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Saudi-Turkish ties strained over differing views on Qatar

19 June 2017

On June 5 all of Qatar's Arab neighbours in the Gulf withdrew their ambassadors from Doha, Qatar's gleaming capital.

Bahrain has reportedly ordered Qatari troops serving with a coalition allegedly fighting with the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group to leave the Persian Gulf country soon, as Qatar accuses its neighbors, particularly Saudi Arabia, of imposing a crippling "siege" on the emirate.

The push by Sisi to boycott Turkey comes after the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan harshly criticised and condemned the Egyptian regime for its military coup against the first democratically-elected president Mohamed Morsi. Qatar earlier on Monday dismissed the accusations against it as a "publicity stunt" aimed exclusively at sulllying its image and reputation.

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Despite the diplomatic dispute between the Gulf Arab nations and Qatar, Doha won't cut gas supplies to the United Arab Emirates (UAE); Saad Sherida al-Kaabi, chief executive of state-run Qatar Petroleum, told Al Jazeera. Earlier this week, he met with the Emirati and Saudi foreign ministers in Washington. In a June 6 tweet, US President Donald Trump praised Saudi Arabia's move.

According to a New York Times report, President Donald Trump's unusual allyship with Saudi Arabia over Qatar is cause for suspicion about whether his allegiances are informed by business interests. "They have been very careful to keep channels of communication open with an extremely wide range of actors: they talk to Israel, they talk to al-Qaeda, they talk to the Taliban, they talk to a range of Islamist movements - some of them extremists, others much more in the mainstream".

There are a number of converging interests between Turkey and Qatar, he says.

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But Iqbal Jassat's freakish charge that Israel is behind the Saudi-led boycott of Qatar has taken things to an altogether new level. "Qatar has to be brought around, put out of business or absorbed".

"The Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion categorically denies that Saudi Arabia has severed ties with Malta; in fact, these ties remain as strong as ever".

Speaking in London on Friday, Adel al-Jubeir, Saudi Arabia's foreign minister, said his country was drawing up a list of "grievances" involving Qatar.

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Thousands of Qataris have been unable to board flights to the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, and cut off from relatives in those countries, in a region where cross-border marriages are common and rulers refer to each other as "brothers".