Published: Tue, June 06, 2017
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Trump appears to support isolation of Qatar

A commercial banker in fellow GCC state Kuwait, which did not sever diplomatic ties with Qatar, said on Tuesday that business with Qatari institutions was continuing as normal.

Doha said hackers were behind the release of false remarks attributed to Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani published on the website of its national news agency.

Kuwait's emir, who has spent decades as a diplomat and mediator in regional disputes, hosted Sheikh Tamim last week as the crisis began brewing.

Still, the minister struck a defiant tone, rejecting those "trying to impose their will on Qatar or intervene in its internal affairs".

For Saudi Arabia as well, Qatar's relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) might be an issue as it has also declared the MB as a terrorist organization. The call came after a senior Saudi royal arrived in Kuwait with a message from the Saudi king.

"The measures are unjustified and are based on false and baseless claims", Qatar said in response to Monday's announcement.

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The minister said Qatar's ties to the USA were complicated, but would remain unharmed. Qatar Airways will have to use the airspace of Iran to operate its eastbound flights.

In Egypt, which also cut diplomatic and transport ties with Qatar, some banks resumed dealing in Qatari riyals after halting trade on Monday, but others appeared to be continuing to limit transactions with Doha.

The rift among Washington's Gulf allies comes less than a month after US President Donald Trump visited Saudi Arabia and called for a united Muslim front against extremism.

Qatar, home to about 10,000 USA troops and the host of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, criticized the move as a "violation of its sovereignty". It did not elaborate.

Leading Arab powers including Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates cut ties with Qatar on Monday, accusing it of support for Islamist militants and Iran. Egypt's Foreign Ministry accused Qatar of taking an "antagonist approach" toward Cairo and said "all attempts to stop it from supporting terrorist groups failed".

Metzmaker told DW "there was some panic due to social media and news sources in regards to food" since residents are aware that much of Qatar's food is imported through the now-closed land border with Saudi Arabia. "If anything happens and they ran out of food and food riots take place definitely our [foreign workers] will be the first victims", said Silvestre Bello, head of the Philippine Department of Labor and Employment, in a statement.

The nations also said they planned to cut air and sea traffic.

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Trump presented the remark out of context, implying Khan had said that Londoners should not be alarmed by terrorism. Khan had told Londoners there was "no reason to be alarmed" about an increased police presence in the coming days.

Its massive natural gas reserves and tiny population have made it one of the richest per capita countries in the world, and its popular Al-Jazeera news network has contributed to its outsized influence in the region.

In turn, Qatar Airways announced on Tuesday it would suspend all flights to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain until further notice.

Qatar Airways has offered all its customers an alternative route or refunds on their flights.

Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) will be operating special flights to Doha to bring back Pakistani pilgrims stranded there.

Other airlines affected by the airspace restrictions include Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways and Emirates.

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