Qatar's ties with Iran and Islamist groups

Andrew Cummings
June 12, 2017

But in language common to the three countries' announcements, the UAE said it drew a distinction between Qatar's government and its people.

It follows reports that five Iranian planes filled with food have been sent to Qatar following the blockade by Saudi Arabia and other Gulf country's.

Qatar has said citizens of states that have cut ties with the emirate will be allowed to stay in the country despite measures against its own nationals.

In a sign Gulf states were seeking to lessen the human impact of their June 5 severing of ties, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE said on Sunday they had set up hotlines to help families with Qatari members, without elaborating.

The gas rich country was importing 80 per cent of its food requirements from bigger Gulf Arab neighbours before they cut ties with the nation of 2.5 million people last week.

Ahead of his visit, Sharif called a meeting of the country's top envoys from Gulf countries to discuss the Saudi-Qatar rift.

Qatar is highly dependent on imports for its needs.

A spokesman for Iran Air, Shahrokh Noushabadi, told the Agence France-Presse news agency on Sunday: "So far five planes carrying perishable food items such as fruit and vegetables have been sent to Qatar, each carrying around 90 tonnes of cargo, while another plane will be sent today".

Qatar Airways said on Sunday that its net profits rose by nearly 22 percent in the last financial year that ended in March, before the diplomatic fallout with its Gulf neighbours. "We will continue deliveries as long as there is demand" from Qatar, Noushabadi added, without mentioning if these deliveries were exports or aid.

Qatar has denied allegations that it supports terrorism and has said it is ready to hold talks to end the tensions.

U.S. President Donald Trump initially offered to host Qatar and its adversaries - all U.S. allies - at the White House, but on Friday said Qatar has been a high-level sponsor of terrorism and backed the Gulf pressure.

Qatar has expressed readiness "to understand the concerns of its brothers and respond to the efforts of the emir (of Kuwait) to strengthen peace and security", the foreign minister said.

Saudi Arabia finances the building of mosques, schools and development projects in several majority-Muslim African nations.

Other reports by iNewsToday