Qatar says state news agency was first hacked in April

Pauline Gross
June 9, 2017

But the row over Qatar's alleged support for Islamist groups has disrupted many aspects of life.

- UAE's national postal service suspends all services to Qatar.

Qatari investigators have said that a cyber attack which caused the publication of fake news last month that helped trigger a crisis with Gulf neighbours was prepared in April.

"The Ministry said the investigation team confirmed that the piracy process had used high techniques and innovative methods by exploiting an electronic gap on the website of the Qatar News Agency", the foreign ministry said in a statement. Turkey's parliament, on the other hand, has approved sending troops to an existing Turkish base in Qatar as a sign of support.

"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 White House said in a statement.

"If there is any sensible argument or sensible accusation, we are ready to answer", Sheikh Mohammed said. Schaefer told reporters German diplomats were in touch with the state department and security council officials to clarify the USA stance.

In an interview with BBC radio, UAE Ambassador to Russia Omar Saif Ghobash said Qatar had to choose between supporting extremism or supporting its neighbors.

Arab countries at odds with Qatar accuse it of supporting militant groups and advancing their arch-rival Iran's agenda in the region - charges Doha calls baseless. The report was widely picked up by regional media outlets, which continued circulating it after Qatar's denial.

He said Iran had offered the use of three of its ports to ship food and water to Qatar as supplies ran low, but he said the offer had not yet been accepted. At present, however, Egypt will have to join the coalition set up by Saudi Arabia to root out terrorism, which includes the terrorism they think emanates from Iran.

Turkey, which works closely with Qatar in the energy sector, has walked a fine line between defending Qatar and abstaining from openly antagonising Saudi Arabia.

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- The UAE and Saudi Arabia are seeking a "change of policy, not regime" in Qatar, an Emirati minister said. Another official says more curbs on business remain on the table in this dispute. The current diplomatic, economic, and political isolation of Qatar may indeed kill the GCC, or at a minimum severely wound it.

Jubeir declined to confirm a list of 10 demands published by Al Jazeera, which included shutting down the widely watched, Doha-based satellite network. Qatari students in the UAE and Saudi Arabia have been told to leave before finishing exams, he said. "We need to put everything in check".

The emirate is also home to leaders of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, the Palestinian Hamas and the Afghan Taliban. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said isolating Qatar would not resolve any problems.

They will discuss "urgent international" issues, Tass news agency reported, but there were no further details.

Saudi Arabia has also closed off Qatar's only land border, a crucial lifeline for food imports.

Kuwait's ruler, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber al-Sabah, travelled from the UAE to Qatar yesterday after visiting Saudi Arabia the day before to try to resolve the crisis.

Foreign powers made urgent calls for talks to end the crisis.

Doha should also take action against individuals who are sanctioned by the U.N. and the United States and are "roaming freely" in Qatar, and to stop providing "sanctuary" to Muslim Brotherhood leaders who have played a role in "radicalizing the region".

- Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit says he regrets the split between Arab countries.

Other reports by GizPress

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