U.S. seen trying to calm waters between Qatar and Saudi Arabia

Elias Hubbard
June 6, 2017

"Qatar Airways has suspended all flights to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia", the airline stated.

Airlines from numerous affected countries, including Bahrain's Gulf Air, Etihad Airways and Emirates, say they plan to cancel flights to and from the Qatari capital Doha starting from Tuesday morning.

Some Gulf news coverage seemed to support regime change in Qatar, and accused its emir of holding a secret meeting with Iranian Revolutionary Guard commander Gen. Qassem Soleimani.

A peninsula-state whose only land-border is with Saudi Arabia, Qatar is heavily reliant on food shipments from Saudi Arabia.

Qatar's Foreign Affairs Ministry said there was "no legitimate justification" for the countries' decision, though it vowed its citizens wouldn't be affected by it.

Critically, Qatar's natural gas output has been free from entanglement in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, the oil cartel that Saudi Arabia dominates.

Three of the four countries that cut ties with Qatar are members of Gulf Cooperation Council - a political and economic alliance of six Gulf states.

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) - Kuwait is trying to mediate a Gulf crisis in which Arab countries have cut diplomatic ties to Qatar and moved to isolate the energy-rich travel hub from the outside world, Qatar's foreign minister said early Tuesday.

He called for "a dialogue of openness and honesty" to resolve the crisis and pledged that Qatar will not allow the standoff to harm relations with the United States, which maintains a major air base in the small Gulf state. Until its ejection yesterday, Qatar was a reluctant member of the Islamic Military Alliance, the worldwide coalition Riyadh formed ostensibly to fight terrorism, but which more and more openly has assumed the shape of a Sunni Arab alliance for waging war on predominantly Shia Iran. That means an end to Qatari relations with Iran, the expulsion of expels Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood and "that Al Jazeera broadcasts politically acceptable news", Riedel said.

Marcelle Wahba, a former US ambassador to the UAE and the president of the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington think tank, said the United States had leverage but would use it discreetly.

"We are engaging with all of our partners.to find a way to reassemble some GCC unity to support regional security", said another USA official, saying it was critical to "maintain the fight against terrorism and extremist ideology".

Bahrain, which is part of the Saudi's anti-Qatar coalition, is on the other hand the home base of the US Fifth Fleet. In this photo provided by Doha News, shoppers stock up on supplies at a supermarket in Doha, Qatar on Monday, June 5, 2017 after Saudi Arabia closed its land border with Qatar, through which the tiny Gulf nation imports most of its.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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