Sri Lanka seeks more air connectivity with Gulf region

Alvin Kelly
June 10, 2017

UAE's General Civil Aviation Authority ordered all Qatar Airways offices to close in the UAE, the official WAM news agency reported. His successor, Donald Trump, made a point of travelling to Saudi Arabia on his first foreign trip as part of a reset in relations with the Gulf monarchies - a move that may well have emboldened it to cut ties with Doha.

The sanctions are meant to say to Qatar that it has chosen a route "that supports extremism, supports terrorism,"' Gargash said.

- Kuwait's emir left Saudi Arabia after what state news agency KUNA described as a "brotherly visit" but there was no word on the outcome of the talks with King Salman bin Abdulaziz on the rift.

- In Berlin, foreign ministry spokesman Martin Schaefer says that while statements from the US Department of State were in line with Germany's position, "I can indeed see differences in some 140 character comments by the American president".

- Qatar pulls out of Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen.

Al Jazeera, one of the largest news organisations in the world, has always been a source of conflict between Qatar and its neighbours, who accuse the broadcaster of bias and fomenting trouble in the region.

"And we told him very clearly if there is any allegation we can sit on the table and we can sort it out", Thani said, adding there was no evidence showing Qatar supported terrorist groups.

Late Tuesday, Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani said on Qatar-based Al Jazeera television that his country was ready for worldwide mediation, adding that the emir had postponed a national speech on the crisis to leave Kuwait more room to "proceed and communicate with the parties to the crisis and to try to contain the issue". Its foreign minister has struck a defiant tone in interviews, even after anxious residents emptied grocery stores in its capital of Doha as Saudi Arabia has blocked trucks carrying food from entering the country.

More news: US, Kuwait step up efforts to end Qatar blockade

The UAE's state-owned Etihad Airways, meanwhile, said all travelers holding Qatari passports were now prohibited from traveling to or transiting through the emirates on government instructions.

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

United States intelligence officials believe Russian hackers planted a false news story that led Saudi Arabia and several allies to sever relations with Qatar, prompting a diplomatic crisis, CNN reported Tuesday.

The United Arab Emirates tightened the squeeze on fellow Gulf state Qatar on Wednesday, threatening anyone publishing expressions of sympathy towards Doha with up to 15 years in prison and barring entry to Qataris.

But efforts to defuse the worst crisis among Gulf Arabs for two decades showed no immediate progress.

The proposed Qatar-EU Pipeline, which envisages the route starting from Qatar, passing through Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait waters and Iraq waters, Iran and finally entering Turkey to connect it further to the EU states.

Iran has always been considered an adversary by many nations in the Gulf.

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