Al-Azhar backs joint move against Qatar

Remigio Civitarese
Giugno 7, 2017

(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, Pool, Fike). Mr. Trump did not take a position, but appeared to suggest it was understandable to isolate Qatar.

(AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File).

Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani has already postponed an address to his country and opted to "exercise restraint" after Kuwait warned that harsh remarks could hamper a settlement.

Qatar has denied funding extremists and its foreign minister struck a defiant tone, even after anxious residents were seen panic-buying in grocery shops in the capital, Doha.

"The General Authority of Civil Aviation has chose to cancel all licences granted to Qatar Airways and to close all of its offices in the kingdom within 48 hours", a statement carried by the official SPA news agency said.

Some 8,000 US military personnel are stationed at al Udeid in Qatar, the largest USA air base in the Middle East and a staging ground for USA -led strikes on the Islamic State militant group that has seized parts of Syria and Iraq.

He later tweeted: "Perhaps this will be the beginning of the end to the horror of terrorism!"

If you asked the president and his aides why they were so impressed with themselves, they tended to point to Trump's time in Saudi Arabia. Qatari officials declined to immediately comment.

Nasser Al-Khater, a senior figure with Qatar's World Cup organising body, recently claimed that up to 1.3 million fans would visit Doha in 2022, the majority from the Gulf and "mainly from Saudi Arabia".

Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman al-Thani told CNN the Federal Bureau of Investigation has confirmed the hack and the planting of fake news.

He said Qatar would not retaliate but was unhappy with regional rivals "trying to impose their will on Qatar or intervene in its internal affairs".

On Monday, U.S. Ambassador to Qatar Dana Shell Smith emphasized the importance of Qatar as a U.S. ally in a series of tweets. "Qatar has to choose whether it must move in one direction or another direction", al-Jubeir said, as cited by Reuters.

Meanwhile, the Philippines said it will temporarily suspend the deployment of Filipino workers to Qatar.

"Many of Qatar Airways' flights to southern Europe and Africa pass through Saudi Arabia", the site said.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt blocked access to Al Jazeera and launched an aggressive campaign accusing Qatar of supporting terrorist groups like al-Qaida and the Islamic State, destabilizing the region and stabbing its allies in the back. Trump expressed support for the countries' move to suspend diplomatic ties with Qatar, despite having praised Qatar as a "crucial strategic partner" just a few weeks ago. Late Tuesday night, the Jordanian government announced it was reducing its level of diplomatic representation in Qatar and cancelling the local registration for Al-Jazeera TV.

Winning the right to host the 2022 World Cup was a major coup for Qatar, which has used its natural gas riches to promote its worldwide profile.

Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies may have felt emboldened by Trump's visit, which saw the new president clearly align U.S. interests with Riyadh and lash out at Iran.

The UAE and the other nations had another message for Qatar, Gargash said: "If we don't see that change then Qatar needs to understand that it's on its own and it has to sort of deal and run its economy and run its country on its own". The four nations have closed air and sea links, and sent Qatari nationals home. The UAE's Etihad Airways, FlyDubai and the Middle East's largest carrier Emirates have suspended flights to Qatar. The Saudi ports authority said Qatari-flagged shipping vessels are barred from docking.

Analysts say the rift is also driven by the belief that Qatar is too closely aligned with Iran.

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