Senegal recalls ambassador in Qatar, backs Saudi Arabia

Frederick Owens
June 20, 2017

And a State Department official said an approved but pending sale of F-15 fighter planes to Qatar hasn't been affected.

"And we hope that our brother Qatar will now take the right steps in order to end this crisis".

There are reports that the country has asked for assistance from the U.S. FBI in investigating the source of the cyber attacks.

Mr Tillerson also said the blockade by Qatar's neighbours was "hindering USA military action in the region and the campaign against Isis". The U.S. military has previously insisted that that it would not affect U.S. military operations in the region. But someone has to be able to persuade him not to undermine his own administration and US interests.

A White House summit seemed an unlikely possibility.

Qatar's satellite news giant Al-Jazeera has also emerged as a point of contention in the Gulf.

In Yemen - mired in conflict since Saudi Arabia launched an air war in 2015 against the Houthi movement that controls the capital - a southern Yemeni secessionist council armed by the UAE opposes the internationally recognised government because it includes the Qatar-backed Muslim Brotherhood.

Its ports and airports remained open to trade with countries not taking part in the Saudi-led boycott, the government said.

Qatar's Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani told CNN the Federal Bureau of Investigation has confirmed the hack and the planting of fake news.

In addition, Saudi Arabia has long accused Qatar of providing active support to Shiite minorities in the territories of Riyadh and Bahrain, and this casts risky shadows over Yemen, where the Saudis are bogged down in a war against Houthi rebels (Shiites), a conflict that they have not been able to win so far, even with United States aid. "They said they would take a hard line on funding", Trump tweeted on Tuesday.

Responding to questions from lawmakers on Wednesday, Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour said he expected Gulf Arab states to overcome the crisis given the "strong relations and blood ties" between them.

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain announced on Monday they were cutting diplomatic ties and closing all connectivity links with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorism.

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S&P Global Ratings on June 7 cut Qatar's credit rating by one notch to AA- and put it on watch for further downgrades after Gulf Arab states severed ties.

Bahrain is warning the island's media outlets not to "publish or circulate anything that condones or justifies Qatari policies by any means".

"If the actions become protracted then it's probable that customers outside the region will seek increasingly to book on competitor airlines to avoid the longer routings and disruptions which Qatar is now subjected to as a result of overflight bans", Strickland said.

The UAE meanwhile warned that anyone showing sympathy with Qatar could face jail time or fines.

Included on the list were Doha-based Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader Yusuf al-Qaradawi and Qatari-funded charities.

Headquartered in central Riyadh, the General Authority of Civil Aviation is the supervisory and regulatory body dealing with aviation and related matters. It already had blocked Qatar Airlines flights as local airlines had cut their own routes to Doha.

"The Arab countries will accept nothing but deep changes [in the Qatari policy] in order to settle the crisis in relations with Doha". It quoted Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying Thursday that Putin wasn't scheduled to meet with Al Thani.

French President Emmanuel Macron has also reached out to Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Iran in a bid to kick off negotiations.

The U.A.E. and Saudi Arabia are also Qatar's two biggest food suppliers, according to the World Bank. Qatar has denied the allegations.

CNN reported on Tuesday that USA intelligence officials believe Russian hackers planted a false news story that led Saudi Arabia and several allies to sever relations with Qatar. "Until now I have not seen Qatar give support to terror".

Qatar's foreign ministry thanked the US Federal Bureau of Investigation and the British National Crime Agency for cooperating in the investigation, without elaborating. Kuwait's emir flew to the UAE on Wednesday to discuss the crisis, while Qatari ally Turkey voiced willingness to play a role.

The two held talks, though details of their discussions were not released.

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

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