Saturday, 10 June 2017

GULF DIPLOMATIC CRISIS: Events In The Gulf

Qatari FM in Russia for talks

After holding talks in Germany on Friday, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, Qatar's foreign minister, met with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, in Moscow.

The two diplomats are not expected to hold a press conference after the talks, but spoke briefly in front of cameras at the start of their meeting.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said only dialogue will resolve the dispute in the Gulf region.

From the Russian side, there certainly weren't any grand pledges of support and loyalty - but I don't think that was particularly expected.

Challands said that Lavrov stated in his opening remarks that "tackling terrorism" is the most important thing for the region and beyond, adding that Russia was upset and concerned about the worsening of relations between its "partners" it the Gulf.

Lavrov said, however, that Russia does not want to interfere in others' domestic and international affairs. "The position of Russia and the moment seems to be 'yes, we'll listen to you but we don't want to take sides,'" Challands said.

11:33am - Saudi Arabia welcomes Trump's remarks, does not respond to Tillerson call

With the US administration sending mixed signals in regards to its stance to the crisis, Saudi Arabia, via a statement on its state media, welcomed US President Donald Trump's call on Qatar and other countries to increase their efforts against "terrorism", but did not respond to a state department request to ease pressure on its neighbour.

Just minutes before Trump's speech on Friday, Rex Tillerson, the US secretary of state, had urged Saudi Arabia and its allies to ease their blockade on Qatar, saying it is causing unintended humanitarian consequences and affecting the US-led fight against ISIL.

Tillerson also said that Qatar has a history of supporting groups across a wide political spectrum, including those that engage in violence, and that the emir of Qatar had made progress in halting financial support for "terrorism" but that he must do more.

A separate report on Saudi's state-run news agency SPA acknowledged Tillerson's call for Qatar to curtail support for "terrorism", but did not mention his remarks that the crisis was hurting ordinary Qataris, impairing business activities and harming the fight against ISIL.

10:50am - Qatar row 'no impact' on global oil pact

Khalid al-Falih, Saudi Arabia's energy minister, said the decision by the kingdom and some of its allies to severe ties with Qatar this week would not affect a pact by global oil producers to reduce output.

I don't expect the diplomatic and political issues that have surfaced with Qatar to have any impact whatsoever on the oil production agreement, Falih said in Kazakhstan.

6:58am - Merkel calls for regional cooperation

German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed her concern about the situation in Qatar, saying that all Gulf countries, and also Iran and Turkey, should work together to end the regional crisis.

We have to see that the political solution of conflicts such as the situation in Syria, such as the situation in Libya or the situation in Iraq, won't happen if certain players are no longer even included in the conversation, and that includes Qatar, it includes Turkey, it includes Iran, said Merkel, speaking alongside Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto during a visit to Mexico City.

Merkel said she wanted the balance of power to be maintained "sensibly" in the region, and that security would be on the agenda when G20 leaders meet next month in the German city of Hamburg.

4:20am - Eritrea rejects severing Qatar ties

Eritrea declined a request by Saudi Arabia and the UAE to cut diplomatic ties with Qatar.

The African nation’s foreign ministry said in a statement it "rejected" the demand to cut ties "with brother Doha".

It said Eritrea had "strong ties with the brother people of Qatar", and it was "impossible to cut ties".

11:30pm - Erdogan says Turkey won't leave Qatar isolated

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reaffirmed his backing for Qatar in its dispute with other Gulf nations, saying Turkey would never leave the country isolated.

Delivering a speech at a Ramadan fast-breaking dinner in Istanbul, Erdogan said on Friday that Turkey would provide food and medicine to help Qatar ease its isolation despite the other nations "displeasure".

He called on Saudi Arabia and other countries of the region to end their sanctions, rejecting accusations by these countries that Qatar supports "terror groups".

Referring to a statement by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson calling on the Arab nations to immediately ease their blockade of Qatar, Erdogan said: "I say let's lift it entirely".

On Wednesday, Turkey's parliament passed legislation permitting the deployment of troops to a Turkish military base in Qatar.

11:15pm - Amnesty condemns actions taken against Qatar

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are toying with the lives of thousands of Gulf residents as part of their dispute with Qatar, splitting up families and destroying peoples’ livelihoods and education, Amnesty International said on Friday.

The organisation's researchers have interviewed dozens of people whose human rights have been affected by a series of sweeping measures imposed in an arbitrary manner by the three Gulf countries in their dispute with Qatar.

"These drastic measures are already having a brutal effect, splitting children from parents and husbands from wives. People from across the region - not only from Qatar, but also from the states implementing these measures - risk losing jobs and having their education disrupted. All the states involved in this dispute must ensure their actions do not lead to human rights violations," said James Lynch, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Global Issues Programme, who was in Doha last week.

Full statement:

10:45pm - Rights committee present reports on effects of the blockade

Qatar's National Human Rights Committee presented 300 international and regional organizations with detailed reports that reveal the humanitarian conditions of the citizens of GCC countries as a result of the blockade in Qatar.

10:00pm - Trump accuses Qatar of 'funding terrorism

US President Donald Trump accuses Qatar of "funding terrorism" at "very high level" when speaking at the White House on Friday, where he was holding a joint news conference with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis.

9:40 - Blockade 'hindering' planning for long-term operation - Pentagon

A blockade against Qatar by Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states was not affecting current operations against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group, but was "hindering" the ability to plan for long-term operations, the Pentagon said on Friday.

"While current operations from Al Udeid Air Base have not been interrupted or curtailed, the evolving situation is hindering our ability to plan for longer-term military operations," Captain Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, said in a statement.

Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar is home to more than 11,000 US and coalition forces and an important base for the fight against ISIL. He did not explain how exactly it was affecting planning for longer-term operations.

Davis said Qatar remained critical for air operations against ISIL.

9:30 - Trump, Egypt's Sisi discuss Arab unity, fighting terrorism

US President Donald Trump spoke on Friday with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and emphasised the importance of maintaining unity among Arab countries, the White House said in a statement.

It was the fourth call Trump has had with a regional leader since Gulf allies severed diplomatic ties with Qatar on Monday.

8:40pm - US secretary of state makes statement on Gulf diplomatic crisis

Rex Tillerson calls on Saudi Arabia, Egypt and UAE to ease the blockade against Qatar.

Tillerson says US urges no further escalation in Gulf crisis with Qatar.

Tillerson: Blockade hindering US military action against ISIL.

US expectation is that Gulf countries would immediately take steps to de-escalate situation in region - Tillerson
Read the full story here

UN's response to the 'terror list'

The United Nations (UN) said it is bound only by the list of sanctions adopted by the organs of the United Nations and the Security Council.

This came in UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric response to a question about the list, made by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE and Bahrain, of so the called "terrorist organizations and entities" featuring the name of Qatar Charity.

Dujarric said that the UN has signed significant work with Qatar Charity in Yemen , Iraq and Syria and said that they are coordinating the aid work together.

The spokesman said that in principle, the UN relies solely on the list of sanctions adopted by the UN Security Council, and the UN is not obliged to take into account any lists other than that.

4:20pm - UAE Central Bank asks banks to adopt 'terror list'

UAE banks and other financial institutions have been instructed to search for and freeze any accounts or deposits or investments held by individuals or entities that are in the "terror list" issued by Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt late on Thursday.

In another circular, the Central Bank advised banks and other financial institutions operating in the UAE to apply enhanced customer due diligence for any accounts they hold belonging to six Qatari banks.

A bank press statement said the two circulars were issued based upon a UAE cabinet resolution designating 59 individuals and 12 entities as "terrorists or terrorist organisations".

2:15pm - Saudi Arabia bans Al Jazeera channels in hotels

The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage issued a circular in the early hours of Friday, ordering all "tourist facilities" to remove satellite channels that include religious, political or moral violations, including the Al Jazeera Media Network.

The circular read: "All tourist facilities must commit to choosing the appropriate TV channels in line with the official Saudi TV channels and not to operate channels deviant to the Islamic religion or the state's policies, or morals."

It added: "The authority ensures the importance of removing all the 'Al Jazeera channels' from the list of available channels in rooms and other tourism accommodation facilities in order to prevent anyone who violates this circular from facing penalties, which could amount to 100,000 Saudi riyals ($26,600) or the revocation of their license, or both."

1:28pm - Germany calls for end to Qatar blockade

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel called for an end to the land, sea and air blockade imposed by Arab countries on Qatar after a meeting with Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani in Wolfenbuettel, Germany.

Gabriel also called for increased diplomatic efforts to resolve the crisis.

"We are convinced that now is the hour of diplomacy and we must talk to each other," he told reporters

"Along with our American colleagues but above all our colleagues in the region, we must try to find solutions, especially lifting the sea and air blockades," he said.

12:15pm - Saudi-led bloc list 'arbitrary'

The UK-based Arab Organisation for Human Rights (AOHR) called the Saudi bloc's list "arbitrary", saying it "was clearly made up arbitrarily, to serve political agendas, without relying on any evidence or an impartial judicial authority".

AOHR also said: "The exact legal definition and crime of 'terrorism' needs to be determined by a neutral judicial authority, which is not available in these countries [Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, and Bahrain]."

The independent group also warned that the list violated clear laws against defamation, as the reputation of individuals and charitable organisations is put at risk.

11:45am - Qatar FM calls blockade 'violation of international law'

Qatar's Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani on Friday said the blockade of his country is a violation of international law.

"These procedures that were taken have clear violations of international law and international humanitarian law. They will not have a positive impact on the region but a negative one," he said during a joint press conference with his German counterpart during a visit to Germany.

11:30am - Qatar rejects Saudi-led bloc's 'terror' list

Qatar on Friday rejected allegations of supporting individuals and groups blacklisted as "terrorists" by a bloc of Arab neighbours that has imposed an economic blockade on it amid a major diplomatic fallout.

The Qatari government said the list of 59 people and 12 groups, with ties to Qatar, "reinforces allegations that hold no foundation".

10:15am - Five days on, five things to know about the Qatar-Gulf rift

Despite mediation efforts led by Kuwait, the standoff continues five days into the dispute between Saudi and its allies, and Qatar. We look at some of the key points of the ongoing rift.

Economic blockade: Along with the severing of diplomatic ties, a Riyadh-led blockade was imposed against Doha. Saudi, which shares the only land border with Qatar, shut the crossing and halted transport of goods into its gas-rich neighbour. Saudi, UAE and Bahrain also close their airspace to flights from and to Qatar. Qatari citizens were ordered out of the three countries and sea links were cut.

Turkey sending troops: Following the threats made against Qatar, its close ally Turkey voted to to accelerate the deployment of troops to its base in the peninsula.

Media attacks: As accusations heated up, Saudi signalled that it was escalating the row in the media sphere - first by shutting down the local office of the Doha-based Al Jazeera Media Network. Days before the diplomatic spat boiled over, Al Jazeera's websites were already blocked in Saudi, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt.

Trump's tweets: In the first hours of the diplomatic scuffle, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said it is important that the GCC members remain "unified". Tillerson's assurances, however, were thrown in doubt after US President Donald Trump wrote a post on social media referencing Qatar when he said leaders of the Middle East had stated that they "would take a hard line on funding extremism". He later made a phone call to Qatar's leader to offer help in resolving the crisis. Instead of diffusing the already heated situation, Trump's tweets only led to more discord.

'Terror list': On Thursday evening, a joint action by Saudi, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt placed 59 individuals and 12 organisations on a "terror list". It includes the Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader Yousuf al-Qaradawi and 18 prominent Qataris. On Friday, Qatar dismissed the list as "baseless" allegations that "hold no foundation in fact".

Read the full story here.

7:15am - UAE minister calls Qatar to 'change course'

Anwar Gargash, minister of state affairs for the United Arab Emirates accused Qatar of escalating the crisis by seeking help from Turkey and Iran.

"The request for political protection from two non-Arab countries and military protection from one of them could be a new tragic and comic chapter," he wrote on Twitter late on Thursday.

Gargash also called Qatar to "change its course" and "abandon its stubbornness".

5:30am - US senators push for strategy amid crisis

"We've got to be concerned about putting our thumb too heavily on one side of the scale when we are dealing with people in the region we want to maintain a relationship with," Senator Bob Corker, the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told Al Jazeera.

1:20am - Arab nations add Qatar residents, charities to 'terrorism' lists

Four Arab countries that cut ties with Qatar designated dozens of people with alleged links to Doha as "terrorists", intensifying a row that threatens the region's stability.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Bahrain said in a statement published by the Saudi state news agency that 59 people - including Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader Yousuf al-Qaradawi - and 12 entities, among them Qatari-funded charities, were named on the "terrorism" list.

01:10am - Qatar urges citizens to take high-road on social media

Qatar's communications office issued a statement urging citizens and residents to mind "Islamic and Arab values" on social media during the standoff with Gulf neighbours.

"Based on the principles of our true Islamic religion, our humanitarian values and our authentic Qatari culture, we call on all those who live on this good land to rise and continue to avoid responding similarly to the abuses that spread in various means of mass communication. We also call upon you to show more responsibility, of which you are well known, and not to insult countries, their leaders or peoples," the statement said.

00:55am - UN chief wades into Qatar-Gulf dispute

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says he is ready to support diplomatic efforts to resolve tensions between Qatar and other Gulf Arab states "if desired by all parties". Guterres' spokesman said in a statement the secretary-general urged countries in the region to avoid an escalation, adding he is following the situation with "deep concern".

00:41am - Friday, June 9 - Turkey's president ratifies Qatar military deals

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan late on Thursday ratified two deals on deploying Turkish troops in Qatar and training the country's military, according to the Turkish leader's office. The deal on sending soldiers was signed in April in Doha. "The move aims to contribute to regional and world peace.

10pm - Saudi FM holds talks in Oman

Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir has travelled to Oman's capital Muscat to hold talks with Omani officials, according to Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya television.

8:30pm - UAE forecasts 'new tragic and comic chapter' in Gulf row

Anwar Gargash, the foreign minister of the United Arab Emirates, has said on Twitter that Qatar is seeking help from Turkey and Iran for dealing with the diplomatic rift in the Gulf and it could bring "new tragic and comic chapter" in the crisis.

The great escalation from the confusing and confused brother country and the request for political protection from two non-Arab countries and military protection from one of them could be a new tragic and comic chapter.

7:15pm - Shell diverts US LNG cargo to Dubai after Gulf rift

Royal Dutch Shell has sent a replacement cargo of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the United States to Dubai, shipping data shows, after a diplomatic row disrupted typical trade routes from Qatar.

Shell has a deal to supply the Dubai Supply Authority (DUSUP) with LNG which it typically sources from Qatar because of its proximity.

But bans on Qatari vessels entering ports in the United Arab Emirates, imposed after top Arab powers severed diplomatic and transport links with Qatar on Monday, meant it had to source the LNG from elsewhere.

The Maran Gas Amphipolis tanker, carrying around 163,500 cubic metres of LNG produced in the US, was initially headed toward Kuwait's port of Mina Al-Ahmadi but made a U-turn on Wednesday to head for Dubai's port of Jebel Ali.

The tanker is currently unloading at DUSUP's floating import terminal at Jebel Ali, data showed.

7pm - Two Qatari LNG ships change course

Two Qatari liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers have changed course in the Gulf of Aden away from their expected destination of Britain, according to shipping intelligence firm Kpler and shipping data.

The Al Mafyar tanker, carrying about 262,000 cubic metres of LNG from Qatar, is no longer heading towards the Suez Canal, shipping data shows. Its new destination is unknown.

The Zarga tanker, with a capacity of 262,000 cubic metres, executed a U-turn and appears to be heading back in the direction from which it came, shipping data shows.

6pm - Sudan says it will not take sides in Gulf rift

Sudan has said it will not take sides in the diplomatic crisis in the Gulf amid calls from Sudanese legislators to back Qatar.

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.

Sudan also offered to mediate to defuse tensions, according to its state news agency.

5pm - Qatar's FM: 'We are not ready to surrender'

Qatar's Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani has said the Gulf rift is threatening the stability of the entire region.

He also said diplomacy was still Doha's preferred option and there would never be a military solution to the problem.

Qatar had never experienced this type of hostility, even from an enemy country, he said.

"No one has the right to intervene in our foreign policy."

"We are not ready to surrender, and will never be ready to surrender, the independence of our foreign policy."

He also said the Emir of Qatar would not travel to Washington for GCC crisis talks suggested by US President Donald Trump because he did not want to leave his country while it is "in blockade".

3:45pm - Chad recalls its ambassador from Qatar

Chad has recalled its ambassador from Qatar with the country's foreign ministry calling involved in the Gulf diplomatic crisis to use dialogue to resolve the dispute.

2pm - Bahrain bans showing sympathy to Qatar

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

Bahrain's Information Affairs Ministry said on Thursday that those who do publish material sympathetic to Qatar "will be held responsible".
"Any expression of sympathy with the government of Qatar or opposition to the measures taken by the government of Bahrain, whether through social media, Twitter or any other form of communication, is a criminal offence punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine," the ministry statement said.

1:50pm - UAE blocks access to Qatar Airways website

The United Arab Emirates has blocked access to the website of Qatar Airways. It began on Thursday and follows the UAE blocking access to a series of Qatari media websites, including those of Al Jazeera media network.

1:25pm - Bahrain FM demands Doha shun Iran

Bahrain has reiterated on Thursday a demand that Qatar distance itself from Iran and stop support for "terrorist" groups. "Qatar has to redress its path and has to go back to all previous commitments, it has to stop media campaigns and has to distance itself from our number one enemy, Iran," Bahrain's Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed al-Khalifa told Saudi-owned Asharq al-Awsat newspaper. "It has to realise its interests are with us, not with another country that conspires against us, wants to dominate and divide us. It has to stop supporting terrorist organisations, Sunni or Shia, and its policy has to be for the benefit of its people."

12:32pm - Pakistan to continue LNG imports from Qatar

Pakistan's government says it will continue to import liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Qatar under a 15-year $1bn deal signed last year.

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Pakistan's federal minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources, said since no sanctions have been imposed on Qatar by the UN, Islamabad and Doha were bound to abide by the agreement.

11:44am - Qatari stock market rebounds

Qatar's stock index has rebounded in early trade after losing 9.7 percent since the start of the diplomatic crisis earlier this week.

The market was up 2.5 percent with all 17 companies that have a market capitalisation of over $1bn rebounding.

10:15am - UAE postal group suspends all services to Qatar

Emirates Post Group has halted postal services to Qatar from all of its postal offices in the United Arab Emirates until further notice, the country's state news agency reported. All as yet undelivered items will be returned with the corresponding postal fees according to procedures and regulations.

8:00am - France's Macron calls all sides to 'pursue dialogue'

For the second time in 24 hours, French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday held a phone conversation with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani to discuss efforts to solve the crisis in the Gulf. Macron expressed France's readiness to act as a mediator and stressed the importance of dialogue in order to preserve stability in the region. The French president also spoke to Saudi King Salman and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and "invited all parties to pursue dialogue".

5:25am - Qatar's defence ministry plays down border report

A news report that Qatar's military was put on high alert on the country's southern border with Saudi Arabia is downplayed. "The ministry of defence is always on alert to protect the borders of the state of Qatar from a 360-degree approach - land, sea and air - 24 hours a day, every day of the year," said a ministry statement sent to Al Jazeera.

3:40am - Trump calls UAE's crown prince over crisis

US President Donald Trump spoke with Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates, a White House statement said. "Most importantly, the leaders agreed on the importance of implementing agreements reached in Riyadh to counter extremism and to combat the funding of terrorist groups. Additionally, the president emphasised the importance of maintaining a united Gulf Cooperation Council to promote regional stability, but never at the expense of eliminating funding for radical extremism or defeating terrorism."

2:30pm - Pakistan expresses concern

Pakistan's parliament has expressed its "deep concern" over the Gulf diplomatic rift, but government stops short of taking a side.

A resolution, passed by parliament on Thursday, called "upon all countries to show restraint and resolve all differences through dialogue".

Nafees Zakaria, the Pakistani foreign office spokesman, also said on Thursday that "Pakistan believes in unity among Muslim countries and has made consistent and serious efforts for its promotion ... We are therefore concerned at the situation." Zakaria refused to comment on whether the country had taken any steps to mediate the crisis or was also considering severing ties with Qatar.

Pakistan's relationship with Saudi Arabia and the UAE is based on close diplomatic ties, but also deep economic relations. In the past it has resisted pressure to wade into regional conflict in the Middle East.

Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif also holds close ties with the ruling families in both Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

"Of all Muslim nations, Pakistan is probably in the most difficult position," James Dorsey, a specialist on Pakistan's relations with Gulf countries, told Al Jazeera

Read the full story here.

2:30am - Thursday, June 8 - US talking to all sides involved in Gulf crisis

"We are continuing to talk to multiple members in the region. We'll continue to do that and monitor it," Sarah Sanders, deputy White House press secretary, told reporters aboard Air Force One.

11:50pm - Kuwait's Emir departs from Qatar after a brief visit

Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah has departed from Qatar's capital Doha after meeting Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani to discuss the GCC crisis.

11:15pm - Bahrain foreign minister says all options open on Qatar

Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed al-Khalifa, Bahrain's foreign minister, said according to the Saudi newspaper Mecca: "The emir of Kuwait is a messenger of good, but the policies of Qatar have not granted his endeavours success. We will not hesitate to protect our interests and the road is open to any options to protect ourselves from Qatar."

9:30pm - Kuwait's Emir arrives in Qatar

Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah has arrived in Qatar's capital of Doha after a short trip to Dubai in an effort to mediate a solution to the Gulf diplomatic spat.

8:25pm - Media watchdog condemns Saudi closure of Al Jazeera office

Reporters Without Borders has condemned Saudi Arabia's decision to close the Riyadh office of Qatar's Al Jazeera media network.

The media rights group, also known as RSF, said Al Jazeera was a "collateral victim of (the) diplomatic offensive against Qatar".

8:20pm - Qatar's National Committee for Human Rights demands end of sanctions

The government body said: "Such decisions violate the private ownership rights since thousands in the GCC own residences, factories and business within the GCC and the travel ban will prevent them from attending to their business and carrying out their business and access to their properties. These sanctions also violate the citizens within the GCC their rights to health and work access."

It also said: "National Committee for Human Rights in Qatar warn of more violations that may take place that can affect the peace and security of the GCC as a whole and the dangerous repercussions that these sanctions will lead to."

8:15pm - Trump holds a phone conversation with Qatar's Emir

US President Donald Trump has spoken by telephone with Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, expressing readiness to participate in the efforts to resolve the crisis in the GCC.

The White House statement: "The president emphasised the importance of all countries in the region working together to prevent the financing of terrorist organisations and stop the promotion of extremist ideology. The president reiterated that a united Gulf Cooperation Council and a strong United States-Gulf Cooperation Council partnership are critical to defeating terrorism and promoting regional stability. The president offered to help the parties resolve their differences, including through a meeting at the White House if necessary."

8pm - Turkish parliament approves troop deployment in Qatar

Turkey's parliament has approved a legislation allowing its troops to be deployed to a Turkish military base in Qatar.

The bill, first drafted in May, passed with 240 votes in favour, largely with support from the ruling AK Party and nationalist opposition MHP.

7:50pm - Top Emirati diplomat says leaked emails were true

Anwar Gargash, the UAE foreign minister, has acknowledged that leaked emails published by news outlets from Emirati ambassador to the US were true.

7:40pm - Kuwait's Emir meets two top officials in the UAE

Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah met in Dubai with Abu Dhabi's Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Dubai's ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to try and mediate a growing diplomatic rift over Qatar. No details have emerged about their discussions.

7:30pm - Senegal cuts diplomatic ties with Qatar

Senegal's foreign ministry has recalled its ambassador from Qatar, saying it was acting in solidarity with other countries in the Gulf who had cut diplomatic ties with Doha.

7pm - Turkey debates law for military support for Qatar

Turkey's parliament has begun debating legislation for increased military cooperation with Qatar in an apparent move to support the country amid its dispute with Saudi Arabia and other regional nations.

Separate bills for the training of military personnel and the deployment of troops to a Turkish military base in Qatar were moved up parliament's agenda on Wednesday.

5:10pm - Qatar brings stranded passengers from Saudi via Oman

Qatar Airways has chartered three flights on Oman Air to bring passengers from Saudi Arabia's Jeddah to Qatar's Doha. All passengers arrived safely home via Oman's capital Muscat late on Tuesday, the airline said on Wednesday.

The airline has also organised a flight with Kuwait Airlines on Wednesday to transport remaining passengers from Saudi Arabia to Doha via Kuwait. The flight will depart at 19:15 local time on Wednesday.

Qatar Airways said it is supporting its staff affected by the situation in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, the Kingdom of Bahrain and Egypt due to suspension of operations in those countries.

All passengers booked on affected flights will be provided with alternative options, including the option of a full refund on any unused tickets and free rebooking to the nearest alternative Qatar Airways network destination.

5pm - Emirati diplomat: 'Nothing to negotiate' with Qatar

Anwar Gargash, the foreign minister of the UAE, has said "there's nothing to negotiate" with Qatar, signaling Arab countries trying to isolate Doha won't back down.

4:15pm - France urges Qatar to answer neighbours' questions

Christophe Castaner, the French government spokesman, said his country was not taking sides in the Gulf spat, but said "Qatar must be completely transparent and answer precisely the questions that have been asked notably by its neighbours".

4pm - Turkish exporters ready to meet Qatar's food, water demand

Mehmet Buyukeksi, chairman of the Turkish Exporters Assembly (TIM), has said that exporters stood ready to fill the gap after the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia cut trade ties with Qatar.

1:50pm - UAE port 'eases restrictions'

Abu Dhabi Petroleum Ports Authority has eased restrictions on cargoes going to and from Qatar, Reuters news agency reports.

A new circular states all vessels carrying the Qatari flag and vessels owned or operated by Qatar are not allowed into its petroleum port, removing a reference to vessels arriving from or destined to Qatar.

1:30pm - UAE wants change in Qatar's policies

The UAE wants to change Qatar's policies, not "its regime", Saudi-owned Al Arabiya television said citing a government official.

12:30pm - Kuwait emir heading to Abu Dhabi

Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah has flown to Abu Dhabi to continue talks on resolving the Gulf crisis.

WATCH: Kuwaiti Emir returns from Saudi
11am - Moscow: No proof Russian hackers involved in Qatar crisis

Moscow has dismissed allegations that Russian hackers helped spark the diplomatic crisis around Qatar, after CNN reported that US officials believed they planted a false news story.

"We're getting tired of reacting to unsubstantiated banalities," Andrei Krutskikh, a Kremlin advisor on cybersecurity, told the Interfax news agency.

"Whatever happens it is hackers. It's a stale claim and as ever there is zero evidence, and conclusions are drawn before the incident is even investigated," he said.

9:50am - Etihad Airways: Qataris barred from travel/transit via UAE

Abu Dhabi state-owned Etihad Airways said all travellers holding Qatari passports are currently prohibited from travelling to or transiting through the United Arab Emirates as part of government instructions.

Expatriates residing in Qatar and in possession of a Qatari residence visa will also not be eligible for visa on arrival in the UAE, Etihad spokesman said in an email.

8:30am - UAE bans show of sympathy towards Qatar

"Strict and firm action will be taken against anyone who shows sympathy or any form of bias towards Qatar, or against anyone who objects to the position of the United Arab Emirates, whether it be through the means of social media, or any type of written, visual or verbal form," Gulf News quoted UAE Attorney-General Hamad Saif al-Shamsi as saying.

Offenders could be punished with a jail term of up to 15 years and a fine of at least 500,000 dirhams ($136,000), Gulf News reported.

7:40am - Hamas 'shocked' by Saudi comments on Qatar

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told reporters in Paris on Tuesday that Qatar must sever ties with Hamas and its historic parent, the Muslim Brotherhood.

Hamas said in a statement early on Wednesday that Jubeir's remarks "constitute a shock for our Palestinian people and the Arab and Islamic nations."

6:30am - Qataris banned from Qantas flights to Dubai

Qatari nationals will not be allowed to board Qantas flights to Dubai because the UAE has banned them from passing through its airports, an executive at the Australian airline has said.

The UAE had already said Qatari nationals would not be allowed to enter the country or cross its points of entry, although the practical effects on airline passengers had been unclear until now.

5:10am - Mauritanians protest in front of Qatar embassy

In a show of solidarity with Qatar, people in capital Nouakchott demonstrated outside of the Qatari embassy against its government's decision to severe ties with the Gulf state.

4:05am - Qatari ambassador to US discusses crisis

"All these issues are based on fabricated allegations. There is no proof," Meshal bin Hamad Al Thani told Al Jazeera's Shihab Rattansi.

"There's proof that Qatar is combating terrorism. In Riyadh, Qatar was commended on that. Our commitment to the US is a solid commitment, and our commitment to the region is also solid, so this is not a question," the ambassador said.

1:56am - Qatar's gas exports unaffected

ExxonMobil Corp says production and exports of liquefied natural gas from Qatar have not been affected.

The growing diplomatic rift has raised concerns about global access to Qatar's LNG, especially after some regional ports in the Gulf said they would not accept Qatari-flagged vessels.

1:48am - Trump talks to Saudi King Salman

"The two leaders discussed the critical goals of preventing the financing of terrorist organisations and eliminating the promotion of extremism by any nation in the region," according to a White House statement.

"The president underscored that a united Gulf Cooperation Council is critical to defeating terrorism and promoting regional stability."

1:35am - Mauritania breaks diplomatic ties with Qatar

"The state of Qatar has linked its policies ... in support of terrorist organisations and the propagation of extremist ideas," said a statement from the ministry of foreign affairs of the West African country, a member of the Arab League.

1:10am - Pentagon chief speaks to Qatar's defence minister

US Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis has spoken by phone with his Qatari counterpart. No details of the talks were given, Reuters news agency quoted a source as saying.

The Pentagon earlier renewed praise of Qatar for hosting a vital US air base and for its "enduring commitment to regional security".

00:30am - Moroccan airline halts Doha transit flights

Royal Air Maroc (RAM) has announced that it had to suspend transit flights via Doha to and from UAE, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Egypt due to the cancellation of flights from Qatar to these countries.

RAM's direct flights continue to operate to and from Qatar to Morocco.

To jump to the first update on Tuesday, click here.
11:51pm - Erdogan criticises Qatar sanctions, wants stronger ties

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said "the sanctions taken against Qatar are not good".

"Turkey will continue and develop our ties with Qatar, as with all our friends who have supported us in the most difficult moments," he added in reference to last year's failed coup.

11:20pm - Jordan downgrades relations with Qatar

Jordan has said it will downgrade its diplomatic representation with Qatar after examining the "cause of the crisis" in the Gulf.

The country also revoked the license of Al Jazeera media network, Jordan's government spokesman Mohammad al-Momani said.

10pm - Kuwaiti Emir departs for Saudi

Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah flies to Saudi Arabia to meet King Salman.

Al Sabah had asked Qatar's emir to postpone speech, to give time to solve the crisis.

WATCH: Kuwaiti Emir returns from Saudi
9:13pm - Saudi Arabia: Qatar must 'change policies'

Saudi Arabia's foreign minister has said the damage caused by economic measures taken by some Arab states against Qatar should convince it change its policies.

Qatar must end its support for Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, the foreign minister said.

"We believe that common sense and logic and will convince Qatar to take the right steps," Adel al-Jubeir said in Paris.

"The decisions that were made were very strong and will have a fairly large cost on Qatar and we do not believe that Qataris want to sustain those costs."

8:30pm - IATA calls for restoring air links with Qatar

The International Air Transport Association has called on the countries that acted against Qatar to restore air links with the country, warning of major travel disruptions.

"Of course, we accept that countries have the right to close their borders," said IATA director general Alexandre de Juniac. "But connectivity with Qatar must be restored as quickly as possible."

7:25pm - French president keen to seek resolution of Gulf spat

The president of France, Emmanuel Macron, has told Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani in a phone conversation that he plans to seek ways to reduce tensions between Qatar and its neighbours.

7:22pm - Pentagon grateful to Qatar

Pentagon has said the US military is grateful for Qatar's support of US army presence in the country and "enduring commitment to regional security".
The spokesperson declined to comment on US President Donald Trump's tweets.

4:45pm - Trump tweets on Qatar again

US President Donald Trump on Twitter: "So good to see the Saudi Arabia visit with the King and 50 countries already paying off."

"They said they would take a hard line on funding extremism, and all reference was pointing to Qatar. Perhaps this will be the beginning of the end to the horror of terrorism!"

3:45pm - Philippines bars workers travel to Qatar

The Philippine government temporarily has suspended the deployment of Filipino workers to Qatar, the labour secretary said. Silvestre Bello said there was no plan yet to repatriate more than 200,000 Filipino workers in Qatar.

3:06pm - US President Donald Trump tweets

For the first time since the crisis unfolded, Trump has weighed in. His tweet: "During my recent trip to the Middle East I stated that there can no longer be funding of Radical Ideology. Leaders pointed to Qatar - look!"

12:20pm - Saudi suspends Qatar Airways licence

According to the Saudi press, transport authorities in Saudi have cancelled Qatar Airways' licence to operate in Saudi Arabia.

The authorities have also decided to close all Qatar's Airways offices in the kingdom.

11:50am - BeIn sports network appears blocked in UAE

Authorities and telecommunications companies did not provide further details. BeIN acquired Al Jazeera's sports channels in 2013.

11:20am - UAE demands guarantees before mending Qatar ties

"We need a guaranteed roadmap to rebuild confidence after our covenants were broken," UAE State Minister for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said on Twitter.

Gargash accused Doha of turning to "money and media and partisanship and extremism" in a series of tweets early on Tuesday. Qatar has denied the allegations.

10:00am - Qatar stocks rebound in early trade

Qatar's stock market rebounded in early trade on Tuesday after plunging 7.3 percent on Monday.

The Qatari stock index was up 2.7 percent after half an hour of trade; it rose as much as 3.2 percent at one stage.

9:20am - Aluminium exports from Qatar blocked

Exports of aluminium from the Qatalum metals plant in Qatar have been blocked by the UAE, Norway's Norsk Hydro said.

Norsk Hydro owns a 50 percent stake on the Qatalum joint venture, which produces more than 600,000 tonnes per year of primary aluminium to customers in Asia, Europe and the United States.

"Most Qatalum shipments normally go through the large Jebel Ali port in UAE, but this port looks to be closed for all Qatar shipments from Tuesday morning," Norsk Hydro said in a statement.

8:23am - Qatar Airways suspends flights to UAE, Egypt, Bahrain

Qatar Airways has cancelled flights to Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates from Tuesday until further notice, the airline said on its website, a day after it had suspended flights to Saudi Arabia.

The airline said passengers holding a confirmed Qatar Airways ticket to any of the four countries between June 5 and July 6 are permitted to rebook their flights up to 30 days after their current departure date.

Qatar Airways said its offices will continue to operate as normal in affected countries until further notice.

8:00am - Erdogan holds talks on lowering tensions

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke by phone with the leaders of Qatar, Russia, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia on lowering tensions, presidential sources said.

"The importance of regional peace and stability was underlined in the talks, as well as the importance of focusing on the path of diplomacy and dialogue to lower the current tension," according to the sources.

1:30am, Tuesday, June 6 - Qatar's foreign minister interview

"For us, the strategic choice of the state of Qatar is to solve any dispute through dialogue," Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani tells Al Jazeera.

"Regarding the reasons for this escalation, honestly, we don't know if there were real reasons for this crisis," Qatar's Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani tells Al Jazeera.

"There were no indications [of a crisis] whatsoever" in the latest GCC meeting, or the American-Islamic-Arab summit.

He said the emir of Kuwait was travelling to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday to assist in "containing the crisis".

Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani will give a speech to the nation on Tuesday to address the situation.

He added there's a big question mark over the future of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

"There was an unprecedented escalation from the [Gulf] mass media ... but Qatar has not met this escalation with escalation."

10:40pm - Kuwait calls for restraint

Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah has called Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and "urged him for restraint and not to take any measure that could escalate" the situation in the Gulf, according to the state-run KUNA news agency.

8:30pm - Saudi banks asked to sell Qatari Riyals

Saudi Arabia's central bank asks local banks to sell Qatari riyals and not to buy any more, local media and Reuters report.

8:30pm - Turkey is seeking to resolve Gulf spat

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is "actively involved" in efforts to resolve the diplomatic spat between Qatar and its neighbours, according to Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus.

8pm - US military has 'no plans' for change

The US military's Central Command says it has "no plans to change our posture in Qatar" amid a Gulf diplomatic crisis. Major Adrian JT Rankine-Galloway said in a statement that US military aircraft continue to fly missions in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria from Qatar's Al-Udeid airbase.

7:30pm - Egypt airspace to close on Tuesday

Egypt's ministry of civil aviation has announced that the country's airspace will be closed to Qatari flights starting Tuesday 04:00 GMT.

6:30pm - Israel praises anti-Qatar moves

Avigdor Lieberman, Israel's defence minister, has praised the measures against Qatar, saying: "There is no doubt that this opens very many possibilities of cooperation in the struggle against terror."

6:25pm - Saudi shuts Al Jazeera office

Saudi Arabia has shut down Al Jazeera Media Network's local office, according to Saudi state media

5:40pm - No Qatari vessels allowed in Saudi ports

The Saudi Ports Authority has notified shipping agents not to receive vessels carrying Qatari flags or ships owned by Qatari companies or individuals.

5:10pm - Egypt suspends air and sea links

Egypt's foreign ministry said in a statement the country was suspending air and sea links to Qatar, citing national security.

4:40pm - Turkey expresses 'sorrow'

Turkey is ready to help however it can to bring the disputes to a manageable level, said Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, speaking at a joint news conference in Ankara.

Cavusoglu also said: "Turkey sees the unity and solitary among Gulf states as our own unity."

4pm - Iran's food 'can reach in 12 hours'

Food shipments sent from Iran can reach Qatar in 12 hours, said Reza Nourani, chairman of the union of exporters of agricultural products.

3:30pm - UAE port to turn away Qatar-bound vessels

UAE's Port of Fujairah says all vessels flying the flag of Qatar or destined for Qatar will not be allowed to call at the port.

3:30pm - Iran calls for dialogue

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi was quoted on the ministry's website as calling for a "clear and explicit dialogue" among the feuding nations. Iran says rising tensions among its Arab Gulf neighbours threaten the interests of everyone in the region.

3:15pm - Maldives cuts ties with Qatar

Decision made because of the Maldives' "firm opposition to activities that encourage terrorism and extremism".

3:10pm - Egypt recalls ambassador

Egypt's foreign ministry says it has given the Qatari ambassador in Cairo 48 hours to leave the country and has ordered its own envoy in Doha to return home, also within two days.

2:50pm - Libya's Haftar cuts ties with Qatar

The faction led by Khalifa Haftar, one of three rival governments in Libya, announced it is cutting ties with Qatar.

Haftar's foreign minister accuses Qatar of "harbouring terrorism".

2pm - Saudi closes border with Qatar

Saudi Transport authority confirms immediate border closure with Qatar by land and by sea.

1:30pm - Saudi border line up

Reports of trucks being lined up across the border in Saudi Arabia unable to enter Qatar.

1:20pm - Updates from FIFA

Football's world governing body says it remains in "regular contact with Qatar".

FIFA issued a short statement saying it has spoken with "the Qatar 2022 Local Organizing Committee and the Supreme Committee for Delivery Legacy handling matters relating to the 2022 FIFA World Cup".

It said: "We have no further comments for the time being."

1:15pm - Air Arabia flights suspended from Tuesday

Air Arabia, a low-cost airline based in the United Arab Emirates, said it is suspending flights to Qatar along with other Emirati airlines over a growing diplomatic crisis.

Air Arabia says its flights will be suspended from Tuesday "until further notice".

EXPLAINED: How diplomatic rift affects air travel
12:10pm - Saudia flights suspended from Monday

Saudi Arabian Airlines says it is suspending flights to the Qatari capital, Doha.

The airline, also known as Saudia, posted on Twitter that it would be halting flights from Monday morning, without elaborating.

11:05am - FlyDubai flights cancelled from Tuesday

Dubai's budget carrier FlyDubai says it has cancelled its flights to Qatar amid a diplomatic dispute between it and other Arab countries.

The carrier said on Monday that, starting Tuesday, all flights would be suspended. It offered no other details.

FlyDubai's decision follows that of Emirates and Etihad in cancelling flights to Doha.

10:45am - Yemen cuts ties with Qatar

Yemen's internationally recognised government has cut relations with Qatar and says it supports the decision by the Saudi-led coalition to end Qatar's participation in the war on the Houthis in Yemen. Qatar has been part of the coalition since March 2015.

The government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi says it severed ties with Qatar in part over its support of extremist groups in Yemen "in contradiction with the goals announced by the countries supporting the legitimate government".

10:20am - Emirates flights cancelled from Tuesday

The Dubai-based airline Emirates says it is suspending flights to Qatar amid a growing diplomatic rift.

Emirates said on its website on Monday that flights would be suspended until further notice starting Tuesday.

10am - US urges GCC unity

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters in Sydney: "It is important that the GCC remain a unified [front]".

Tillerson does not expect the rift "to have any significant impact, if any impact at all, on the unified fight against terrorism".

Qatar hosts the largest US military base in the Middle East.

9:55am - Qatar's official reaction

Qatar says there is "no legitimate justification" for four Arab nations to cut diplomatic ties.

Qatar also says the decision is a "violation of its sovereignty", vowing to its citizens that it will not affect them.

Qatar's reaction in full
8:35am - Etihad suspends flights from Tuesday

Abu Dhabi-based airline Etihad said it is suspending flights to Qatar from June 6 "until further notice".

Etihad said its last flights would leave early Tuesday morning.

Etihad gave no reason for the decision. It is the flag carrier of the United Arab Emirates.

6:10am - UAE, Egypt cut ties with Qatar

The United Arab Emirates and Egypt have cut diplomatic ties with Qatar.

Both the UAE and Egypt made the announcement on their state-run news agencies within minutes of each other.

6am - Saudi cuts ties with Qatar

Saudi Arabia says it is cutting diplomatic ties to Qatar and it has pulled all Qatari troops from the ongoing war in Yemen.

Saudi Arabia made the announcement via its state-run Saudi Press Agency early on Monday. It appeared to be timed in concert with an earlier announcement by Bahrain similarly cutting ties.

The dispute between Qatar and the Gulf's Arab countries escalated recently over a hack of Qatar's state-run news agency. It has spiralled since.

5:50am, Monday, June 5 - Bahrain cuts ties with Qatar

Bahrain says it is cutting diplomatic ties to Qatar amid a deepening rift between Gulf Arab nations.

Bahrain's Foreign Affairs Ministry issued a statement early on Monday saying it would withdraw its diplomatic mission from the Qatari capital of Doha within 48 hours and that all Qatari diplomats should leave Bahrain within the same period.

2:30am Thursday, June 1 - US talking to all sides involved in Gulf crisis

"We are continuing to talk to multiple members in the region. We'll continue to do that and monitor it," Sarah Sanders, deputy White House press secretary, told reporters aboard Air Force One.