UAE ruling family member: Qatar now questioning its leaders

Posted June 10, 2017

Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates were among those who joined Saudi Arabia on Monday in cutting diplomatic ties with Qatar.

Tensions between the Gulf Arab states continues to rise today, with Saudi Arabia leading a new round of threats against Qatar, with Bahrain's Foreign Ministry insisting that "all options" remain open for handling Qatar, amid rumors of a potential invasion.

The feud has raised fears of wider instability in an already volatile region that is a crucial global energy supplier and home to several Western military bases.

Qatar has long denied funding extremists, and its foreign minister has struck a defiant tone about the crisis in interviews.

Passengers of cancelled flights wait in Hamad International Airport (HIA) in Doha, Qatar, Tuesday, June 6, 2017.

Trump, who had initially backed the measures against Qatar in a tweet, called Sheik Tamim on Wednesday with an offer "to help the parties resolve their differences". Trump initially took sides with the Saudi-led group before apparently being nudged into a more even-handed approach when US defense officials renewed praise of Doha, mindful of the major USA military base hosted by Qatar that serves, in part, as a launch-pad for strikes on Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Home to some 10,000 troops, Al-Udeid is central to the US-led fight against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria.

Since the crisis began, 85 percent of Qatar's imports, including food trucks from Saudi Arabia, have been blocked. The Qatari Foreign Ministry said in a statement the two held talks on how "restore the normal relations" of the Gulf as the 2022 FIFA World Cup host and worldwide air travel hub now finds itself isolated by land, sea and air.

An initial report on the hack from Qatar's Interior Ministry late Wednesday said the website of the Qatar News Agency was initially hacked in April with "high techniques and innovative methods".

Gargash said the crisis was the result of "an accumulation over many, many years of subversive Qatari politics and support for extremism and terrorist organisations".

"Taliban representation here is done in coordination with the Americans", he told AFP.

Sheikh Mohammed is expected in Moscow Saturday, and officials said Friday he spoke with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson by telephone. President Donald Trump offered June 7 to personally broker a resolution to the Persian Gulf’s escalating diplomatic crisis, as both he and Qatar looked past his pointed suggestion only a day earlier that the tiny gas-rich nation enables terrorism. "We need to put everything in check".

Al Thani said Qatar was firmly against any intervention in its foreign policy.

Qatar's ambassador in Moscow Fahad al-Attyiah met with Russia's special presidential envoy for the Middle East and Africa, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov and explained Doha's vision of the situation following the severing of diplomatic relations with a number of Arab countries.

Gargash said "not using the formidable media ownership in promoting an extremist agenda" was a condition for negotiations.

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

The UAE has now banned its people from expressing their sympathy towards Qatar on social media or elsewhere.