The situation may not be easy to solve; the UAE has said it is prepared to hand down sentences of up to 15 years or impose fines of no less than half a million dirhams ($13,600) to anyone it deems to be sympathizing with Qatar, Gulf News reported. The US relies heavily on Al-Udeid Air Base in Qatar to orchestrate air attacks in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan.

Kuwait is leading efforts to find a mediated solution.

"Senegal has decided, from this day Wednesday 7 June 2017, to recall for consultations its ambassador in Qatar", the foreign ministry said in a statement. If not managed well, this connection could also leave Turkey facing charges from the West and the Gulf region of "supporting terrorism".

Qatar is now house to the USA largest military base in the Gulf, used by the US-led worldwide coalition in Syria, and Iraq.

The sudden isolation has spurred Qatar to hold talks with Turkey, Iran and others to secure food and water supplies, said a Qatari official.

"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.

"This ruling applies to all airlines flying into the UAE", the spokesman said in the statement.

"The most appropriate way for the Gulf Cooperation Council countries to solve their internal issues is through dialogue".

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