Qatar-Gulf crisis: All the latest updates

Qatar-Gulf crisis: All the latest updates

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An air, sea and land blockade imposed on Qatar by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt is now in its fourth month.

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2:00am – US Defense chief Mattis makes surprise Qatar visit

  • James Mattis, US defense secretary, has made an unannounced visit to Qatar.
  • He held talks with Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and Defense Minister Khalid bin Mohamed Al Attiyah at Al-Udeid air base, home to around 10,000 US troops, on Thursday.

1:00am – Qatar’s stock market most positive in region: polls

  • Sentiment towards Qatar’s stock market, which has fallen after four neighbouring Arab states cut diplomatic and transport ties with Doha on June 5, has improved considerably, latest Reuters polls show.
  • Thirty-one percent of Middle East funds now expect to raise allocations to Qatari equities and eight percent to decrease them, making Qatar the most positive market in the region.
  • “The Qatari market experienced a remarkable 11 consecutive days in the red during September. With valuations reaching distressed levels, this was followed by six days of gains as local and regional buyers rushed to take advantage,” said Akber Khan, head of asset management at Al Rayan Investment in Doha.

10:35pm – Qatari and Omani firms sign deal over maritime transportation of goods

  • Qatari company Trans Oceans has signed an agreement with Omani maritime transport firm Naseera to facilitate the movement of ferries transporting goods, equipment, cars and tourists between the two countries.
  • The deal was struck on the sidelines of the Oman Products Exhibition, Qatar News Agency reported.
  • Qatar and Oman are two of the six countries that comprise the Gulf Cooperation Council. Fellow GCC members Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, along with Egypt, cut ties with Qatar on June 5 and imposed a land, air and sea blockade on it.
  • Kuwait, also a GCC member, is leading mediation efforts to resolve the crisis.

3:15pm – QP CEO says Qatar has not cut off gas to UAE

  • Qatar Petroleum President Saad Sherida Al Kaabi said that Qatar will honour its commitment to supply oil and gas to the United Arab Emirates.
  • The state of Qatar has dealt with the gas pipeline to the UAE in a civilised and humanitarian manner, he said.
  • Al Kaabi also said that Qatar will maintain its position as the world’s largest producer of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), and that there is an “expansion of our investments inside and outside Qatar.”

3:00pm – Al Jazeera launches new content on Instagram

  • The new Instagram content is aimed at providing dedicated, creative, and captivating information to Arab youth.
  • Yaser Bishr, Al Jazeera’s executive director of digital said, “This comes as part of Al Jazeera’s digital transformation strategy to reach users on all available platforms.”
  • This follows after Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain banned the Al Jazeera “Discover” service on Snapchat.

9:00am – Qatar, China sign security agreement

  • Qatar and the People’s Republic of China have signed an agreement to enhance security cooperation and coordination between the two countries.
  • The agreement focuses on the fight against terrorism, and combating extremism in all its forms.

8:30am – Qatar imports rebound in August

  • According to the planning and statistics ministry, imports jumped 39.1 percent to $2.38bn.
  • Imports were 7.8 percent below their year-earlier levels, but that still marked a major recovery from levels of June and July.
  • Imports were down after Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut diplomatic and transport ties with Doha on June 5.
  • Qatari companies and foreign shippers have sought to establish new shipping routes to Qatar via other countries including Oman, compensating for the loss of Dubai as a trans-shipment centre.

 

11:00pm – Qatari bank ‘looking to sell’ stake at UAE bank

  • Qatar’s third-largest lender, Commercial Bank, is in talks to sell its 40 percent stake in Abu Dhabi-listed United Arab Bank to the UAE’s Tabarak Investment, sources told Reuters news agency.

9:00pm – Qatari human rights chief meets US officials

  • Qatar’s National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) Chairman Ali bin Smaikh al-Marri underlined the urgent need to put an end to the blockade during his meeting with US officials.
  • During Marri’s meeting with the two US representatives, Republican Congressmen Trent Franks and Gus Bilirakis, he urged them to condemn the blockade against Qatar and to take the appropriate measures to help lift it.

4:00pm – Gulf diplomatic hurdles trip up Qatar’s racing camels

  • Among the victims of the GCC crisis are 200 Qatari-owned racing camels.
  • The camels had to be shipped back from UAE via Oman after they were banned from competing. Saudi Arabia also expelled hundreds Qatari-owned camels from their country. Many did not make it back onto Qatari soil.

2:00pm – Qatari FM says GCC pushing Qatar towards closer Iran relationship

  • Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said the blockade is pushing Qatar into closer economic ties with Iran, before questioning the wisdom of the Gulf Cooperation Council’s strategy.
  • “They said Qatar was now closer to Iran. By their measures they are pushing Qatar to Iran. They are giving Iran, or any regional force, Qatar like a gift,” he told the French Institute of International Relations on Monday.
  • The FM added that Qatar still has political differences with Iran, including over Syria.

09:30am – Qatari FM discusses Gulf crisis in Paris

  • Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani will speak at the French Institute of International Relations on ‘The Gulf Crisis: the View from Doha’, at 12:30pm (Doha time).
  • French President Emmanuel Macron has urged the lifting of a Saudi-led embargo on Qatar in effect since June.
  • Macron called for “the embargo measures affecting the people of Qatar, in particular families and students, to be lifted as quickly as possible”, on September 15.

8:00pm – Thousands welcome Qatari emir on return home

  • Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani returned to the Qatari capital on Sunday after concluding his first foreign trip since the blockade against his country was announced on June 5.
  • Thousands of people lined up the main boulevard in Doha and waved the national colour, as they greeted the country’s leader.
  • On Tuesday, Sheikh Tamim spoke at the UN General Assembly in New York and accused countries that imposed the “unjust blockade” of seeking to destabilise the gas and oil-rich Gulf state.

6:00am – Qataris plan solidarity event for Emir

  • Residents will welcome the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani back to Qatar on Sunday evening with an event planned to express solidarity on the Doha’s Corniche.
  • Sheikh Tamim travelled a few weeks ago to meet with world leaders in Turkey, Germany, France and the United States. It was his first trip since the Gulf dispute began in June.
  • Officials and residents announced on Twitter that they will host a warm welcome for him at the airport, followed by an event at the Corniche.

7:00pm – Saudi FM: ‘Qatar jeopardising policy of combating terrorism’

  • Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir has reiterated the position of the four blockading Arab nations, demanding Qatar to follow the principles of international law in combating “terrorism”.
  • Speaking at the United Nations 72nd General Assembly in New York on Saturday, Jubeir said: “The crisis in Qatar is jeopardising our policy of combating terrorism and extremism and the cutting off funding of such terrorism.”
  • The Saudi diplomat added: “Saudi Arabia will continue to counter extremism and terrorism.”

6:00am – UAE says Iran main obstacle to Arab peace

  • The foreign minister of the UAE has said Iran’s “hostile and expansionist policy” is the major obstacle to solving all crises in the Arab world.
  • At the UN General Assembly annual ministerial meeting, Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan accused Iran of interfering in internal affairs of other countries and supporting “terrorist groups”.
  • He said Iran must realise that the best basis “for a harmonious relationship with the states in the Arab Gulf” is to respect the sovereignty of countries in the region.

1:00am – Qatar’s NHRC calls for international mission to examine human rights violations

  • The head of Qatar’s National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) has issued a new call for international observers to urgently visit Qatar and its neighbours blockading it to assess the humanitarian impact caused by the moves of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, Qatar’s News Agency (QNA) reported.
  • Ali bin Sumaikh al-Marri’s call came during a meeting with Craig Mokhiber, head of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in New York and deputy secretary-general for Human Rights of the UN.
  • Marri urged the international technical mission to hold direct meetings with nationals and residents of Qatar, as well as citizens of the three blockading countries, to listen to their complaints and document the psychological, material and moral damage they suffered, QNA said.

5:00am – Somalia rebukes its states for breaking with Qatar

  • Somalia’s government has rebuked its three semi-autonomous regions for cutting ties with Qatar, saying it was determined to stay neutral in the Gulf nation’s dispute with other Arab states.
  • “The cabinet reaffirms the federal government’s decision in June … that Somalia is neutral about the conflict of Gulf countries,” read a statement issued by the office of Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire.
  • “[The Arab states] are trying to give more energy and emphasise more their relations with these regional governments, trying to pressure them to go against the federal government,” said Nairobi-based Somalia expert Ahmed Roble.

23:15 – Qatari FM discusses Gulf crisis with Italian, Ukrainian, Australian counterparts and EU foreign affairs chief in New York

  • Qatar’s foreign minister met with several dignitaries on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York to discuss, among others, the blockade imposed on Qatar by a group of Arab countries.
  • Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani held talks with Federica Mogherini, the European Union foreign affairs chief, as well as his Italian, Ukrainian and Australian counterparts, Angelino Alfano, Pavlo Klimkin and Julie Bishop respectively.
  • During the meetings, the Qatari foreign minister discussed the humanitarian impact of the blockade and stressed the importance of dialogue to solve the crisis.

9:00am – Qatar and Saudi Arabia to compete at show jumping competition

  • At Ashghabat 2017 in Turkmenistan, riders from Qatar and Saudi Arabia will compete while their countries are locked in a bitter political dispute.
  • The Gulf diplomatic crisis spilled over onto sports when it led to the cancellation of this year’s Gulf Cup of Nations in football. However, there is hope that the games in this horse-loving nation can promote cooperation and understanding.

10:40 – Qatari emir discusses Gulf crisis with Russian FM at the UN

  • Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani met on Wednesday with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York City.
  • The two discussed the Gulf dispute among other topics.
  • A similar meeting took place at the UN between Sheikh Tamim and UN’s human rights chief, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein.

10:35 – Qatargas to sell 1.5 million tonnes of LNG a year to Turkey’s Botas

  • State-run Qatargas, the world’s largest producer of liquefied natural gas (LNG), said on Wednesday it had signed a medium-term sales and purchase agreement with Turkey’s Botas to deliver 1.5m tonnes of LNG each year for three years.
  • “Qatargas said it would supply the LNG from Qatargas 2 to either the Egegaz LNG Terminal, the Marmara LNG Terminal or the Etki LNG terminal in Turkey.
  • “We are very pleased to announce this new agreement with Botas which will further strengthen our relationship with our friends in Turkey,” said Saad Sherida al-Kaabi, president and CEO of Qatar Petroleum and chairman of board of directors of Qatargas.

11:41 – Trump expects Gulf dispute to be quickly resolved

  • US President Donald Trump has said on Tuesday he thought the dispute between Qatar and some of its Arab neighbors would be resolved quickly.
  • “We are right now in a situation where we’re trying to solve a problem in the Middle East. And I think we’ll get it solved, I have a very strong feeling that it will be solved pretty quickly,” Trump said in New York as he met Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani

11:10pm – Qatari emir condemns ‘unjust blockade’ at UNGA speech

  • Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani has said that a group of Arab countries imposing an “unjust blockade” on Qatar are seeking to destabilise a sovereign state.
  • “I stand before you while my country and my people are subjected to an ongoing and unjust blockade imposed since June 5 by neighbouring countries,” Sheikh Tamim said, addressing the UN General Assembly in New York on Tuesday.
  • He asked if this what not a definition of “terrorism”, saying that the moves by the blockading countries were an assault against a sovereign state and a violation against human rights.

9:30am – Snapchat blocks Al Jazeera in Saudi Arabia

  • Snapchat has blocked access to Al Jazeera news articles and videos in Saudi Arabia following a request from the government, a spokesperson for Snap Inc has said.
  • Saudi Arabia’s government told the social media company that the Al Jazeera Discover Publisher Channel violated local laws.
  • “We make an effort to comply with local laws in the countries where we operate,” a Snapchat spokesperson said in a statement.
  • Morad Rayyan, head of Incubation and Innovation Research at Al Jazeera, said the move was “unprecedented”.
  • “Snapchat is a US-based company, publicly traded, and it stands for freedom of expression. We are working on contingency plans to ensure our content is available on other platforms,” Rayyan said.

6:00am – Qatar proposes a compensation committee

  • Qatar’s National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) proposed the establishment of a compensation committee, within the framework of the UN General Assembly, for victims of the unilateral actions taken against Qatar.
  • The proposal was made during the NHRC’s comments in a report presented to the Human Rights Council by Idriss Jazairy, Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of the unilateral coercive measures.
  • The NHRC said that the current situation met all the conditions for the creation of specialised compensation committees, as outlined in the report, adding that this committee must be established under strict guidelines and must have wide authority to make decisions.

6:30PM – UK to supply Qatar with 24 Typhoon fighter jets

  • Qatar’s Defence Minister Khalid bin Mohammed Al Attiyah and the United Kingdom’s Defence Secretary Michael Fallon signed a letter of intent on Sunday in Doha to purchase 24 Typhoon aircraft.
  • “This will be the first major defence contract with Qatar, one of the UK’s strategic partners. This is an important moment in our defence relationship and the basis for even closer defence cooperation between our two countries,” said Fallon.
  • “We also hope that this will help enhance security within the region across all Gulf allies.”

5:45pm – Qatar’s FM calls on world leaders to do more against terrorism

  • Qatar’s Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani has said the world leaders are not doing enough to combat terrorism.
  • Speaking at the US-Islamic World Forum in New York City, he said: “Terrorism is a scary phenomenon… violence and hatred have helped a lot in the eruption and creation of the terrorist organisations. The international community and the world in general has not done enough against terrorism.”

12:00pm – Qatari stocks continues to slide

  • Qatar’s stock market headed for its tenth straight losing session on Sunday while Saudi Arabia’s index bucked an otherwise weak region because of gains in the petrochemical sector.
  • On Friday, Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani said Qatar was ready to sit at the negotiating table to try to end a dispute with its Gulf Arab neighbours. But in the absence of a positive response from the Saudi-led coalition boycotting Qatar, investors did not take the remarks as a sign that the dispute was moving closer to resolution.
  • Qatar’s index slipped 0.5 percent with Doha Bank dropping 2.6 percent.
  • In Saudi Arabia, all but one of the 14 listed petrochemical shares rose after Brent crude closed near a five-month peak on Friday.

11:20am – Qatar’s foreign minister to keynote US-Islamic World forum

  • Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman Al Thani will deliver a keynote address at the US-Islamic World Forum in New York on Sunday.
  • The annual forum, now in its 13th year, is organised by the Brookings Institution in conjunction with the state of Qatar. This year’s theme is “Crisis and Cooperation” and discussion topics include ending conflicts in the Middle East and the future of pluralism in the Arab world.

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