More Curbs on Qatar Possible: UAE Official

Friday, 09 Jun, 2017

In a Reuters interview, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said it would be very complex to disentangle the "very diverse" business ties between Qatar and its neighbors but suggested this might be necessary.

Gargash said he hoped further steps were not needed but could not be ruled out. Qatar vehemently denies the accustations. "What happened was collective punishment. that tried to put Qatar and its people under a blockade".

Gabriel warned against completely isolating Qatar and said the move is an attack on the Persian Gulf state's very existence.

"All affected passengers in Doha on route to Saudi Arabia have been assisted with alternative onward travel arrangements", the airline said.

Qatar's ports and airports remained open to trade on Wednesday with countries not taking part in the Saudi-led boycott, a government official said.

Qatar, a major player in the global gas industry and host to the biggest US military base in the Middle East, has crafted an independently-minded foreign policy, attracting criticism for engaging with groups from Hezbollah to Hamas.

Kuwait's emir has been seeking to mediate, meeting Saudi's king on Tuesday.

"With regard to measures undertaken by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, I've read in the media but have not been informed of anything official and I can't express an official position", Jubeir told reporters.

Since the diplomatic row erupted, slogans against and in support of Qatar have been among the top topics discussed on Twitter in Arabic, which is a hugely popular medium of expression in the Arab world, particularly in Saudi Arabia.

Foreigners living in Qatar with residence visas will no longer be eligible for visas on arrival into the United Arab Emirates, a spokesman for Etihad Airways added.

The Arab countries have blocked Qatari vessels from entering their airspace, as well as using their seaports as Saudi Arabia has closed off its land border. Jordan has downgraded its diplomatic representation and revoked the license of Doha-based TV channel Al Jazeera.

The Ministry of Economy and Commerce released a video on Tuesday that showed supermarket shelves stocked with food and other goods after Qataris crowded into stores on Monday to stock up fearing shortages. But financial markets were relatively calm after some recent jumps.

Qatar's stock index was roughly unchanged after plummeting 8.7 percent over the last two days.

"We have not asked for mediation, we believe this issue can be dealt with among the states of the Gulf Cooperation Council", he told a news conference with his German counterpart in Berlin broadcast on Saudi state television. The official said that the country has assisted in prosecuting suspected financiers, freezing assets, and introducing stringent controls on its banking system there to curb terrorism.