Published: Wed, June 07, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Saudi Arabian Government Shuts Down Qatar's Al-Jazeera Office


Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al Jubeir told reporters in Paris on Tuesday that Qatar must sever ties with Hamas and its historic parent, the pan-Arab Muslim Brotherhood.

Gargash, the UAE minister, told Reuters in an interview it would be very complex to disentangle the "very diverse" business ties between Qatar and its neighbors but suggested this might be necessary.

Spicer said Trump had a very, very constructive conversation with the Emir of Qatar during his visit in Riyadh.

The Emir or Qatar with Donald Trump last month.

U.S. Ambassador to Qatar Dana Shell Smith on Monday retweeted a previous comment from October 2016 about the "great partnership" with Qatar to "counter terrorist financing".

Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates cut diplomatic ties with Qatar on Monday. He said "it's important for France to remain in partnership with all these countries", especially with diplomatic, financial and economic interests at stake.

"Qatar is, it is a country that is - from which financiers have helped finance al Qaeda, ISIS, the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and other similar organizations, including the Taliban, and I don't understand why", Royce said at the time.

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Qatar may be the richest country in the world per capita, but an embargo from its neighbours has the potential to be crippling to its economy. This has been particularly hard for Pakistan, whose nuclear weapons program and support for the Taliban in Afghanistan has been substantially financed by Saudi Arabia.

Castaner was responding to a question on whether Paris agreed with the accusation by the Saudi-led group that Qatar supported "terrorist" groups.

But the Saudi-led action was already having tangible effects, with dozens of flights canceled, Qatari planes barred from regional airspace, and panic buying in Doha amid fears of food shortages.

The transit ban on Qataris is stricter than restrictions on Israeli passport holders who are allowed up to 24 hours to change planes at UAE airports, even though Israel and the United Arab Emirates lack diplomatic relations. He said in Berlin he is seeking a response "soon". A United States official said there is no serious consideration of pulling out of the base, though there may be concerns about transporting supplies and basic goods across borders if the current dispute drags on. Qatar has denied the allegations.

The ministry put out a statement on social media Wednesday saying those found guilty could face three to 15 years in prison and fines starting from 500,000 dirhams ($136,000). "That may sound unusual, but that's where we are at in this new era of social media".

Vladimir Putin on Tuesday spoke by telephone with the ruler of Qatar, urging dialogue to heal split between the Gulf state and other Arab countries.

- UAE official said no one rejects the idea of talks, but first Qatar must make iron-clad commitment to change policies.

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Slogans against and in support of Qatar have dominated Twitter in Arabic.

In 2014 Qatar promised to cease sheltering Islamist leaders and tempered the tone of its powerful TV channel Al-Jazeera, accused of being a mouthpiece for Islamists in the Arab world.

The governments of Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, and Bahrain announced on 5 June 2017 that they were cutting diplomatic ties with Qatar over claims of the country sponsoring terrorism.

Looking further ahead, though, most attention is focused on the 2022 World Cup, which Qatar won the right to host in 2010 and has spent the last seven years preparing for with a huge construction programme.

His government hopes this "unfortunate phase will be overcome and the crisis will be resolved on solid grounds that guarantee that all Arab states cooperate to build a better future for our people".

He says Qatar will need to close or limit its Al-Jazeera news network and stop funding extremists groups to end the crisis.

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