UAE threatens to imprison Qatar sympathisers


"This has been planned since 2014 but only came out after the Riyadh summit", said Mohamed al-Mosfer, one of the many Qatari analysts the channel had on to comment, referring to a meeting last month attended by US President Donald Trump.

Advocating cooperation in the region, Iran offered Qatar its airspace as well as food and water supplies to the isolated Gulf state.

The article quoted Qatar's Emir Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani as cautioning against confrontation with Iran, as well as defending the Palestinian group Hamas and Hezbollah, a Lebanese Shi'ite movement allied with Tehran. Qatar denies supporting extremism.

UAE officials said Qatar needed to end its support for terrorist groups, a claim the Gulf state strongly denies.

On Tuesday, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain also ordered all Qatar Airways offices located in their territory to close.

Still, a 40-year-old Egyptian manager of an audit firm told The Associated Press by phone from Doha that "the situation of Egyptians in Qatar has never been affected by political relations before".

He also said in another tweet that his recent visit to Saudi Arabia was "paying off" due to his warnings on funding terror.

The severing of land and maritime links have also sparked fears of food shortages in Qatar, which relies heavily on imports.

Kuwait's ruler, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, was heading to Dubai in the UAE, state news agency KUNA said, part of the emir's effort to mediate an end to the dispute.

"On the public level, social media has been showing great support to Qatar with the hastag "Qatar is not alone", she said.

But with his criticism of Qatar, which is a longtime American ally and home to the largest USA military base in the region, Trump is telling the Saudis that he will side with them in virtually every regional conflict.

French President-elect Emmanuel Macron attends a ceremony commemorating the abolition of slavery, in Paris, Wednesday, May 10, 2017.

As well as cutting diplomatic relations and ordering Qatari citizens to leave their countries within 14 days, the Gulf states and Egypt banned all flights to and from Qatar.

S&P pointed out that Qatar has a powerful financial arsenal with which to defend its economy, including its $335 billion sovereign wealth fund.

Separately, the Pentagon thanked Qatar for hosting the largest U.S. air force base in the Middle East. As the forward headquarters of U.S. Central Command, it is seen as crucial in the U.S. -led campaign against the Islamic State group.

France is calling on Qatar to answer its Gulf neighbors' questions in order to find a solution to the current diplomatic crisis. It has infuriated autocratic leaders through its Al Jazeera television network and support for the Muslim Brotherhood.

Riyadh also accused Doha of supporting Iran-backed "terrorist activities" in eastern Saudi Arabia and in Shiite-majority Bahrain.

Lawmakers from Erdogan's ruling AK Party and the nationalist opposition MHP on Wednesday proposed bringing forward approval of a draft bill that will allow Turkish troops to be deployed to Turkey's military base in Qatar, party officials told Reuters.