Qatar-Gulf crisis: All the latest updates

News

TOP News / News 14 Views 0







Summary

  • Foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt say they are ready for dialogue with Qatar if it shows willingness to fight 'terrorism'.
  • Qatar and Saudi Arabia accuse each other of politicising Hajj.

The latest developments since several countries, including Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt, cut ties with Qatar on June 5. (All times local Doha time).

11:15pm - Qatar and UPU address disruption in postal service

  • Jassim bin Saif Al Sulaiti, Qatar's minister of transport and communications, met on Tuesday with Bishar Hussein, the director general of the Universal Postal Union (UPU).

  • The meeting comes in response to the complaint submitted by Qatar to the UPU, concerning the violations of the constitution and conventions of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) by the blockading countries, which is the first of its kind in the world and a dangerous precedent for the UPU charters.

  • The officials discussed the violations of UPU regulations, particularly Article 4 of the Union's conventions, regarding the freedom of transit of postal and postal mail.

11:10pm - NHRC discusses Gulf crisis with head of Arab Permanent Committee on Human Rights

  • Ali bin Smaikh Al Marri, the chairman of Qatar's National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) met in the capital Doha on Tuesday with Amjad Shammout, the head of the Arab Permanent Committee on Human Rights.

  • The meeting dealt with the repercussions of the blockade against Qatar on human rights, the humanitarian situation of the citizens of Qatar and its residents, according to Qatar's state news agency.

  • A senior MP of Turkey's governing party told Al Jazeera that Turkish presence in Qatar creates "a balance in the region" as military forces of the two countries held military exercises.

  • "Turkey is protecting its own interests through the base in Qatar, rather than taking sides between the parties at odds. And Ankara's interests require stability in the region, therefore Turkey would be against an attack on Saudi Arabia as much as Qatar," Yasin Aktay said on Tuesday.

1:15pm - US envoys arrive in Gulf for talks on GCC crisis 

  • Two US envoys have arrived in Kuwait at the start of a tour of the Gulf aimed at resolving the GCC crisis.  

  • Kuwait News Agency reported late on Monday that retired US Marine General Anthony Zinni and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Timothy Lenderking met with Kuwait's Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled al-Jarallah. 

  • The envoys, who will also meet with leaders in Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE and Egypt over the coming days, reiterated US support for Kuwait during the mediation process.

  • Qatar Airways flights now have temporary access to a new route over UAE airspace, according to an announcement made on the Federal Aviation Administration's NOTAM (A Notice to Airmen) database. 

  • The move follows a meeting last week with the UN aviation agency's government council. Contingency routes were planned as part of a preliminary agreement reached earlier this month.

  • Access to the new route began on Monday and ends on November 9. The route only affects inbound flights. 

  • Another NOTAM notice indicated that an additional route, effective August 17, may be opened, but no further details were given. 

7 August 2017

9:30pm - NCHR: Israel's decision on Al Jazeera shows its alignment with blockading states

  • The National Committee for Human Rights in Qatar has said in a statement on Monday that it considers Israel's decision to close down the Al Jazeera office "a dangerous precedent illustrating the Israeli occupier's alignment with actions taken by the countries blockading Qatar, showing their utter disregard for calls by the international community that they respect the right to freedom of expression and opinion and the right to information".

  • "The National Committee for Human Rights in the State of Qatar affirms that it will work with its partner organisations at the International Conference for Freedom of Expression towards international mobilisation to limit such violations by the Israeli occupier and the countries blockading [Qatar] that have affected freedom of expression, and to implement the recommendations from the abovementioned conference."

7:20pm - StanChart CEO: Gulf rift puts Dubai finance hub at risk

  • The boss of Standard Chartered has warned that Dubai risks damaging its status as a financial centre as a result of the trade boycott of Qatar by a Saudi-led bloc, which includes the United Arab Emirates.

  • Standard Chartered is a major lender across the Middle East and CEO Bill Winters said it could become increasingly difficult for Dubai to act as a comprehensive regional hub for international companies' Gulf operations if the tension in the region continued.

  • "There is a lot of benefit we get from having a Dubai hub, we are looking to see what the effect of this will be," he told Reuters. "There is a risk of turning away from the UAE."

7:15pm - Qatar shipper Milaha plans base in Oman

  • Qatar Navigation (Milaha), a top Doha-based shipping and logistics group, said it was moving its regional trans-shipment hub from Dubai to the Omani port of Sohar after a diplomatic crisis in the region disrupted Qatar's trade.

  • Milaha is setting up a warehousing and logistics operation at Sohar, on Oman's northern coast, and is exploring other opportunities to expand in that country, the company said on Monday.

  • The plan suggests Qatar is making long-term preparations to cope with sanctions imposed by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt.

10:30am - Israel backs Saudi-led bloc's Al Jazeera stance

  • Israel has said that almost all countries in the region are determined that Al Jazeera "supports terrorism, supports religious radicalisation", echoing the rhetoric of the Arab nations that have shut down the broadcaster.

  • Communications Minister Ayoob Kara said on Sunday he plans to revoke the press credentials of Al Jazeera journalists, effectively preventing them from working in Israel.

12:30am - Qatar, Turkey wrap up 'Iron Shield' war games

  • Qatari and Turkish forces ended a joint military exercise in Doha. 

  • Brigadier Hadi Rashid Al Shahwani, commander of the exercise, said that the "Iron Shield" included training of leaders to assess the situation, planning, control and coordination between the two forces.

  • The Qatar New Agency reported that the exercise was carried out to support counter-terrorism efforts, "extremism and smuggling operations, as well as to maintain security and stability in the region".

12:15am - Workers in Qatar sent on 'unpaid extended leave'

  • As the blockade on Qatar enters its third month, the Migrant Rights organisation said the effects are "increasingly felt" by migrant workers in the hospitality, construction and shipping industries.

  • The Migrant Rights monitor said that in addition to the standard 30 days of paid annual leave, workers have been "asked" to go on "unpaid long leave" for two to three months.

  • In one case, a migrant worker at a five-star hotel told the group that six restaurants in the hotel have been closed because of the drop in the number of visitors.

6 August 2017

Show more

  • The closure of Qatar's land border with Saudi Arabia has effectively stopped the import and export businesses of many Qatari truck companies.

  • Business owners, who have complained about less work and higher rents, are hoping the problem is resolved soon.

  • "We have been affected since the first minute," Saeed Fadal Ali Al-Kaabi, director of Al Fadal Transport and Trading, told Al Jazeera.

  • "We are losing money and work is very slow," he said. "We're hardly using any trucks."

  • US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has asked two officials, including retired general and former Middle East envoy Anthony Zinni, to work on ending the Gulf diplomatic crisis.

  • "There's only so much you can do with telephone persuasion,” Tillerson said last week, after vowing to send the duo to mediate.

  • Gerald Feierstein, former US ambassador to Yemen, backed Tillerson's choice of Zinni as a mediator.

  • "He's a man with tremendous experience and knowledge," he said. "Hopefully, with sustained effort from the US, we will find a solution."

5 August 2017

  • Two months after the blockade was announced, local businessmen say it has created new opportunities for the country.

  • At Don Construction Products workload has doubled in the last few weeks as the company tries to step up its manufacturing of construction chemicals.

  • Abdulla Hamad al-Attiyah, assistant president at Ashghal public works authority, told Al Jazeera work continues on projects related to the World Cup 2022. He said contracts with $1.7bn have been signed after the blockade was announced.

6:30am - Turkey discusses trade routes with Qatar through Iran

  • Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci said on Friday Ankara, Doha and Tehran hope to reach a tripartite agreement on transporting Turkish products to Qatar in a practical and cost-effective way.

  • "We're thinking about alternatives for land trade routes with Qatar," Zeybekci told Anadolu Agency adding that the easiest way is passing through Iran.

  • He pointed that using cargo planes to carry Turkish products to Doha was not sustainable.

  • "Shipment by sea will gain importance. We foresee that at least four large tonnage ships would go to Qatar monthly but the land route is an alternative for carrying flexible and smaller packages," Zeybekci added noting that the easiest option is sending these packages through Iran.

4 August 2017

12:05am - WTO confirms Qatar filed complaints against Saudi-led group

  • The World Trade Organization has confirmed that Doha has filed complaints against the Saudi-led group that is imposing a blockade on Qatar. 

  • "Qatar has requested WTO dispute consultations with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia concerning measures adopted by the three allegedly restricting trade in goods and services from Qatar, and trade-related intellectual property rights," the WTO said on its website on Friday. 

  • In its complaints against each country, Qatar accused them of adopting measures that are "coercive attempts at economic isolation."

3 August 2017

1:15pm - Saudi-led bloc to discuss Al Jazeera's free speech complaint

  • Officials from Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt are set to discuss a complaint lodged by Al Jazeera over the closure of its offices in the four countries.

  • Media ministers will meet in Jeddah on Thursday to respond to Al Jazeera's concerns over free speech, Makram Mohammed Ahmed, the head of Egypt's Supreme Council for Organisation of Information, told the state-run MENA news agency.

  • The states boycotting Qatar have demanded the closure of Al Jazeera.

12:10pm - Trump's tweets on Qatar 'sent advisers scrambling to reshape policy' 

  • A tweet by Donald Trump accusing Qatar of "funding terrorism" was among several social media updates by the president that sent advisers scrambling, the Associated Press reported.

  • Citing two policymakers involved in talks about how to defuse tensions between Qatar and other Arab nations, the news agency said aides had no choice but to rework their plans to reflect Trump's tweet half-way through discussions.

  • Policymakers hope John Kelly, Trump's new chief of staff, can convince the president to tone down tweets at odds with administration policy

  • Douglas Brinkley, a presidential historian, said that a public pronouncement that undermines existing policy creates mistrust and "corrodes morale at the bureaus and agencies".

  • Qatar on Wednesday created a new permanent residents status for certain groups of foreigners, including those who have worked for the benefit of the emirate.

  • In a first for the Gulf, Qatar's cabinet ministers approved the measures, the official QNA press agency reported, in a move that will likely affect tens of thousands of resident foreigners.

  • Under the new rules, children with a Qatari mother and a foreign father can benefit from the new status along with foreign residents who have "given service to Qatar" or have "skills that can benefit the country," the agency said.

  • Those deemed eligible for the new status will be afforded the same access as Qataris to free public services, such as health and education, and will also receive preferable treatment for jobs in the administration and armed services as well as being able to own their own properties and exercise some commercial activities without the need for a Qatari partner.

  • Qatar has a population of 2.4 million people, 90 percent of whom are foreigners, including many from Southeast Asia working in construction.

2 August 2017

2:30pm - Qatar seals $5.9bn navy vessels deal with Italy 

  • Of the current crisis, Alfano said Italy supported mediation efforts to end the dispute.
  • Alfano also said he was concerned for citizens in the region who were suffering as a result of the fallout.

8am - UAE says measures against Qatar do not violate WTO agreements

  • Economic sanctions imposed on Qatar by three fellow Gulf states do not violate World Trade Organization (WTO) agreements, a UAE official said, after Doha launched a wide-ranging legal complaint at the Geneva-based body this week.
  • "The sanctions imposed by the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain did not contradict the agreements of the WTO," UAE state news agency WAM quoted Juma Mohammed al-Kait, an assistant undersecretary in the Economy Ministry as saying.
  • In what appeared to be the first response to the Qatari move, Kait said the boycott was in line with articles 21 and article 14 of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), which allow such moves in the case of security exceptions.

5:25am - Tillerson sends senior envoys to handle Qatar crisis

  • US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has asked two officials, including retired general and former Middle East envoy Anthony Zinni, to work to end the Gulf diplomatic crisis reported AFP news agency on Wednesday.

  • Tillerson told reporters that Qatar is so far fulfilling its commitment to the United States, but that he had sent senior US diplomat Tim Lenderking to the region to push for progress.

  • "And I've also asked retired General Anthony Zinni to go with Tim so that we can maintain a constant pressure on the ground because I think that's what it's going to take," he said. "There's only so much you can do with telephone persuasion."

  • Zinni, 73, was a marine general who once commanded US forces in the Middle East. After the military he served as special envoy to Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

1 August 2017

  • Qatar's Defence Minister Khalid bin Mohammad Al Attiyah says the future of the Gulf Cooperation Council is in doubt if the partial blockade of his country continues.

  • Speaking to Al Jazeera, Al Attiyah says the continuing political stalemate is not helping anyone. But he believes there is some sign of movement.

9:05pm - Turkey, Qatar launch joint military exercises

  • Turkey and its main regional ally Qatar on Tuesday launched military exercises in the emirate that will involve about 250 Turkish troops and 30 armoured vehicles, reports said on Tuesday.

  • Turkish state media said that the Turkish frigate TCG Gokova had docked in Doha earlier this week carrying 214 soldiers who would take part in the exercises.

  • The exercises got under way on Tuesday and would intially involve ground forces with naval forces later on, NTV television said. An observation day involving top commanders would take place on August 7-8, it added.

8:30pm - Swiss rights body demands end of Hajj restrictions

  • The Swiss Organisation for the Protection of Human Rights (SOPHR) has demanded the Saudi authorities to lift all of the restrictions imposed on the right to worship and to perform religious rituals.

  • All violations committed during the days of the siege, including obstructing the performance of religious rites, are systematic violations that places those responsible under provisions of international law, SOPHR said in a press release on Tuesday.

  • Qatar Airways is expected to have access to three contingency routes over international waters in early August, after a UN-led meeting on Monday discussed air corridors for Doha following a rift with its neighbours.

  • The closed-door meeting with the UN aviation agency's governing council in Montreal, discussed contingency routes that had been planned as part of a preliminary agreement reached earlier this month, but not yet opened to Qatar-registered planes.

  • "Within a week or so they should have new routes," said a source, who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity, because the talks are private.

  • The New York Times reported on Monday that the UAE tried to get the Taliban to open an embassy in its capital rather than in Doha.

  • "The Emirati ambassador to Washington, Yousef al-Otaiba, even received "an angry phone call" from the foreign minister at the time complaining that the Taliban had ended up in Qatar and not the UAE," the newspaper said.

  • The reports come from leaked emails between the UAE's ambassador and US officials.

  • One of the complaints against Qatar in the Gulf crisis is its alleged support for so-called "terrorist groups" - citing the 2013 opening of a Taliban embassy in the Qatari capital, Doha as an example.

  • A senior Taliban official later lauded Qatar's role in Afghan peace talks, in an exlclusive interview with Al Jazeera. 

2:40am - ICAO calls on member states to comply with Chicago Convention on International Aviation

  • The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) on Monday called on all member-states to comply with the 1944 Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation and its addendums, reported Qatar News Agency.

  • The ICAO executive council held an extraordinary session in its headquarters in Montreal, to review a casefile presented by Qatar on the damages the siege countries have caused to aviation and flight safety.

  • Qatari Minister of Transport and Communications Jassim bin Saif Al Sulaiti said the technical file presented by Qatar to the ICAO pushed the siege countries to waiver and open up seven international emergency air corridors for Qatari flight. 

  • Al Sulaiti said that Qatar's main goal at the session had been that all states should adhere to the Chicago agreement: "The organisation insisted on using the word 'adhere' because there was a violation of international safety and security. This is what the international community and the states represented think."
  • The minister also noted that the next step will be requesting that the airspace above the siege countries is opened up as well, in line with the rights guaranteed by the Chicago convention.

31 July 2017

7:55pm - Qatar launches WTO complaint against trade boycott

  • Qatar has filed a wide-ranging legal complaint at the World Trade Organisation to challenge a trade boycott by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE, Qatar's WTO representative Ali Alwaleed Al Thani told Reuters news agency.

  • By formally "requesting consultations" with the three countries, the first step in a trade dispute, Qatar triggered a 60-day deadline for them to settle the complaint or face litigation at the WTO and potential retaliatory trade sanctions.

  • "The consultation request is to discuss and clarify the legality of these measures and find a way to bring them into conformity with their commitments," Al Thani said.

  • "We have always called for dialogue, for negotiations, and this is part of our strategy to talk to the members concerned and to gain more information on these measures, the legality of these measures, and to find a solution to resolve the dispute."

7:40pm - NHRC sends letters to UN on Hajj obstacles

  • The National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) in Qatar says it has sent a letter to the UN special rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief on the obstacles faced by Qatar's citizens and residents who want to do Hajj in Saudi Arabia. 

  • It also said in statement that it sent similar letters to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the Arab League in order to explain the violations related to the right to practicing religious rituals.

  • NHRC said the Saudi authorities allowed the pilgrims to reach the holy sites through two airports only and on connection flights, did not clarify mechanisms for financial transfers and declined to communicate with Qatar on the safety guarantees.
  • Qatar's foreign minister has rebutted accusations by his Saudi counterpart that Qatar is trying to politicise the annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca.

  • "Qatar never politicised the issue of Hajj," he told Al Jazeera on Sunday.

  • "It was Saudi Arabia trying to politicise the Hajj pilgrimage amid the Gulf crisis. There has been no suggestion by any Qatari official about internationalising the issue," he said.

  • Adel al-Jubeir, Saudi Arabia's foreign minister, appeared to accuse Qatar on Sunday of politicising the issue and "declaring a war" against the kingdom by demanding the internationalisation of the Hajj.

1:40pm - Poll shows improved sentiment towards Qatar

  • Middle East fund managers have become more positive on regional equities and have a balanced view on Qatar following a drop in valuations and as the shock of the sanctions imposed on Doha eases, a monthly poll by the Reuters news agency shows.

  • The poll of 13 leading fund managers, conducted over the past week, found 38 percent expected to increase their allocations to regional equities over the next three months and none to reduce them.

  • The poll showed significantly improved sentiment towards Qatar. Twenty-three percent of managers now expect to raise their Qatari equity allocations and 23 percent to reduce them. Last month, the respective figures were eight percent and 38 percent.

  • Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani dismissed Sunday's statement from the four countries and said sanctions were violating international laws.

  • "There isn't a clear vision (from Manama's meeting), there is only a stubborn policy from the blockading countries and refusal to admit that these are illegal actions," Sheikh Mohammed told Al Jazeera.

  • "It's a continuation of a policy of intransigence."

30 July 2017

  • Qatar has denied Saudi media reports that Arab states would allow Qatari planes to use air corridors in emergencies, saying they were spreading "false information".

  • Qatar's transport and communications ministry and its aviation authority on Sunday denied claims that Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain had taken such a decision, the state news agency QNA reported.

  • Saudi state news agency SPA on Sunday cited a statement from the Saudi aviation authority (GACA) as saying they had already agreed emergency air corridors, which were identified under ICAO supervision, and that they would be open from August 1.

  • "Nine corridors have been identified including one in international airspace over the Mediterranean sea that will be monitored by the Egyptian authorities," SPA said.

10:10pm - Qatar condemns Saudi media over 'fabricated' Hajj news

  • Qatar's Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Affairs (Awqaf) has condemned Saudi Arabia's media for claiming that Qatar had suspended Hajj registrations for Qatari nationals.

  • The ministry said on Sunday it was a fabricated news that meant to set obstacles for the pilgrims from Qatar to Mecca.

  • It also said Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Hajj and Umrah refused to communicate to Qatar and provide safety guarantees 20,000 registered Qatari pilgrims that led to the suspension of registration.

8:10pm - Qatar central bank's foreign reserves fell by $10.4bn in June

  • The Qatar central bank's net international reserves plunged by $10.4bn in June to $24.4bn because of the Gulf crisis, central bank data showed on Sunday.

  • Reserves hit their lowest level in at least five years.

  • However, Qatar's sovereign wealth fund is believed to have about $180bn or more of liquid foreign assets, which could be used to replenish the central bank reserves when authorities decide that is necessary.

6:10pm - Blockade slashed Qatar imports in June

  • An air, sea and land blockade imposed by Saudi Arabia and three other Arab states slashed Qatar's imports by more than a third in June while exports, excluding its vital shipments of liquefied natural gas (LNG), were also disrupted, official data showed on Sunday.

  • Imports shrank 40 percent year-on-year and 37.9 percent from the previous month to 5.87bn riyals ($1.61bn), Ministry of Development, Planning and Statistics figures showed.

  • In May, imports fell just 0.3 percent year on year.

  • Now that alternate shipping routes and suppliers have been arranged, analysts believe Qatar can function fairly well even if the sanctions continue, and still expect it to be one of the Gulf's best-performing economies this year.

  • The foreign ministers of the four Arab countries imposing a partial blockade on Qatar have met in Manama, the Bahraini capital, to discuss the potential further measures that can be taken towards the Gulf nation.

  • The foreign ministers said at a joint press conference on Sunday that they were ready for dialogue with Qatar if it showed willingness to fight terrorism.

  • "The four countries are ready for dialogue with Qatar with the condition that it announces its sincere willingness to stop funding terrorism and extremism and its commitment to not interfere in other countries' foreign affairs and respond to the 13 demands," Bahrain's Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed al-Khalifa said.

8:50am - Saudi-led bloc will discuss more sanctions on Qatar: newspaper

  • Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain are expected to discuss imposing new economic sanctions on Qatar when they meet in the Bahraini capital Manama on Sunday, according to the pan-Arab al-Hayat newspaper.

  • Foreign ministers of the four countries "are expected to impose sanctions that will gradually affect the Qatari economy", al-Hayat newspaper said, citing unidentified Gulf sources, without giving any further details.

29 July 2017

9:50pm - Qatar reiterates cooperation with UN on fighting terrorism

  • Qatar reiterates its cooperation with various UN bodies related to the fight against terrorism, Qatar's Permanent Representative to the UN Sheikha Alia Ahmed bin Saif Al Thani tells the UN General Assembly.

  • "The State of Qatar attaches great importance to working within regional and international mechanisms to eradicate all forms of terrorism and address their causes," Sheikha Alia said.

  • "Qatar has been keen to fully implement measures to address conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism, enhance international cooperation in the field of prevention and combating of terrorism and to fully comply with the international obligations of the UN Security Council relating to the fight against terrorism and its financing."

  • She stressed Qatar's keenness to continuously update its national laws and regulations related to the fight against terrorism and its financing to cope with any emerging terrorist challenges.

7pm - France's Vinci says Gulf rift not hurting its Qatar business 

  • French construction group Vinci has said that its Qatar business had seen no disruption at this stage after Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain severed relations with Qatar last month.

  • Vinci operates in Qatar through its 49 percent-owned Qatari unit QDVC. It also counts the wealthy Arab state as its third-largest shareholder, with a stake of nearly 4 percent, according to Reuters data.

  • "For the moment, no disruption. Our projects are not disturbed. Qatar is rather looking for friends and this facilitates discussions on some projects," Chief Executive Xavier Huillard told an interim results news conference.

3:30pm - UAE: Gulf dispute more philosophical than diplomatic

  • UAE ambassador to the USYousef Al Otaiba, has suggested that the Gulf dispute  is  more philosophical than diplomatic.

  • In an interview with America's PBS on Tuesday, he  said the Saudi-led group blockading Qatar wanted to see "more secular, stable" governments in the region, an order he claimed Qatar "fundamentally opposed".

  • "What we've seen Qatar do for the last 10 to 15 years, [is] support groups like the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, Taliban, Islamist militias in Syria, Islamist militias in Libya, exactly the opposite direction we think our region needs to go," he said. "So our disagreement is about what the future of the Middle East should look like."

  • Qatar has filed a complaint with the UN protesting new restrictions imposed by Saudi Arabia against Qatari nationals planning to travel to Mecca for the annual Muslim pilgrimage.

  • Qatar's National Human Rights Commission said on Saturday that its citizens have been told they can only enter Saudi Arabia through two airports, and that they must travel via Doha to be allowed in.

  • This would be challenging for Qataris who do not live in Doha, such as those studying abroad.

10:10am - 'Differing views over future of Arab people at heart of Gulf crisis'

  • The differences between how Qatar and the Saudi-led bloc view the future of the Arab people is at the heart of the Gulf crisis, a senior Qatari official said on Friday.

  • Fahad bin Mohammed Al Attiyah, Qatar's ambassador to Russia, told a radio station in Moscow that his country supported the Arab people's aspirations in the wake of uprisings that began in Tunisia in 2010, Qatar News Agency reported.

  • Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt, however, chose to go against that current, he said, adding that the four states wanted Qatar to punish those who oppose their governments and brand them terrorists.

  • "This in itself is terrorism," he said. "The siege countries are trying to reproduce the regimes that produced terrorism, and they want to convince us that these regimes will fight terrorism."

2am - Arab states to meet in Bahrain on Sunday

  • Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain will meet in Manama on Sunday to discuss the latest developments on their blockade of Qatar.

  • In the two-day meeting, the four countries will press Qatar to comply with their demands, which include stopping alleged interference in their internal affairs.

28 July 2017

11:15am - Qatar refuses to 'outsource foreign policy' 

  • Qatar said it refuses to bow to Saudi-led demands to "outsource" its foreign policy to resolve the Gulf crisis.

  • Government spokesman Sheikh Saif bin Ahmed Al-Thani told AFP in an interview that Qatar's sovereignty and independence is behind the dispute.

  • "It (the crisis) is about... outsourcing our foreign policy so that decisions are not made in Qatar, and that is something that will never be acceptable," he said.

  • Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani called on the UN to help resolve the Gulf crisis, adding that the Saudi-led group blockading Qatar has violated international law. 

  • Speaking after a meeting with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, the foreign minister said that Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain are showing "stubbornness" and have not taken any steps to solve the crisis. 

  • He vowed that Qatar will spare no effort to overcome what he called "violations" and said "the United Nations is the right platform to start from". 

27 July 2017

11:35am - UAE asks banks to freeze accounts of those named on Qatar-linked blacklist 

  • The United Arab Emirates' central bank has asked all banks to stop dealing with the 18 individuals and entities added to a Qatar-linked blacklist, the state news agency WAM reported on Wednesday. 

  • The move makes it the first financial watchdog in the Gulf to act on the new blacklist, with regulators in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt likely to follow.  

  • In a circular, the UAE watchdog asked banks and financial institutions to "start immediate search for and freezing of all bank accounts, investments, and deposits that may be held by any individual or entity" included on the July 25 list.

2:45am - Qatar's FM says blockading states are ignoring US calls to end Gulf crisis

  • Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani is in Washington DC for talks with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

  • "It was noticed that the blockade states did not react to the suggestions made by the US Secretary of State," said Mohammed bin Abdulrahman after a meeting on Wednesday. 

  • The Qatari foreign minister added that Qatar had dealt with US advice in a "positive and constructive way".

  • "In addition, we discussed our bilateral relations and the memorandum of understanding on fighting terrorism that we signed and the measures we took regarding it," said Mohammed bin Abdulrahman.

26 July 2017

  • Sheikh Saif bin Ahmed Al Thani, Qatar's communications director, said the decision by four Arab states to add 18 groups and individuals allegedly linked to Doha to their "terrorist" list has no basis in fact. 

  • "It comes as a disappointing surprise that the blockading countries are still pursuing this story as part of their smear campaign against Qatar," he said in a statement on Wednesday. 

  • "This latest list provides further evidence that the blockading countries are not committed to the fight against terrorism," he said, adding: "All individuals with links to terrorism in Qatar have been prosecuted."

9:55am - Qatar reiterates support for 'peaceful means' to settle disputes 

  • Qatar said it remains committed to settling international disputes through peaceful means despite a unilateral blockade imposed against the Gulf nation by its Arab neighbours.

  • Speaking at the UN Security Council on Wednesday, Sheikha Alia Ahmed bin Saif Al Thani, Qatar's envoy to the UN, said her government supports global efforts at ensuring peace and security, as well as international and bilateral efforts to combat terrorism.

  • She also praised Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah's mediatory efforts at resolving the diplomatic crisis in the Gulf. 

4:05am - Qatari FM's US visit aims to inform politicians about impacts of the crisis

  • Qatar's Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said on Wednesday that his current visit to Washington is part of the follow-up efforts exerted by the State of Kuwait in partnership with the United States to reach a diplomatic solution to the Qatar-Gulf crisis.

  • In an interview with Al Jazeera, Mohammed bin Abdulrahman said that "this visit is also aimed at informing politicians, senators and MPs in the United States about the negative impacts of this crisis on the region".

  • The Foreign Minister said that "the US position demanded, since the outbreak of the crisis, the rapid lifting of the unjust siege against Qatar ... but the contradictory statements of the siege countries prevented this to happen."

3:25am - Qatari compensation committee receives nearly 3,000 claims

  • The Qatari Compensation Claims Committee has received 2,945 individual cases from the National Human Rights Committee (NHRC), reported the Qatar News Agency on Wednesday.

  • Ahmed bin Hassan Al-Hammadi - Secretary-general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and member of the claims committee - told Al Jazeera that the committee receives about 100-160 complaints and 60 calls a day.

  • The Compensation Claims Committee was formed on July 9 to consider citizen compensation or bring cases to the competent domestic and international courts related to the blockade.

  • The compensation committee was divided into three sections, said Al-Hammadi: the first is to examine citizens' complaints about violations of human rights or individual damage; and the second for traders who were affected by the closure of land, sea and air borders; and third of government institutions affected by the blockade such as the Ministry of Economy and Qatari Aviation.

25 July 2017

10:45pm - Lebanon's PM: Dialogue is the best way to resolve the Gulf crisis

  • Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri has said that dialogue was the best way to improve ties between Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

  • "I think there is an effort by the Kuwaitis [to resolve the crisis]... I think that they made some progress. We believe that the dialogue is the best way in improving the relationship between Saudi Arabia and Qatar," he told reporters on Tuesday at a joint press conference with US President Donald Trump at the White House.

  • "I believe that maybe the United States could also help in solving this issue in the Gulf," he added.

10pm - Qatar's FM: The quartet undermines mediation efforts

  • Qatar's foreign minister has criticised Saudi Arabia and three other blockading countries for actions which he said were undermining mediation efforts backed by the US.

  • "We see there is a negative behaviour aimed at influencing the mediation, either through statements or through (media) leaks which they launch at critical moments," Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani told Al Jazeera late on Tuesday.

  • He reiterated the Qatari position that Doha was ready for dialogue on a range of issues of concern but that it would not negotiate over topics to do with internal affairs and that the boycott against it must be lifted.

5:40pm - Egypt: No compromise in dispute with Qatar

  • Egypt has said that the four Arab states would accept no compromise in their dispute with Qatar over allegations that Doha supports "terrorism".

  • Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, speaking after talks with warned the European Union diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini in Brussels on Tuesday, said Qatar must accept in full the demands by Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

  • "It is not an issue of compromise, we cannot compromise with any form of terrorism, we cannot compromise or enter into any form of negotiations," Shoukry told a press conference.

  • "It is only once the necessary measures are undertaken by Qatar, that goes towards truly accepting to be a partner in the fight against terrorism, that this crisis will be resolved," he said.

4:25pm - Erdogan: Gulf tour was 'productive and successful'

  • Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday described his two-day trip to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar to deal with the Gulf crisis as "productive and successful".

  • He told lawmakers from his ruling AK Party at a parliamentary meeting: "The contacts we have made during this visit have been useful, and we will continue our efforts for the stability and peace of the region with increasing determination."

2:15pm - Rights groups 'condemn' demand to close down Al Jazeera 

  • A number of international, regional and national rights organisations "unequivocally" condemned the Saudi-led group's demand to close Al Jazeera and other media outlets that Qatar allegedly funds. 

  • The group made the statement on Tuesday at a conference organised by Qatar's National Human Rights Committee in Doha. 

  • The organisations also expressed their "total solidarity with journalists and other media and ancillary works at Al Jazeera and other targeted media". 

  • Qatar's Defense Minister Khalid bin Mohammed al-Attiyah says the blockade imposed on his country by four Arab states must be lifted before engaging in any dialogue with its neighbours.

  • "Lifting the siege should precede any dialogue," al-Attiyah said in an interview with Russia Today, excerpts of which was published by Qatar's official news agency on Tuesday.

  • "If the blockade countries remain reluctant to lift the siege, Qatar will be compelled to resort to the available international legal procedures to lift it," he said.

  • Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates have added 18 individuals and groups to its so-called "terror list", according to state-run Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

  • The new entrants include entities from Libya and Yemen and individuals from Qatar, Yemen and Kuwait who the Arab states say have direct and indirect links to Qatari authorities, a joint statement by the Saudi-led group said, according to SPA.

  • A Saudi lobby in the US has launched a television advertisement campaign against Qatar, contracts reviewed by Al Jazeera show, with $138,000 spent on seven, 30-second TV spots.

  • The TV spots have been purchased by the Saudi American Public Relation Affairs Committee (SAPRAC).

3:15am - Qatar's defence minister praises Russia

  • Qatar's Minister of State for Defence Affairs Dr Khalid bin Mohammad Al Attiyah on Monday praised Russia's clear position that supports lifting the unjust siege imposed on the Gulf nation.

  • Al Attiyah said in an interview with Russian news channel RT that the speech of the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani was clear and comprehensive, laying a road map and telling the truth that many of the peoples knew but that some parties refuse to understand.

  • He noted that the Emir intended to deliver a speech to the Qatari people and residents since the beginning of the crisis but opted to delay the speech to a suitable time in response to the request of Emir of the State of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmed Al Jaber Al Sabah, who has led the mediation efforts to end the crisis. 

24 July 2017

10:15pm - UN praises Qatar's call for dialogue

  • UN's Secretary-General Antonio Guterres welcomed on Monday the call for dialogue Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani to resolve the Gulf crisis.

  • Guterres encouraged all parties to enter a negotiation to lift the blockade imposed on Qatar and seek an acceptable solution for all parties regarding the crisis.

  • He also praised the mediation efforts of Kuwait, expressing his hope that these efforts will continue.

8:20pm - Erdogan departs from Doha after talks

  • Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan left Doha late on Monday after meeting with Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

8:15pm - Lavrov: Russia ready to help mediate in Gulf crisis

  • Russia is ready to help mediate in the dispute between Qatar and four other Arab states if approached, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview released on Monday.

  • "We are interested in this crisis being overcome, taking into account mutual concerns and finding solutions which will be acceptable for all participants of this process," Lavrov told Kurdish television channel Rudaw, according to a transcript of the interview published on the foreign ministry's website.

  • "We support the mediating efforts which are being made by the Emir of Kuwait... If as part of those efforts or in addition to them all sides think that Russia could also do something useful, we will be ready to respond to such appeals," Lavrov said, according to the transcript.

  • Qatar and Turkey have discussed the Gulf crisis and efforts being exerted to defuse the dispute between Doha and a group of Saudi-led Arab states through dialogue and diplomatic means.

  • This came during a meeting between Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Doha on Monday.

  • The two sides praised Kuwait mediation to end the row. Erdogan is on a Gulf tour that took him to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

  • The two leaders also discussed Qatar-Turkey joint efforts in the fight against "terrorism and extremism", according to Qatar's state news agency.

2:25pm - Saudi Arabia allows access to pilgrims from Qatar 

  • Saudi Arabia has allowed access to pilgrims from neighbouring Qatar aboard all flights other than Qatar Airways, Qatar's national carrier.

  • "Pilgrims from Qatar who have Hajj permits ... can come directly from Doha or through any other transit place," the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) said in a statement cited by the official SPA news agency on Sunday.

10:55pm - Qatar-based websites were briefly unblocked in Saudi Arabia

  • A Saudi official announced on his Twitter account early on Monday that Qatar-based websites were unblocked in the country because of a technical issue and they will be blocked again in a few hours, according to Turkey's Anadolu agency.

  • Saud al-Qahtani, a Saudi royal court adviser, was apparently referring to Al Jazeera and beIN Sports that have been blocked in the country since the beginning of the Gulf crisis.

  • There was no official statement on the issue.

23 July 2017

11:30pm - Erdogan meets with Kuwait's Emir

8pm - Erdogan heads to Kuwait

  • Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has left Saudi Arabia for Kuwait, the mediator in the Gulf crisis.

  • He will meet with Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al Sabah later on Sunday.

  • Erdogan is accompanied by Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Berat Albayrak, Defence Minister Nurettin Canikli, Chief of Staff General Hulusi Akar, and National Intelligence Organisation (MIT) head Hakan Fidan.

7:20pm - Mogherini urges talks to resolve Gulf crisis

  • Federica Mogherini, the European Union foreign affairs chief, on Sunday called for swift direct talks to resolve the Gulf crisis.

  • Her remark came in a statement after she met Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al Sabah and expressed EU support for Kuwait's "relentless mediation efforts" in the dispute.

  • Mogherini called on "all the parties to enter into negotiations to agree clear principles and a roadmap for a swift resolution of the crisis".

  • She said the EU was ready to support the process of negotiations and assist in the implementation of a plan for the resolution of the crisis, in particular in the area of counterterrorism.

  • A European human rights organisation has called on Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain to end their blockade against Qatar and help alleviate the suffering of citizens on disputing sides.

  • A 16-member delegation from the Brussels-based Alliance for Freedom and Dignity, AFD, travelled to Doha to investigate and document the humanitarian impact on ordinary citizens resulting from the blockade imposed on Qatar on June 5.

  • Britain's government has praised Qatari Emir's willingness for dialogue to resolve the ongoing diplomatic dispute with Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt. 

  • "I welcome the Emir of Qatar's commitment to combat terrorism in all its manifestations, including terrorist financing," Britain's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said in a statemen on Sunday.

  • "The Emir also pledged to resolve the remaining differences with Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt and Bahrain through dialogue, negotiation, and Kuwaiti mediation. These steps will help to resolve the dispute," Johnson added.

5:55pm - Erdogan meets Saudi King Salman and Crown Prince

  • Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met Saudi Arabia's King Salman  and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman separately on Sunday in the Saudi city of Jeddah on the first leg of his Gulf tour, which will also include Kuwait and Qatar.

4:30pm - US army commander meets Qatar's Emir in Doha

  • Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani met with General Joseph Leonard Votel, commander of US Central Command (CENTCOM), on Sunday in Doha.

  • According to Qatar's state news agency, they discussed the ways of increasing their defence cooperation and reviewed joint operations between Qatar and the US in combating terrorism.

  • General Votel thanked Sheikh Tamim's pivotal role in this field.

1:35pm - EU foreign policy chief visits Kuwait

10:35am - Erdogan: Prolonging Gulf crisis 'not in anyone's interest'

  • Prolonging the crisis in the Gulf is not in the interest of anyone, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said as he embarked on a visit to the region.

  • "No-one has any interest in prolonging this crisis any more," the president said before leaving Istanbul airport. He accused "enemies" of seeking to "fire up tensions between brothers".

22 July 2017

9:30pm - UAE: No dialogue with Qatar until it revises policies

  • Anwar Gargash, the foreign minister of the United Arab Emirates, said a call for dialogue by Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani was welcome, but it could only happen after Doha had made changes in its policies. He did not specify the required changes.

  • "Dialogue is necessary and needed but its backbone has to be revision," Gargash said on his Twitter account.

  • He expressed disappointment with by Sheikh Tamim's Friday speech: "I had hoped that the speech of Sheikh Tamim would be an initiative for revision."

5:30pm - Qatar's BeIN sports network back on air in UAE

  • Qatar's BeIN sports satelite network was broadcasting again on Saturday in the United Arab Emirates, according to subscribers to its channels which have been blocked since the start of a Gulf crisis.

  • "We are again receiving the network of BeIN sports channels, distributed by Du," one of two telecommunications companies in the Emirates, one customer told AFP news agency.

  • Etisalat, a UAE-based telecommunications giant, had also reinstated BeIN sports, according to several subscribers to its channels. Customers were informed of the move in an email from Etisalat.

  • "We would like to advise that starting 22 July 2017 the BeIN package will be available to customers and normal charges will apply," the message said. "The provision of the BeIN package will be subject to an ongoing review."

  • The spirit of solidarity, harmony and defiance that had prevailed in the people of Qatar frustrated the hopes of those who banked on the opposite.

  • Qatar is fighting terrorism, relentlessly and without compromises and the international community recognises this.

  • Differences are resolved through dialogue and negotiation and we should not burden civilians with political differences.

  • We are opening our economy to initiatives, investments, production of food, medicine and ultimately to diversify our source of income.

  • We are open to dialogue to find solutions to lingering problems, within the framework of respect for the sovereignty and will of each state as mutual undertakings and joint commitments binding all.

  • Recep Tayyip Erdogan will embark on a two-day Gulf tour starting on Sunday as part of his efforts to resolve the crisis in the region.

  • His first stop will be in the Saudi port city of Jeddah, during which he will meet Saudi King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud and his son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud.

  • Erdogan will then depart for Kuwait to meet Emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah, who has led mediation efforts to resolve the crisis. His next stop will be Doha, where he will meet the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

21 July 2017

  • Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani has denounced the "malicious smearing campaign" directed against the country in his first address following the blockade. 

  • Sheikh Tamim said Qatar and its people "rose spontaneously defending the sovereignty and independence of the country."

  • US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has renewed his call on Arab states to lift the blockade on Qatar, saying the US is satisfied with Doha's efforts to implement an agreement aimed at combating terror financing. 

  • "They have been very aggressive in implementing that agreement, so I think we're satisfied with the effort they're putting forth," Tillerson told reporters just before meeting with Omani Foreign Minister Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah at the State Department on Friday.

04:50pm - UAE welcomes Qatar's move to amend anti-terror laws 

  • The United Arab Emirates on Friday welcomed Qatar's decision to amend its anti-terrorism laws, in one of the first positive signs since sanctions were imposed on Doha in June. 

  • "The Qatari decree to amend the anti-terrorism law is a positive step to deal seriously with the 59 terrorists," UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said on Twitter. 

  • Gargash also said the countries' concerns about Qatar's relationship with Iran had eased since Kuwait ordered the expulsion of Iranian diplomats for alleged links to a "spy and terror" cell on Thursday. 

04:33pm - Erdogan says Turkey will try to solve GCC crisis 

  • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he would do his best to solve problems between the "brothers of the Gulf region" as he prepared to visit Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar on July 23-24. 

  • Erdogan has been a staunch ally of Qatar in its dispute with its neighbours. He has criticised a list of demands by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt to end sanctions they imposed on Doha. 

  • In a speech in Istanbul, Erdogan said the political problems were temporary and he called on Saudi Arabia, the UAE and other Gulf states to invest in Turkey

10:45am - China urges Gulf crisis talks after Qatar FM visit 

  • China's foreign minister has called on Doha and the four Arab co

Comments