Qatar row: Trump claims credit for isolation

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Media captionQatar Airways passengers in Abu Dhabi vent frustration

US President Donald Trump has claimed credit for the pressure being placed on Qatar by Gulf neighbours who accuse the idea of supporting terrorism inside region.

He said his recent visit to Saudi Arabia was “already paying off” along with the development might mark the “beginning of the end to the horror of terrorism”.

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE, Yemen, Libya’s eastern-based government along with the Maldives have all cut diplomatic along with some other ties with Qatar.

Qatar strongly denies the allegations.

Mr Trump’s recent speech inside capital Riyadh, in which he blamed Iran for instability inside Middle East along with urged Muslim countries to take the lead in combating radicalisation, is actually seen as likely to have emboldened Gulf allies to act against Qatar.

“During my recent trip to the Middle East I stated in which there can no longer be funding of Radical Ideology. Leaders pointed to Qatar – look!” Mr Trump tweeted on Tuesday.

He later tweeted: “So Great to see the Saudi Arabia visit with the King along with 50 countries already paying off. They said they would likely take a hard line on funding… extremism, along with all reference was pointing to Qatar. Perhaps in which will be the beginning of the end to the horror of terrorism!”

inside same week as Mr Trump’s Riyadh speech, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain along with the UAE blocked Qatari news sites, including Al Jazeera.

On Monday, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, along with the UAE gave Qatari nationals two weeks to leave, banned their own citizens through travelling to Qatar, along with cut all transport links.

Qatar is actually backing plans for talks with its regional rivals as the diplomatic row gathers pace.

Kuwait – one of the Gulf countries not involved inside dispute – has offered to mediate talks, along with its emir has travelled to Saudi Arabia.

Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman al-Thani told Al Jazeera in which his country would likely not retaliate nevertheless was unhappy with regional rivals “trying to impose their will on Qatar or intervene in its internal affairs”.

He told the BBC in which Qatar was well prepared to withstand a “blockade”, nevertheless also complained in which the people of Qatar were the victims of “collective punishment” by some other countries.

The foreign minister said his government had told President Trump during his Middle-East trip in which there was no evidence in which Qatar was supporting radical Islamists, adding in which the claims were based on “fabricated evidence along with lies”.

He also defended Qatar’s policy of promoting dialogue with Iran.


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To be clear, when the idea comes to terrorist financing, nobody’s hands are clean. The Qataris, Saudis along with Kuwaitis have all funded extremists inside Syria conflict. All have pulled back through in which under US pressure.

nevertheless Qatar’s dealings are arguably murkier than the others because the idea likes to see itself as a neutral player in which can act as an intermediary, along with is actually thus willing to play both sides – Saudi Arabia along with Iran.

Whatever the case, the Pentagon doesn’t share Mr Trump’s tone of triumphalism. Qatar hosts America’s biggest Middle East air base, the nerve centre for the air campaigns in Syria along with Iraq against the Islamic State group.

So far officials say operations have not been affected, nevertheless they might be if diplomatic feuding continues amongst US Arab allies.


What has happened?

The states in which joined Monday’s move against Qatar, a tiny nevertheless gas-rich peninsula, include some of the biggest powers inside Arab world.

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain along with the UAE closed all transport links.

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Disruption to airspace inside Gulf began on Tuesday morning local time. Doha, Qatar’s capital, is actually a major hub for international flight connections.

Airlines affected include Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways along with Emirates. Saudi Arabia along with Bahrain have revoked the licences of Qatar Airways along with ordered its offices to close within 48 hours.

When avoiding Saudi Arabia, their massive – along with only – neighbour, Qatar’s planes are having to take more indirect routes, leading to longer flight times.

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In a country reliant on imported food, residents have started off to stockpile.


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AFP

Image caption

Residents were stockpiling water on Monday

A substantial amount of Qatar’s food is actually transported across the border through Saudi Arabia, which is actually being closed. in which is actually also an important route for construction materials – needed for the energy industry along with for the preparations for the 2022 football World Cup.

Qatar’s exports are dominated by oil along with gas. They are mostly seaborne, so should not be immediately hit, nevertheless the general economic disruption could have an impact if the dispute drags on.

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in which possibility pushed the cost of crude oil higher, nevertheless only briefly. Qatar is actually a member of the exporters’ group Opec along with the dispute could yet undermine the organisation’s efforts to raise prices by restricting production.


Why has in which happened?

While the severing of ties was sudden, the idea has not come out of the blue, as tensions have been building for years, along with particularly in recent weeks.

Broadly, two key factors drove Monday’s decision: Qatar’s ties to Islamist groups, along with to Iran, Saudi Arabia’s regional rival.

Wealthy individuals in Qatar are believed to have made donations along with the government has given money along with weapons to hardline Islamist groups in Syria – Qatar says in which is actually not the case.

The Financial Times also reports in which Gulf allies were angry in which Qatar had paid a $1bn (£773m) ransom to jihadists along with Iranian security officials after Qatari nationals were kidnapped in Iraq along with Syria.

is actually Saudi to blame for is actually?

Saudi Arabia, too, has been accused of funding is actually, either directly or by failing to prevent private donors through sending money to the group – allegations the idea denies.

The Philippines, which has an estimated 0,000 residents in Qatar, said the idea had stopped the deployment of workers to the Gulf state.

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