Qatar says Kuwait trying to mediate, solve Gulf crisis


Four Arab nations, Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, cut diplomatic ties to Qatar early Monday morning, June 5, 2017, further deepening a rift among Gulf Arab nations over that country's support for Islamist groups and its relations with Iran.

The biggest diplomatic crisis in the Persian Gulf since the 1991 US -led war against Iraq pits several nations against Qatar, which is home to some 10,000 American troops and a major USA military base.

Qatar, home to about 10,000 USA troops and the host of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, criticized the move as a "violation of its sovereignty". It long has denied supporting militant groups and described the crisis as being fueled by "absolute fabrications" stemming from a recent hack of its state-run news agency.

The United States approved two large military contracts totalling more than $1.4 billion on Monday after promising Saudi Arabia a huge arms package to counter any threat from Iran.

In March of 2014, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain recalled their ambassadors from Qatar after the country supported Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood who was overthrown by the Egyptian military the year prior. Yemen, Libya's eastern-based government, and the Maldives joined later.

Aziz says that while the USA has not explicitly endorsed this particular move, Trump made it clear that he backs Saudi Arabia's counter-terrorism efforts in the region.

"I do not expect that this will have any significant impact, if any impact at all, on the unified fight against terrorism in the region or globally", said US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Sydney.

Egypt said it will suspend air links with Qatar from Tuesday, after it and other Arab states cut diplomatic ties with the Gulf emirate and accused it of supporting extremism.

The air route between Doha and Dubai is popular among business travelers and both are major transit hubs for travelers between Asia and Europe.

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"Qatar Airways has suspended all flights to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia", the airline stated.

The Gulf states banned their citizens from travelling to Qatar and ordered Qatari citizens to leave within 14 days.

Galip Dalay, a research director at Istanbul-based al-Sharq Forum, said that the aforementioned countries' decision to sever ties with Qatar is an attempt to make Doha reason on several issues.

The move will likely have major implications in oil markets, as Qatar is the biggest producer of liquefied natural gas in the Gulf.

The decision by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE and Bahrain plunged the global travel hub into chaos and ignited the biggest diplomatic crisis in the Gulf since the 1991 war against Iraq. And Saudi Arabia is shutting its border with Qatar.

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also urged Qatar and its neighbours to talk.

Last month, the Qatari news agency quoted Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani as saying that Iran is "a regional, Islamic power that can not be ignored" and it would not be wise to fight against it.

Qatari officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment. "Dialogue is imperative, especially during blessed Ramadan", Zarif tweeted, referring to the Muslim month of fasting.