Six months ago, an air, sea and land blockade was imposed on Qatar by neighbouring countries. Here are the latest developments as of Thursday, December 14:

  • US official accuses Qatar and Turkey. Turkey’s Foreign Ministry responded to Wednesday to remarks made against it by the U.S National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster.

  • At a think tank on Tuesday, McMaster accused Qatar and Turkey of having become the “main sponsors” of “radical Islamist ideology”.

  • Turkey dismissed the allegations as “baseless” and called on the United States to “cease all forms of cooperation with terrorist groups such as YPG”.
  • Qatar budgets for blockade. Released on Tuesday, Qatar’s 2018 budget plan projects higher spending on supporting food security projects.
  • Qatar’s Finance Minister said that Qatar was determined never again to leave itself as vulnerable as it was in the initial weeks of the blockade, Reuters reported.
  • UAE official discharged. Yousef Al Serkal, president of the UAE General Sports Authority was discharged from his position on Tuesday, according to local media.
  • UAE’s local media had earlier criticised Al Serkal over a video that showed him hugging a Qatari official.
  • Qatar, UK sign fighter jet dealBAE Systems and Qatar have entered into a contract valued at around $6.7bn for the country to buy 24 Typhoon combat aircraft, the British defense group said on Sunday.
UK defence minister on $6.7bn arms deal with Qatar
  • Gulf cup to be held in Kuwait. “On the basis of consultations between the leaderships of both countries it has been agreed to transfer the Gulf Cup tournament to Kuwait,” Qatar Football Association president Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa bin Ahmed al-Thani said on Friday, according to local media.
  • Bahrain and the UAE confirmed their participation in the tournament, which will be held in Kuwait between December 22, 2017 and January 5, 2018.
  • Kuwait Football Association denied reported withdrawal of the Saudi football team nor any other team from the Gulf Cup.
  • Macron visits Al-Udeid Air Base. A video published by AFP shows French President Emmanuel Macron arriving in Qatar and visiting the Al-Udeid Air Base on Thursday.
  • President Macron also said he backs mediation efforts led by Kuwait to end the blockade, “with regards to the situation in the Gulf, I want to see a promise of reconciliation between its members”.
  • Summit closes one day early. The GCC summit concludes on Tuesday, instead of Wednesday as originally planned, and all delegations left after the closed session.
  • Although it will be Oman’s turn to host next year’s GCC summit, Omani Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs Yusuf bin Alawi says on Wednesday that the summit will be held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
  • Kuwaiti emir says GCC structure might have to change. The structure of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council may have to change in the near future to “have mechanisms to better face challenges”, Sheikh Sabah said on Tuesday.
  • The Kuwaiti emir referenced the possibility of setting up a task force to help deal with future rifts within the GCC.
  • The Kuwaiti leader said his country will continue mediating in the dispute. “Our meeting today is a reason to continue the mediation, which fulfills the ambitions of our people,” Sheikh Sabah said.
  • ‘Future of GCC in doubt’. Commenting on concerns about the current state of the GCC, Al Jazeera’s Jamal Elshayyal, reporting from Kuwait City on Tuesday, said the council’s future “is very much in doubt” as a result of Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain continuing to “rebuff efforts by Kuwait to try and find some sort of mediation to the crisis”.
  • Our correspondent added that despite assurances given to the Kuwaitis that high-level delegates would be sent to the summit, “Saudi Arabia has chosen to send not even a member of the royal family but their foreign minister. Bahrain has sent a third-rate politician, their deputy prime minister, and the UAE hasn’t sent a significant minister either.”
  • Delegations arrive in Kuwait. Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Qatar’s emir, arrives at the GCC summit in Kuwait on Tuesday.
  • Sayyid Fahad bin Mahmood al-Said, Oman’s deputy prime minister, arrives at the GCC summit. He tells reporters upon arrival that Oman “profoundly expresses its appreciation of the efforts of Kuwait and its leadership to bridge the gap, coordinate positions and align viewpoints amongst member states in order to address all developments,” according to the Qatar News Agency. Oman’s ruler, Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said, has given the efforts his “full backing”, he adds.
  • The Saudi delegation to the GCC summit, which will now be concluding one day earlier, will be led by Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubair. King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud will not attend.
  • UAE and Saudi Arabia start a separate partnership. United Arab Emirates (UAE) announces that it has formed a new economic and military partnership with Saudi Arabia separate from the GCC.
  • GCC summit begins. Kuwait’s News Agency reports the beginning of the 144th GCC foreign ministers meeting at the Bayan Palace in Kuwait City on Monday.
  • The 38th GCC summit will begin in Kuwait City on Tuesday as a blockade by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) against member state Qatar continues, six months on.
  • A press conference has been scheduled for 10:30am local time (07:30 GMT) on Wednesday, December 6.
  • Attendees are expected to arrive at the summit from 11:30am local time (08:30 GMT).
  • Only Qatar and Oman have so far confirmed their participation in the summit. Qatar said Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the emir, will attend. Oman said it will be represented by a high-level delegation.
  • Citing a diplomatic source, the Anadolu news agency said that Saudi Arabia‘s King Salman will also attend the GCC summit, while Oman ‘s News Agency said that its Deputy Prime Minister Sayyid Fahad bin Mahmood al-Said will attend the summit instead of Sultan Qaboos.
  • The talks were attended by Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir, Omani Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs Yousef bin Alawi, Bahrain’s Assistant Foreign Minister Abdullah Al-Dosari, the UAE’s State Minister Anwar Qarqash and Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammad Al-Thani.
  • Qatar and Saudi to participate in the summit. “I will attend the ministerial council tomorrow and the emir will attend the summit,” news agencies quoted Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani as saying on Sunday at a forum in Doha.
  • UAE: Summit unlikely to end crisis: “The reality is that the [GCC] summit will not bring a resolution to the Qatari crisis but nor is it intended to resolve disputes,” reads a commentary published on Sunday by the state-run WAM news agency.
  • The commentary also suggested that UAE representatives will attend the summit out of respect for Kuwait’s emir, adding that “respect for his status and his wisdom has the power to bring countries together.”
qatar airways

For previous developments click here