Qatar-Gulf crisis All the latest updates

Qatar has reiterated its readiness for dialogue to solve the GCC crisis and called on its citizens and media outlets to refrain from attacking “Gulf symbols”.

A statement by Qatar’s foreign ministry on Tuesday was in response to a call by the Kuwaiti emir, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, for all sides to de-escalate the ongoing Gulf crisis.

The statement said Doha “hailed the appeal” made by the Kuwaiti leader and did not seek to “escalate the situation”.

“In line with the approach laid down by HH the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani in his address to the people of Qatar on 21 July 2017, calls upon citizens, residents and all media in Qatar to avoid slipping into the abuse of Gulf symbols,” the statement read.


Abdulrahman: Qatar boycott objective not wise
“Qatar has a strong belief in the fairness of its position in this crisis and its adherence to dialogue based on mutual respect, on the basis of its principles and values,” it added.

On Tuesday, the emir of Kuwait warned of the collapse of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) should the crisis with Qatar remain unresolved.

“Contrary to our wishes and hopes, the Gulf crisis has the potential of escalating; therefore, all of us must be fully aware of its potential consequences,” Sheikh Sabah said.

“Any escalation will bring with it an outright call for regional and international intervention, which will destroy the security of the Gulf and its people,” he added.

The GCC is a political and economic alliance of countries in the Arabian peninsula, including Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Three of those states, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Bahrain, have been part of a land, air, and sea blockade of Qatar since June this year.

Qatar commits to Kuwait’s mediation on crisis

  • Qatar has reiterated its readiness for dialogue to solve the GCC crisis and called on its citizens and media outlets to refrain from attacking “Gulf symbols”.
  • A statement by Qatar’s foreign ministry on Tuesday was in response to a call by the Kuwaiti emir, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, for all sides to de-escalate the ongoing Gulf crisis.
  • The statement said Doha “hailed the appeal” made by the Kuwaiti leader and did not seek to “escalate the situation”.
  • “Qatar has a strong belief in the fairness of its position in this crisis and its adherence to dialogue based on mutual respect, on the basis of its principles and values,” the statement read.

Kuwait warns against escalation

  • Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah has warned of dangers of escalation in the Gulf crisis, cautioning that the collapse of the Gulf Cooperation Council would be the end of one of the last bastions of Arab cooperation.
  • “We must be aware of the risks of escalation in the Gulf Crisis,” Sheikh Sabah said at a session in the Kuwaiti parliament, explaining that the crisis could worsen.
  • The Emir stressed that the crisis is on the top of Kuwait’s agenda and that the country’s aim is to resolve the issue and to protect the GCC from collapse, adding that every side is depending on Kuwaiti mediation.

Saudi FM on Iran and Qatar

  • Saudi Arabia supports US President Donald Trump’s stance on Iran after he decided not to certify that Tehran is complying with a nuclear accord, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said on Tuesday.
  • “(Iran’s behaviour) is not acceptable, and there will be consequences to the Iranians. This is what President Trump has said, and we are very supportive of that,” Jubeir said at a conference in London.
  • Asked about the latest developments in the Qatar crisis Jubeir said “the matter is up to Qatar.”

 Turkey and Qatar: new deals

  • Turkey is seeking to further boost cooperation with Qatar in health and pharmaceutical sectors Fikret Ozer ambassador of Turkey to Qatar, said on Tuesday.
  • In 2017 the exports to Qatar increased after the siege was imposed. Turkish media reported Qatar would invest a further $19bn in Turkey in 2018, with $650m going to agriculture and livestock.
  • “We are bringing many products here, but there is no land route between Turkey and Qatar. But now there is a cooperation between Qatar and Iran and Turkey and there will be a new route between these countries. In due time, we will announce the agreement, which will be signed by the relevant ministers,” the ambassador explained.

UAE hires US firm close to Steve Bannon to launch an anti-Qatar campaign

  • A company with “close ties” with Steve Bannon, ex-chief strategist of Donald Trump, was hired by the United Arab Emirates to launch a social media campaign against Qatar, US website McClatchy has reported.
  • McClatchy said that a $330,000 contract was paid by the UAE to the firm in order to launch a social media campaging that included calling for the boycott of Qatar.
  • The hired firm is SCL Social Limited and is part of the same group as Cambridge Analytica. Cambridge Analytica is the firm that Donald Trump hired during his presidential campaign to reach voters with “hyper-targeted online messaging”, the website said.

Police interrogation of Hamood Sultan

  • Bahrain’s former football goalkeeper Hamood Sultan was briefly detained by police in Bahrain on Monday, triggering a social media outcry with the hashtag #حمود_سلطان (his name in Arabic).
  • Later on Monday, a video on social media showed Sultan saying: “There is nothing.. the matter was simple”. In the video, Sultan also praised the King of Bahrain and thanked those who have asked about him.
  • Sultan previously worked in Qatar for Al Kass Sports TV Channels and had praisedQatar. Public expressions of sympathy towards Qatar are criminalized by law in Bahrain and the UAE.

Qatari chief of staff inaugurates office in Washington

  • Qatar’s Chief of Staff Major General Ghanim bin Shaheen Al Ghanim inaugurates Qatar Defence Attache office in Washington.
  • Qatari defence ministry said in a statement released on Monday that  the new office  will further bolster cooperation between the two countries’ armies in “combating violent extremism, terrorism and bringing stability to our region.”

Qatar’s FM visits Turkey

  • Qatar’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani visits Turkey on October 23 in advance of the third meeting of Turkey-Qatar Supreme Strategic Committee.
  • During the visit, bilateral relations, as well as regional issues, will be discussed.
  • The Turkey-Qatar Supreme Strategic Committee was established in 2014 as a mechanism for cooperation and consultation between the two countries.
  • President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repetitively spoken against the blockade.

9:40pm – Qatar’s NHRC chief hopes for Spain support over blockade

  • The head of Qatar’s National Human Rights Committee said he hoped Spain, through its membership in the United Nations Human Rights Council, would condemn the violations of the blockade imposed on Qatar by its Gulf neighbours.
  • Speaking at a press conference in Spain’s capital, Madrid, Ali bin Smaikh al-Marri said, “We thank Spain for its position, its support for dialogue to resolve the current Gulf crisis.”
  • He added, “Because Qatar is aware of Spain’s respect of rights and freedoms, especially when it comes to violations of human rights, we hope that Spain will support Qatar to condemn violations and unjust aggression by the blockading states.”

 9:00pm – Tillerson: Saudis not ready for talks to end Gulf crisis

  • US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says Saudi Arabia is not willing to begin direct talks to resolve a months-long diplomatic crisis in the Gulf.
  • The top US diplomat made the comments on Sunday during a visit to Qatar, where he arrived following a stop in Saudi Arabia as part of a new push to end the dispute.
  • “In my meetings with [Saudi] Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, I asked him to please engage in dialogue, [but] there is not a strong indication that parties are ready to talk yet. We cannot force talks upon people who are not ready to talk,” said Tillerson, referring to his earlier discussions in Riyadh.

Al-Bashir arrives in Kuwait

  • Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir began on Sunday a two-day visit to Kuwait and Qatar.
  • Bashir will discuss with the two Emirs the recent developments in the region.
  • In his meeting with the Emir of Qatar, Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, Al Bashir will also discuss the two nation’s bilateral relations and peace and development efforts in Sudan.
  • Sudan is among the Arab states that refused to take sides in the ongoing diplomatic crisis and declared its support for the Kuwaiti efforts to settle the rift.

Tillerson renews Gulf crisis talks in Saudi Arabia

  • US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is in Saudi Arabia for the start of his Middle East tour as part of a new push to end the Gulf crisis.
  • Tillerson offered little optimism about a solution to the Gulf crisis before his tour, blaming the Saudi-led group of countries for the lack of progress.
  • “There seems to be a real unwillingness on the part of some of the parties to want to engage… It’s up to the leadership of the quartet when they want to engage with Qatar because Qatar has been very clear – they’re ready to engage,” Tillerson told Bloomberg news agency on Thursday.
  • Tillerson is also expected to visit Qatar on Sunday.

Qatar’s non-oil exports recover

  • Qatar’s non-oil export figures from July to September were almost twice as high as in June.
  • In September, exports had fallen by 12.6 percent compared with August but were 5 percent higher than in May before the blockade
  • “The substantial rise in exports to the normal level affirms that the unfair siege imposed on Qatar couldn’t stop or hinder the export processes for the Qatari private sector due to the robustness of the economy,” said Qatar Chamber Chairman Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim Al Thani.
  • Oman was Qatar’s top non-oil export destination in September, accounting for 44.6 percent of the exports. Non-oil exports include aluminium alloys, iron grids, chemical fertilisers, and plastic rolls.