Here are the latest developments since four countries imposed an air, sea and land blockade on Qatar:
- Qatar foreign minister decries ‘reckless leadership’ in region. On Friday, Qatar’s foreign minister criticised “reckless leadership” in the Gulf for a number of crises including the Gulf rift and Lebanon.
- “We see a pattern of irresponsibility and a reckless leadership in the region which is just trying to bully countries into submission,” Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani said in Washington.
- Qatar participates in anti-ISIL meeting. On Wednesday, Qatar’s delegation participated in a meeting of the International Coalition against ISIL in Jordan.
- Funding terrorism was one of the charges that blockading countries accused Qatar for. The allegations have repeatedly been denied by Doha.
- Erdogan arrives in Qatar.Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived in Qatar on Tuesday to attend the third meeting of the Turkish-Qatari strategic committee.
- On Wednesday, Erdogan visited the Turkish military base in Qatar.
- Qatar investigates UAE plot. Qatar has opened an investigation into claims of an alleged plot by the UAE to weaken its currency in the early stages of the Qatar-Gulf crisis, a government spokesman said Sunday.
- Qatar’s finance minister in Sudan. Qatari Finance Minister Ali Sharif Al Emadi arrived in Sudan for a state visit on Sunday.
- Emphasising the long-standing relations between the two countries, Sudanese media notes that Qatar “supported Sudan politically and economically when the country faced an international isolation”.
- Bahrain charges for “espionage with Qatar”. Three people have been charged in Bahrain for colluding with Qatar, according to a statement released on Sunday by Bahrain’s Public Prosecution.
- The three will be presented in court on Monday, November 27.
November 5 – 11
- Erdogan to visit Kuwait and Qatar. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is set to visit Kuwait and Qatar between November 13 and 15, the Turkish presidency’s information office said in a statement on Saturday.
- Qatar’s FM visits Oman. In a visit to Oman on Saturday, Qatar’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani met with his Omani counterpart Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah.
- Qatar Airways will not attend airshow. Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways’ chief executive, will not attend the Middle East’s largest international airshow due to open in Dubai on Sunday because of the ongoing Gulf crisis.
- ITUC-Africa calls to end kafala. Commending Qatar’s latest labour reforms on Thursday, the African Regional Organisation of the International Trade Union Confederation urged Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain to implement similar reforms.
- Noting that the three countries account for 85 percent of African migrants workers in the GCC, ITUC-Africa will “step up its campaign to focus on these countries”.
- UAE planned to attack Qatar’s financial system. A United Arab Emirates plan to attack Qatar’s financial system has been revealed on Thursday in a folder of an email account belonging to the UAE ambassador to the US, Yousef al-Otaiba.
- Ghana’s FM visits Qatar. Foreign Minister Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey met on Tuesday with her Qatari counterpart in Doha to discuss “ways to boost multi-faceted bilateral cooperation”.
- Unlike eight other African countries, Ghana didn’t cut ties with Qatar.
- UAE airs song threatening Qatar. A new song featuring UAE singer Hussain Al Jassmi was aired on TV in the UAE on Tuesday night.
- The song called “Tell Qatar” criticises Qatar’s policies and warns it against crossing into “danger”.
- Qatar Foundation to sell $1.46bn investment. Three Pillars Pte Ltd, an affiliate of the Qatar Foundation, has put up for sale its $1.46bn stake in Indian telecoms carrier, Bharti Airtel Ltd, on Tuesday.
- Qatari companies and Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund have liquidated several foreign assets since the Saudi-led quartet imposed economic sanctions on it.
- King of Morocco on Gulf tour. King Mohammed VI of Morocco has arrived in Abu Dhabi for a five-day visit. The king is also due to pay an official visit to Qatar on November 12.
- Qatar’s Emir receives Omani minister. On Tuesday, Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani received the interior minister of Oman, Sayyid Hamoud bin Mohammed Al Said. They reviewed the latest developments in the region.
- Qatar to chair WTO committee. Qatar’s Ministry of Economy and Commerce announced on Tuesday that Sheikh Ali bin Alwaleed Al Thani was appointed as the head of the Trade-Related Investment Measures (TRIMs) committee at the World Trade Organization in Geneva.
- In August, Qatar filed a complaint with the WTO over the blockade imposed on it by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.
- GCC and EU discuss counter-terrorism: Gulf Cooperation Council official Abdulaziz al-Owaisheq and Belgium’s deputy foreign minister, Ashton Drake, met on Monday in Riyadh to discuss regional developments and the efforts of the GCC and the European Union to counter “extremism”.
- Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE are blockading Qatar, alleging that it funds “terrorist organisations”, an accusation Qatar strongly denies. Bahrain has also called to freeze Qatar’s membership in the GCC.
- Saudi FM: Dispute with Qatar ‘very small’. In an interview with CNN on Monday, Adel al-Jubeir, the Saudi foreign minister, said the issue with Qatar is “very small” and “should not distract people”.
- Al-Jubeir also said that the Gulf countries are not seeking regime change in Qatar. “This is not our policy,” he said. “Our policy is to see a change in behaviour.”
- Qatar Airways acquires stake in Cathay Pacific. On Monday, state-owned Qatar Airways acquired its first major stake in an Asian airline, which could potentially allow it to increase traffic through its Doha hub.
- Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE had forbidden Qatar Airways from flying over their airspace, whereas other airlines departing from Qatar would have to inform them at least 24 hours before flying over the airspace.
- New Bahraini restrictions. Bahrain’s Ministry of Interior announced on Sunday that Bahrainis in Qatar should use their passports to move between the Kingdom of Bahrain and the State of Qatar, and can no longer just use their national ID as is the case with other GCC countries.
October 29 – November 4
Turkey, Qatar ministers talks transportation, military ties
- Turkey and Qatar are assessing land, sea, and air transportation opportunities, said Turkish Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communication Minister Ahmet Arslan on Sunday in Doha. He called for pursuing dialogue to solve the Gulf crisis, which began in June.
- Qatar Airways will commence flights between Adana in southern Turkey and Doha starting on Monday.
- Turkish Defence Minister Nurettin Canikli met his Qatari counterpart Khalid bin Mohammad Al Attiyah in Doha on Saturday to discuss military cooperation. Turkey’s parliament has ratified two treaties on deploying troops to Qatar and training the country’s security forces.
- Bahrain has claimed the right to take Qatari territory, as tensions between the two Gulf countries heighten amid political deadlock.
- A press release published on the country’s state news agency on Saturday said that Bahrain had “every right to claim what was cut off forcibly from its land and to dispute the legitimacy of the Qatari rule”.
- The statement, which references a historical border dispute that was solved by an international court in 2001, did not specify whether Bahrain intends to take any action.
4 November 2017
Qatar FM: Doha ready for dialogue to resolve the crisis
- Speaking at the World Policy Conference in Morocco, Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said Doha is committed to resolving the conflict through dialogue.
- Al Thani said the crisis had no basis and expressed hope that the countries imposing the blockade on Qatar would agree to engage in dialogue as well. He added that the region is already reeling with other conflicts and that another “artificial” crisis will not help the situation.
Foreign ministers of Saudi-led bloc hold talks in Abu Dhabi
- The foreign ministers of a Saudi-led bloc boycotting Qatar have held talks in Abu Dhabi, according to Egypt’s foreign ministry. The top diplomats of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain met on the sidelines of the Sir Bani Yas Forum, ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid said on Twitter.
- He said the meeting “reflected common interests”, without giving more details. On Friday, Egyptian authorities said Sameh Shoukry, Egypt’s foreign minister, would attend the 8th annual session of Sir Bani Yas forum to discuss a host of issues, including the Qatari crisis, the Middle East peace process and developments in Iraq and Libya.
- The meeting comes just days after Bahrain’s foreign minister, Khalid Al Khalifa, suggested explicitly on his Twitter account freezing Qatar’s membership at the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). The minister also said that Bahrain would not participate in the GCC meetings if Qatar is present at the upcoming GCC summit.
2 November 2017
- The US Department of State has approved a deal for the support programme of Qatar’s F-15 fighter aircraft at an estimated cost of $1.1bn.
- In June, Qatar and the US signed a $12bn agreement in which Doha bought 72 of the multi-role fighter jets.
- The Pentagon said it had informed Congress of the agreement involving design and construction work, including the development of cybersecurity, protection, support and other related services.
1 November 2017
- Bahrain has charged the leader of the country’s outlawed main opposition party with “spying” and suggested the 2011 Arab Spring protests that gripped the country were instigated by a “foreign country”.
- Bahrain’s public prosecutor charged Ali Salman, secretary-general of the al-Wefaq party, and Hassan Sultan, a former member of parliament, of colluding with Qatar to carry out “hostile acts” in Bahrain.
- “The defendants had received financial support from Qatar for carrying out their activities aimed at harming the status and interests of the kingdom,” the statement read.
- Qatar has expressed regret over Bahrain’s decision to impose an entry visa on Qatari nationals and residents amid a political deadlock between the Gulf countries.
- Ali Khalfan al-Mansouri, the country’s representative to the United Nations in Geneva, said in a statement on Tuesday that these “unprecedented measures in the Gulf states constitute a flagrant violation of the agreements and resolutions of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)”.
- Bahrain’s move, which will be effective from November 10, “reveals its persistence in severing ties of kinship between the Gulf families in contravention of the provisions and principles of the Islamic religion,” al-Mansouri continued.
Italian Parliament Delegation in Doha
- Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Sultan bin Saad Al-Muraikhi met on Wednesday with a delegation of the Italian Parliament currently visiting the country.
- In August this year, Italy signed a 5bn-euro ($5.9bn) agreement with Qatar’s naval forces.
- During this meeting, they discussed means of enhancing the prospects of cooperation, developments in the region and a number of issues of mutual interest.
31 October 2017
GCC: Solution with royal leaders
- In a statement, GCC Secretary-General Abdul Latif al-Zayani said the solution to the months-long diplomatic crisis is not down to him, but to the responsibility of the hands of the Gulf leaders.
- “Qatari officials and media know well that resolving the crisis and ending its repercussions is in the hands of the royal leaders of the GCC member states,” he said.
- Al-Zayani, who is Bahraini, also rejected what he said was an “irresponsible media attack” by some Qatari media to link his nationality with the way he had been dealing with the crisis.
- Bahrain is one of the three GCC member-states blockading Qatar.
IMF: Qatar-GCC rift could weaken medium-term growth prospects
- The economic impact of the diplomatic rift between Qatar and its Gulf neighbours has so far been limited, but a prolonged crisis could weaken the region’s mid-term growth, the IMF has said.
- In its Regional Economic Outlook released on Tuesday, the IMF warned that if the crisis drags on, it will “weaken medium-term growth prospects, not only for Qatar but also for other GCC countries.”
- If the rift continues, it will “slow progress toward greater GCC integration and cause a broader erosion of confidence, reducing investment and growth, and increasing funding costs in Qatar and possibly the rest of the GCC,” the report said.
- The king of Bahrain has said his country will not take part in any summit or meeting attended by Qatar unless Doha “corrects its approach”.
- Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa on Monday said that Qatar had shown that it did not respect the treaties and charters that the Gulf Corporation Council (GCC) was founded upon, according to BNA, the kingdom’s official news agency.
- “As long as Qatar continues this approach, the Kingdom of Bahrain cannot participate in any GCC Summit or meeting attended by Qatar unless it corrects its approach, comes to its senses, and responds to the demands of the countries that suffered so much from its policies,” he said during his weekly cabinet meeting in the capital, Manama.
- The Bahraini king also issued a directive to impose visas on Qatari nationals planning to visit the tiny kingdom.
- There was no immediate response from Qatar.
30 October 2017
US treasury secretary vows cooperation with Qatar against ‘terror financing’
- US Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin has vowed to “enhance” US cooperation with Qatar “to counter the “financing of terrorism”.
- Mnuchin was in Doha on Monday to hold meeting with his Qatari counterpart Ali Shareef al-Emadi, as well as the country’s emir and prime minister.
- In a statement, Mnuchin said, “We affirm that the United States and Qatar will significantly increase our cooperation on these issues to ensure that Qatar is a hostile environment for terrorist financing”.
- For his part, al-Emadi said that the latest agreement with the US “is a clear indicator of our long-standing political commitment to combatting money laundering and terror financing”.
- Turkish exports to Qatar in the four months following a blockade imposed by a Saudi-led group of countries jumped by 90 percent to $216m, according to the Aegean Exporters’ Association (EIB).
- In a statement, the EIB also said Turkey’s exports to the Gulf county in the first nine months of 2017 were up by 29 percent to $382m compared to the same period last year.
US Treasury Secretary visits Qatar
- Steven Mnuchin arrived in Doha for a meeting with the Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and a number of Qatari officials, including the Finance Minister Ali Shareef al-Emadi.
- The visit is part of his four-leg tour of the Middle East, which includes stops in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Israel.
- Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani has said he wanted an end to the Gulf dispute, and that “Nothing is going to be above our dignity, our sovereignty. But we want it to end. I always say that.”
- “If they (are) going to walk one meter toward me, I’m willing to walk 10,000 miles towards them,” he told 60 Minutes programme in an interview aired on Sunday.
- “I’m fearful that if anything happens, if any military act happens, this region will be in chaos,” he said.
- The emir of Qatar has also said that the Doha-based Al Jazeera television network will not be closed down as demanded by the four countries.
- Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani said a group of Arab states blockading Qatar for almost five months is seeking “regime change”.
- “We want freedom of speech for the people of the region, and they’re not happy with that, and so they think that this is a threat to them.”
- The foreign minister of Bahrain has called for Qatar to be frozen out of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
- Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa wrote on Twitter that Bahrain would not attend the upcoming GCC Summit unless Qatar met the demands of the blockading countries.
- The GCC is a political and economic alliance of countries in the Arabian peninsula, including Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
29 October 2017
European MP visits Qatar
- Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani met with the Michele Alliot-Marie, Chair of the European Parliament’s Delegation for relations with the Arabian Peninsula (DARP).
- The two discussed the latest developments in the Gulf crisis and ways to develop the relations between Qatar and the EU, according to Qatar’s Foreign Ministry.
- Alliot-Marie was in Kuwait on Friday, as part of a tour that also includes Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
- DARP works to “ensure that the European Parliament’s position is taken into account in all policy areas pertaining to the EU’s relations with the countries in the Arabian Peninsula”.
28 October 2017
US envoy retracts Qatar funding Hamas comments
- Nikki Haley, the United States ambassador to the United Nations, has retracted previous comments in which she claimed that Qatar was funding the Gaza-based Palestinian political movement Hamas.
- Her reported comments, made in a memo to Congress obtained by BuzzFeed, come as the US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson expressed support in resolving the Gulf crisis.
- According to BuzzFeed, Haley said “While the Qatari government does not fund Hamas, it does allow Hamas political representatives to be based in Qatar, which Qatar believes limits Iran’s influence and pressure over Hamas … Qatar has committed to take action against terrorist financing, including shutting down Hamas bank accounts.”
- This is a reversal of her position at the start of the crisis in which she viewed the blockade as an “opportunity” to tell Qatar to “quit funding Hamas”.
- The Qatari emir says the US president has offered to hold a meeting at his retreat in Camp David to put an end to the Gulf diplomatic crisis.
- Speaking to the US television programme 60 Minutes, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani said Trump plans to bring the Gulf neighbours together in a bid to mediate in the dispute.
- “It is true, he [Trump] suggested that we come,” Sheikh Tamim told CBS News’ 60 Minutes about the US president’s offer to hold a meeting at Camp David.
- “I told him straight away, ‘Mr President, we are very ready, I’ve been asking for dialogue from day one’.”
- When asked by host Charlie Rose about the blockading countries’ reaction, the emir replied: “It was supposed to be very soon, this meeting, but I don’t have any responses.”
26 October 2017
Saudi’s crown prince says Gulf-Qatar rift a ‘very small issue’
- Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has said that his country’s dispute with Qatar has not affected its military operation in Yemen.
- In an exclusive interview with Reuters news agency, he said, “Qatar is a very, very, very small issue.”
- Mohammed bin Salman said that its war in Yemen would continue in order to prevent the Houthi rebels from turning into another “Hezbollah” on Saudi Arabia’s southern border.
25 October 2017
Former Qatari PM voices concern over Gulf crisis
- Former Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad Bin Jasim Al Thani has called on King Salman bin Abdel Aziz al Saud of Saudi Arabia “to take the initiative”, help the region, and work to resolve the current Gulf crisis.
- The former PM said King Salman should act before those who work on the opposite direction destroy the region, expressing dismay over the deterioration of relations between GCC member nations.
- He also praised the emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah, and his efforts to resolve the dispute calling his efforts “herculean”.
- All parties made mistakes in the past, including Qatar, but Qatar has never acted with ill intent or malice against any of its Arab brothers especially its GCC partner, he told Qatar TV.
- He rejected that Doha has acted against Riyadh, but stressed that his country has always coordinated and aligned its foreign policy especially regarding Iran, Yemen and Syria with the “Big Sister” Saudi Arabia.
Qatar and Russia sign military agreements
- Qatar and Russia have signed military agreements related to air defences and military supplies, Qatar’s Armed Forces said a statement.
- The deals were signed during a visit by Russian Defence minister Sergey Shouigu to Qatar on Wednesday.
- Shouigu held a meeting with his Qatari counterpart Khaled bin Mohammed al-Attiya, during which they discussed the Gulf crisis, the war in Syria, and efforts in combat terrorism.
- 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.
24 October 2017
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 of the Kuwaiti parliament, explaining that the crisis could worsen.
- The Emir stressed that the crisis is at 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 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.
23 October 2017
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 to launch a social media campaign that included calling for the boycott of Qatar.
- The hired firm, SCL Social Limited, 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.
- 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 criminalised by law in Bahrain and the UAE.
- Qatar’s Chief of Staff Major General Ghanim bin Shaheen Al Ghanim inaugurates the 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.
22 October 2017
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.”
- 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.
- 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.
SOURCE: AL JAZEERA AND NEWS AGENCIES