nsucurrent.com February 20, 2018

Qatar FM: Blockade Is Result of Saudi Aggression

07 July 2017, 12:46 | Colleen Roy

British Prime Minister calls for 'de-escalation' of Gulf crisis in call with Saudi crown prince

Qatar FM arrives in Kuwait to give reply on demands

He also criticized Qatar for failing to realize the gravity of the situation.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry has blamed Qatar for "human suffering" in Syria and Libya in an exclusive interview with CNN.

"Measures agreed with the United States on combatting counter-terrorism financing and also with Germany as an auditor are strong components of a positive broader settlement that allows both sides a measure of face saving", said Andrew Bowen, a Gulf scholar with the American Enterprise Institute who has met recently with officials from both sides of the dispute.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt have voiced disappointment at Qatar's rejection of their ultimatum, but are so far refraining from further sanctions on the state.

Qatar Airways said in a statement early on Thursday the ban had been lifted after the airline and its hub airport Hamad International met with all new U.S. security requirements.

The UAE Foreign Minister, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, said after the meeting in Cairo on Wednesday that any new measures would adhere to worldwide law.

For his part, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir said: "Turkey told us it will remain neutral from the crisis, and we hope they will stick to that position".

Qatar earlier in the day accused Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt of "clear aggression" and said the accusations cited when they severed ties a month ago "were clearly designed to create anti-Qatar sentiment in the West".

"There will be zero tolerance with any state sponsoring extremism and terrorism.

To this end, closer cooperation between the two countries' secret services was agreed during Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel's visit to the Gulf emirate", a source in the German delegation to Qatar told the Die Zeit newspaper.

The bloc's demands to Qatar include shutting down the Al Jazeera channel and scaling down ties with Iran, as well as handing over individuals wanted for terrorism and aligning itself politically and economically Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC). They need "more time to figure out measures that would increase the pressure on Qatar without violating worldwide law or engendering a negative response from the global community".

The decision not to respond immediately with fresh measures may reflect pressure from western capitals to ease the dispute, and the effectiveness of Qatar's campaign to present itself as an innocent victim of an attempt to meddle with its foreign policy, The Guardian comments.

The White House said Trump reiterated the need for all countries "to stop terrorist financing and discredit extremist ideology".

The tone was more balanced than Trump's previous statements, which had offered all-out support for Saudi Arabia and its agenda.

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