However, the Emirati Minister, who is also the Director-General and CEO of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, warned that if Qatar continues on the path, "it will remain isolated and suffer economic and diplomatic costs".

On Wednesday, Saudi Arabia and its United Arab Emirate (UAE) allies gave Qatar a 24 hour ultimatum to expel all the members of the Muslim Brotherhood terror group (outlawed in Russia) and the Palestinian Hamas movement from the country.

The Saudi Arabian, UAE and Bahraini central banks have not yet clarified how they want commercial banks in their countries to handle business ties with Qatar, which involve substantial cross-border lending, deposits and syndicated loans. Although the land border with Saudi Arabia is sealed, some air and sea routes are still open. The UAE threatened anyone publishing expressions of sympathy toward Doha with up to 15 years in prison and barring entry to Qataris.

Qatar strongly denies the allegations.

And the emir of Kuwait has met with two top United Arab Emirates officials to attempt to mediate the situation, the wire service says.

"The president offered to help the parties resolve their differences, including through a meeting at the White House if necessary", the statement said.

Current administration officials who see shifting U.S. Air Force assets from Qatar as a show of solidarity with the Saudis would do well to keep in mind how the U.S. ended up there in the first place.

Even as Trump applauded the Arab countries' move, the Pentagon on Tuesday renewed praise of Qatar for hosting United States forces and its "enduring commitment to regional security".

Bans on Doha's fleet using regional ports and anchorages threatened to halt some of its exports and disrupt those of liquefied natural gas.

Gregory Gause, a professor at Texas A&M and an expert on the Gulf region, spoke to NPR on Tuesday about the diplomatic rift.

"For us, this a critical issue and there is no turning back to the status quo", Gargash said on Wednesday in Dubai.

The statement, which was later removed, focused on sensitive regional political issues with other nations in the region, including Iran and Israel, and also Doha's relationship with new US President Donald Trump.

Saudi Arabia accuses Qatar of supporting "Iranian-backed terrorist groups" in its Qatif province and in neighboring Bahrain - and of backing the Yemeni rebels its coalition is fighting.

In the 6.00am call, he denied Qatar's emir made comments reported by the state-run news agency criticising hostility to Iran, sympathising with three Islamist groups, accusing Saudi Arabia of adopting an extremist ideology that fosters terrorism and suggesting Donald Trump may not last long as U.S. president.

A preliminary investigation into the incident confirmed that Qatar's state news agency was indeed hacked, the Qatari foreign ministry said on Wednesday.

In response to a question, she said she had seen no evidence that that included ISIS, "but I know that Saudi individuals have certainly funded other related terrorist groups over time, and also exported a lot of Wahhabi radicalism by ... sending out imams and teachers to set up schools and mosques to preach that particularly harsh brand of Islam".


COMMENTS