Published: Thu, June 08, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Federal Bureau of Investigation suspects Russian hackers sparked Qatar crisis

Reiterating comments by Gulf officials, Gargash told Reuters there was no plan to seek a change in Qatar's leadership, only a change in its policies.

This comes after Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain broke off their diplomatic ties and all land sea and air contacts with fellow Gulf Arab state Qatar over allegations that the latter is encouraging terrorism and extremism.

The channels of Doha-based satellite network Al-Jazeera have also been blocked.

This follows his talks earlier the same day in Saudi Arabia aimed at resolving a diplomatic crisis with Qatar.

Gause also noted Qatar's relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood "and other oppositional political groups", as well as Qatari cooperation with Iran on some issues "at a time when Saudi Arabia is confronting Iran directly on all sorts of fronts".

Al Qassemi, who previously wrote a column describing steps Qatar would need to take, said that the crisis will only escalate if Doha doesn't back down.

Defense Secretary James Mattis also spoke to his counterpart in Qatar to express USA commitment to security.

The official reason given by the Saudis and others are a belief that Qatar funds mosques that promote terrorism. Beyond hosting US troops, Qatar has invested billions in the USA and increased its clout in Washington along the way.

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Talking to the audience he said, "I had just launched this prank website Facemash, and the ad board wanted to "see me". An adviser told him if he didn't sell, he would regret it, and people on the management team left.

The expert also affirmed that energy supplies, specifically gas exports from Qatar and the UAE, would be unaffected in the current dispute because of established bilateral gas agreements.

The travel curbs add to the woes of Qatar's flagship airline Qatar Airways which has now lost access to Saudi Arabia and the UAE, its two key markets for transfer passengers, said John Strickland, director at JLS Consulting. It said Qatar is "promoting extremist thoughts and spreading chaos and disturbances across numerous Arab countries, resulting in big humanitarian miseries". Turkey and Qatar have both provided support for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and backed rebels fighting to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. In April, Qatar said it was starting a new development project there which would increase current production by 10%.

Qatar long has denied funding extremists, and its foreign minister has struck a defiant tone in interviews, even after anxious residents emptied grocery stores in its capital of Doha. They said they would take a hard line on funding. extremism, and all reference was pointing to Qatar.

Although Qatar hosts the largest American military airbase in the Middle East, Trump threw his weight behind the Saudi-led effort to isolate the emirate in a surprise move on Tuesday.

While liberal compared to much of the Middle East, the UAE has tough cybercrime and slander laws under which people can be arrested, imprisoned and deported for taking photographs without the consent of those shown or being insulting.

Qatar is also an oil exporter and a member of OPEC, sitting on 2% of the cartel's proven reserves.

S&P said it expects Qatar's economic growth to slow, as regional trade falls and corporate profitability declines in the face of reduced confidence.

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