Published: Tue, June 06, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Qatar Crisis Could Give Birth To Even More Terrorism


DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) - Qatar's foreign minister says Kuwait is trying to mediate and solve a diplomatic crisis that has seen Arab nations cut off diplomatic ties.

Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani meets US President Donald Trump in May.

Riyadh also said "authorities in Doha" have supported the Iran-backed Houthi armed group in Yemen.

The Qatari diplomatic crisis could become a major obstacle for the U.S.in its efforts to eradicate ISIS in the region, as Qatar hosts a major US military base that commands the America-led air campaign against the militant group.

Qatar hosts the largest United States airbase in the region, which is crucial in the fight against Islamic State group jihadists, and is set to host the 2022 football World Cup.

Qatar's emir, believed to be just 37 years old, could retaliate by withdrawing from the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council and redraw alliances to snub Saudi Arabia's 31-year-old Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Abu Dhabi's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, who are believed to be the two main figures orchestrating the standoff.

Coming on the heels of President Trump's visit to the Mideast, the move by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Yemen to isolate Qatar makes at least some sense.

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In a statement, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said Egypt made a decision to cut diplomatic ties with Qatar in light of the Gulf Arab state's persistence to take a path against Egypt, and the failure of any attempts to prevent it from supporting terrorist organizations, topped by the Muslim Brotherhood. In a joint statement Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE and Egypt announced they would halt air, land and sea travel to and from Qatar, with Riyadh going so far as to ban Qatari aircraft from using Saudi air space as of June 6.

Saudi Arabia accused Qatar on Monday of backing militant groups and broadcasting their ideology, an apparent reference to Qatar's influential state-owned satellite channel al Jazeera.

Qatar's support to the brotherhood extended beyond Egypt to Libya.

Qatari share prices closed down 7.58 percent. Qatar supplies the UAE with natural gas through a pipeline, and despite the tensions between the two countries there is little chance the UAE will reject Qatari gas, which is needed to meet electricity demand during the summer months.

On Monday, EgyptAir, flydubai and Bahrain's Gulf Air joined Etihad and Emirates in saying they would suspend all flights to and from Doha. On its website, the carrier said the suspension of its flights will take effect Tuesday. And given that the terrorist threat in Europe is already at a critical level, namely the U.K.in the wake of a string of recent terror attacks in Manchester and London, the slightest chance of even more terrorism in the world is quite alarming.

The US military on Monday lauded Qatar for its "enduring commitment to regional security" and said US flights out of Al-Udeid airbase in Qatar were unaffected by the Gulf diplomatic crisis.

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