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Tension between Qatar, Arab States: Latest developments

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Tehran, June 6, IRNA -- Following Saudi Arabia and certain Arab States severing relations with Qatar accusing the country of supporting terrorist groups which was rejected by Doha, further measures are still underway in new forms.

The latest developments of some Arab States' cutting relations with Qatar have resulted in taking further measures by those countries toward this Persian Gulf state.

After cutting ties with Qatar, a number of Arab countries as well as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) decided to stop white sugar export to Qatar, according to the Egyptian newspaper Youm7.

Qatar imports nearly 100,000 tons of white sugar from Saudi Arabia and the UAE which the consumption of this product increases in Ramadan.

Also Egypt has suspended its flights to Qatar and vice-versa since 6 a.m. (Cairo local time) until further notice according to Egypt's Ministry of Civil Aviation.

Meanwhile, the US Embassy in Qatar wanted the American citizens residing in this country or the ones deciding to travel to Qatar to have a direct contact with travel agencies to be informed of the latest developments.

According to the official Saudi news agency, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in line with the Saudis' policies against Qatar has wanted this Persian Gulf State to adhere its previous commitments as well as all rules and laws of the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (PGCC) particularly the issues regarding stopping support for the terrorist groups and their activities and provoking media in a press conference on Monday.

The banking relations between Qatar and the UAE is still going on and the UAE central bank has not released any announcement regarding banking interactions between the two sides, according to Reuters.

Following the tension between Riyadh and Doha, the Saudi Ministry of Culture and Information shut down the office of Al Jazeera TV Channel in Riyadh.

Saudis have also taken further measures to row the boils, including a 10,000-rial fine which is applicable for the Saudi citizens in case of travelling to some countries such as Iraq and Syria and now Qatar as well.

Saudi Arabia has also considered a three-year jail term in addition to 10,000-rial fine as punishment for those Saudi citizens travelling to Qatar.

The Saudis have also said that the ships travelling under Qatar's flag won't be allowed to harbor in Saudis ports, Saudi Ports Authority wrote on its official Twitter account.

In the meantime, Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said that life of Qatari people will not be affected by severing relations by Saudi Arabia and some Arab countries.

"Doha received numerous calls from the friendly and brotherly countries declaring their solidarity with us," said Mohammed Al Thani to Al Jazeera.

"Negotiations is Qatar's strategic option to solve the disputes," he also said.

Mohammed Al Thani also said 'Qatar's relations with the US is strategic and very well and will not be influenced by marginal issues."

"The triple countries (Saudi Arbia, the UAE, and Bahrain) have closed their borders to Qatar, but this has not influenced the life of the Qatari citizens," he stressed.

Meanwhile, Iran has called on Persian Gulf States for self-restraint.

While the region and the entire world are still suffering from crises of terrorism, extremism and occupation of Palestine by the Zionist regime of Israel, the rise in tension among neighboring countries is not in the best interest of any state of the region, Iran's Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qasemi said.

"Neighbors are permanent; geography can't be changed. Coercion is never the solution. Dialog is imperative, especially during blessed Ramadan," Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote on his twitter page on Monday.

Zarif also In separate telephone conversations with foreign ministers of Turkey, Indonesia, Iraq, Oman, Tunisia, Malaysia, Lebanon, Algeria, Kuwait as well as High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, highlighted the need for dialogue to solve the current problems.

However, in the heightened situation, The Saudi Council of Ministers during their Monday night meeting led by Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz claimed that "the cutting of ties with Doha is due to the defense of Saudi Arabia's sovereignty against threat of terrorism'.

The statement continues claiming that one of the other reasons for cutting relations with Qatar is their support of the different terrorists and sectarian groups in order to destabilize the countries in the region.

Amidst the created tension led by Saudi Arabia, the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister and Special Presidential Envoy for the Middle East and North Africa Mikhail Bogdanov and Qatari Ambassador to Moscow Fahad al Attiyah met in Moscow and talked about the present tensions and how to settle it on Monday night.

Also, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov made a telephone call on Monday to Qatari foreign minister and urged solving the disputes between Qatar and Saudi Arabia and its allies through negotiations.

There was also concern expressed in this telephone call regarding the creation a new epicenter of tension.

Russia demands maintaining stability and security in the Persian Gulf region states and to solve disputes within the framework of peace, said the Russian Spokesperson for the government Dmitry Sergeyevich Peskov on Tuesday, stressing Moscow's non-interference in other countries' internal affairs.

In the midst of heightened tension between Saudi Arabia and its allies with Qatar, Zionist regime's minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Monday night that "the Arabs' cutting ties with Qatar due to Doha's support of terrorism can pave the way to form a broad coalition with a focus on fighting against terrorism in partnership with Israel."

"Today's incident clearly indicated that Arab nations found out the real danger threatening the region is neither Israel nor the Jews and the Zionists, but just the phenomenon of terrorism," Lieberman also claimed.

Following the created tension in the Persian Gulf, some other Arab countries were concerned and tried to alleviate the suffering overwhelming the region.

In an effort to mediate between Saudi Arabia and Qatar, The Kuwaiti Emir has negotiated via telephone with the officials from some regional countries including Qatar, Turkey, and Jordan.

Al Jazeera, the Qatar-based TV Channel, soon stopped broadcasting a pre-recorded address by Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of Qatar, just few minutes after it was aired today.

Postponing the broadcasting of the Qatari Emir's speech was due to providing good opportunity for Kuwaiti Emir regarding his efforts to mediate and solve the present crisis, the Qatari foreign minister told Al Jazeera.

According to reports, an official Qatari delegation is due in Kuwait within the next hours.

Also Minister of Foreign Affairs of Tunisia Khemaies Jhinaoui said on Monday that his country follows up the latest developments in the Persian Gulf and hopes these countries settle their disputes so the security and the stability of the regional countries and all Arab nations will be preserved.

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