Qatar in talks with Iran to secure food and water supplies

Cesar Mills
June 8, 2017

"So good to see the Saudi Arabia visit with the King and 50 countries already paying off", Trump said in a series of tweets.

Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, Qatar's foreign minister, said the measures taken against the country were "surprising", according to the statement, which also cited the minister's interview with the BBC on Tuesday.

In a tweet on Tuesday, Trump did not take a position on the decision by Saudi Arabia and three other Arab nations to sever diplomatic relations with Qatar but appeared to suggest it was understandable.

Some banks in Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain have already begun cutting their exposure to Qatar, other people said on Wednesday.

The Gulf Cooperation Council, which Trump met with on his trip, comprises the UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar and Kuwait.

The rift comes less than a month after Trump visited Saudi Arabia and called for Muslim nations to unite against extremism.

Earlier, he said the Saudis' move to isolate Qatar could mark the "beginning of the end to the horror of terrorism".

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The comments lent credence to a view held by some analysts that Trump in his Middle East trip emboldened the Arab nations to take action even though Qatar is a US ally and hosts a USA military base.

Sources with knowledge of the investigation said that the FBI had linked the attack to Russian hackers - though they couldn't say whether the hack was carried out by a criminal group or was government-backed. "No one approached us directly and said look we have problems with this, and this and this".

An Iranian transportation official was quoted by media as saying on Tuesday that Qatari flights bound to North Africa and Europe that used to cross Saudi, Egyptian or Kuwaiti airspace can now travel over Iran, Iraq and Jordan.

President Donald Trump spoke to Qatar's emir today, offering U.S. mediation in a crisis that has split Washington's allies and pushed regional powers toward confrontation.

The Saudi-led alliance has imposed an economic blockade on Qatar and called on the small gas-rich state to change its policies and to halt its alleged support to extremist groups including the Muslim Brotherhood and the Palestinian Hamas movement. Saudi Arabia said relations with Doha can only be restored if it stops funding extremists, but Riyadh has also been accused of doing the same.

Qatar reportedly denied funding terrorists and speculated that recent controversy is entirely "based on misinformation". There are also fears of food shortages, given that Qatar imports most of its perishable foods.

A year ago during a visit to Saudi Arabia, Obama administration officials raised the issue of Saudi funding to build mosques in Europe and Africa that are helping to spread an ultra-conservative strain of Islam.

Other reports by GizPress

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