Qatar rejects 'baseless' terrorism designations by four Arab states

Cheryl Sanders
June 10, 2017

Analysts say the crisis is in part an extension of a pre-existing dispute which saw Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain temporarily recall their ambassadors from Doha in 2014 over alleged Qatari support for Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood.

"So we had a decision to make: Do we take the easy road or do we finally take a hard but necessary action?"

S&P Global Ratings also noted that the group of states which have cut off ties "provides 15 percent of Qatar's imports, potentially causing substantial shortages of key materials, including those used for construction projects, and food".

In addition to the humanitarian consequences, Tillerson stated that the blockade was hurting the fight against the so-called "Islamic State" and other violent extremist movements in the region.

Tillerson struck a careful tone.

The comments attributed to Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani on incendiary issues such as Israel, Iran and Palestinian Islamist group Hamas were one of the reasons cited by Saudi Arabia and its allies on Monday for imposing a diplomatic and economic blockade on Qatar.

Trump has tapped Tillerson to de-escalate the Gulf crisis.

"Qatar has a history of supporting groups that span the spectrum of political expression, from activism to violence", Tillerson said.

Doha is the world's largest exporter of natural liquefied gas. But the official added that Trump has a good relationship with the emir and would like to leverage it to resolve the situation.

Trump's Tuesday tweet - in which he said "all reference was pointing to Qatar" as a financer of extremism - was especially surprising given Qatar's role as host of the largest USA airbase in the Middle East.

"No one has the right to intervene in our foreign policy", Sheikh Mohammed said. "It's not clear which direction they're heading".

Since then, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Bahrain and Egypt have severed diplomatic ties and transport links with Qatar.

Qatar has vehemently denied the charges. He credited Qatar's emir with making progress in curbing financial support and expelling terrorists, but added, "He must do more, and he must do it more quickly".

As well as cutting diplomatic relations and ordering Qatari citizens to leave their countries within 14 days, the Gulf states and Egypt banned all flights to and from Qatar.

A CNN report quoted unidentified USA officials briefed on the investigation as saying that Russian hackers were suspected.

We ask that there be no further escalation by the parties in the region.

"The US needs to be engaged more, needs to be more public, whether it's the White House, the State Department or the Pentagon".

UAE's top prosecutor warned against showing sympathy with Qatar on social media platforms, stating that it is a "crime".

Other reports by iNewsToday