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Qatar’s Sheikh Mohammed says his country has been isolated “because we are successful and progressive”, calling his country “a platform for peace not terrorism”. The Gulf spat is likely to further fuel inter-rebel conflicts in Syria, where rivalries between Qatar and Saudi Arabia have been showcased since the earliest days of the crisis.

“Stop funding, stop teaching hate and stop the killing”, he added. “Fighting terrorism and extremism is no longer a choice, rather… a commitment requiring decisive and swift action to cut off all funding sources for terrorism regardless of its financier”, the Saudi Press Agency cited an official source as saying. He noted that during his recent trip to Saudi Arabia, Arab leaders he’d met with had joined in warning about Qatari support for terrorism. The president has claimed that his conversations there pushed him to call out Qatar.

Doha is a major global travel hub, but flag carrier Qatar Airways now flies increasingly over Iran and Turkey after being blocked elsewhere in the Middle East.

According to documents filed with the Justice Department on Friday, Qatar will pay Ashcroft Law Firm $2.5 million to provide strategic advice, crisis response, legal counsel, and media outreach to help bolster its image and improve its compliance with anti-money laundering and counterterrorism laws.

Nations behind a blockade on Qatar have welcomed strong comments from President Donald Trump backing their move, but were silent on calls from his secretary of state to ease the measures. He said families were being separated, children removed from school and Qataris forced to deal with food shortages.

The United States has called on Arab states to ease their blockade on Qatar and demanded all sides move to calm tensions that intensified with a Turkish offer to send troops, warships and planes to aid its Qatari ally. They have imposed what Qatar says is a blockade of shipping and air traffic, and closed Qatar’s only land border, causing panic buying at supermarkets.

“The blockade is hindering USA military actions in the region and the campaign against ISIS“.

The United States’ biggest air base in the Middle East is at Udeid air base in Qatar, which also hosts the Qatari air force and other coalition troops.

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, the UAE and other countries announced they would withdraw diplomatic staff from Qatar. TIME TO WITHDRAW? Qatar has for years punched well above its weight in world affairs by parleying its vast gas wealth into influence across the region, irking the UAE and dominant Gulf Arab power Saudi Arabia with its maverick stances and support for Islamists.

Qatar denies it backs extremist groups and says the allegations are politically motivated and meant to tarnish the country’s image.

We support the emir of Kuwait’s efforts to bring about a peaceful resolution to this agreement and progress toward eliminating all forms of support for terrorism – military, financial, moral, or ideological. Several countries followed suit, while Erdogan vowed to keep supporting Qatar and rejected accusations that it supported terrorism. “Our expectation is that these countries will immediately take steps to de-escalate the situation and put forth a good-faith effort to resolve the grievances they have with each other”.

Egypt separately has asked the United Nations Security Council to investigate reports that Qatar “paid up to $1 billion to a terrorist group active in Iraq” to recently free 26 hostages, including members of its ruling family, saying it would violate U.N. sanctions.

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