Published: Sat, June 10, 2017
USA | By Kelli Rowe

Qatar must commit to re-examining regional policies: UAE ambassador to US

Qatar must commit to re-examining regional policies: UAE ambassador to US

While Qatar maintained the story was false, the report was followed by diplomatic problems between the country and other Middle Eastern nations Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, as well as the UAE.

According to the statement, the two sides agreed on the importance of cooperation to strengthen joint Arab action, underlining the need to establish relations between Arab countries on the principles of mutual respect and non-interference in each others' internal affairs.

How did we get here? The Qatari Central Bank asked banks in Qatar for daily data on cash withdrawals and remittances, amid predictions of withdrawing foreign investment funds from Qatari banks for fear of the worsening of the crisis with other Gulf countries.

"Going beyond politics and diplomacy, such as recalling ambassadors or cutting diplomatic ties, Qatar will be more or less isolated and existentially affected [by the move]", German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel told Handelsblatt newspaper, the ministry's website stated.

Not everyone was pleased. It had fomented a "conspiracy' against the Yemeni government to prove a point, he argued".

But Saudi Arabia, wishing to be the undisputed leader of the Arab world does not like Qatar to be an energy giant.

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It was hard to know what to make of Qatar.

Increasing the pressure Friday, those nations put 12 organizations and 59 people on a terror sanctions list and described them as being associated with Qatar, which called the allegations "baseless". The contradiction was typical of a country that has operated a scattershot, independent and at times maddeningly inconsistent foreign policy, doing its best to punch above its weight wherever it can. Qatar hosts 8,000 USA military personnel at al Udeid, the largest US air base in the Middle East and a launchpad for US -led strikes on Islamic State jihadists.

Iran shares access with Qatar to the world's biggest natural gas field.

Others aren't convinced that the end of Al Jazeera will be a specific demand made of Qatar, but agree its foreign policy will undoubtedly have to change if it wants to bring an end to its current isolation. "Qatar can't be an American ally on Monday that sends money to Hamas on Tuesday, ' John Kerry, then a U.S. senator, said in 2009".

A Qatari diplomat told the Associated Press on Thursday that his country's emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, would not travel overseas while the blockade remained in place.

The global agency Standard and Poors announced Wednesday that it lowered its rating on Qatar's long-term debt to AA-minus because of the country's dispute with its neighbors.

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Also on Tuesday, Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah paid an urgent visit to Saudi Arabia to seek a political solution to the crisis around Doha with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud, Kuwait News Agency reported.

Although the diplomats eventually returned to their embassies, tensions were never properly resolved - hence the developments this week.

Al-Jazeera's offices have been shut down by authorities in Saudi Arabia and Jordan.

The alleged fake news item, which had Sheikh Tamim making controversial comments on Iran and Israel, immediately was picked up by Saudi and Emirati media, laying the groundwork for the crisis that began Monday.

Later, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson urged the Gulf countries to solve their differences.

That would have major consequences for the country's media ambitions, and for the network's 3,000-plus staff in Doha and around the world.

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