Kuwait attempts to ease tensions as Arab states freeze out Qatar

Posted June 08, 2017

Federal Bureau of Investigation experts visited Qatar in late May to analyze an alleged cyber breach that saw the hackers place the fake story with Qatar's state news agency, the USA broadcaster said.

The Qatari government has said a May 23 news report on its Qatar News Agency attributed false remarks to the nation's ruler that appeared friendly to Iran and Israel and questioned whether President Donald Trump would last in office.

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". Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies may have felt emboldened by Trump's visit to Riyadh, which saw the new president clearly align US interests with Riyadh and lash out at Iran.

Russia's strategy, if true, appeared to work. Qatar hosts 8,000 US military personnel at al Udeid, the largest USA air base in the Middle East and a launchpad for US -led strikes on the Islamic State militant group.

Meanwhile, Qatar's Foreign Ministry said that the country regrets the decision of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates' and Egypt to cut off diplomatic ties with it.

But his Qatari counterpart, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, told CNN that it would not bow to nations who wish to control its sovereignty.

Qatar is, indeed, a supporter of terrorist organizations, including those the USA has formally identified as such, including the Palestinian group Hamas, whose leader, Khalid Mashal, lives openly in the Gulf sheikhdom.

Qatar has forged regional alliances independently of its fellow GCC states, drawing accusations from Saudi Arabia and its allies of serving Iranian interests.

Gabriel's comments on Qatar and the Saudi arms deal are likely to further add to tensions between Washington and Berlin.

Despite this, Qatar's detractors said they are hopeful that the country won't be able to hold out much longer without their help.

Meanwhile, Mauritania on Tuesday announced that it was cutting diplomatic ties with Qatar in solidarity with its Mideastern allies.

Qatar strongly denies supporting radical Islamism.

During the phone call, Mr. Trump underscored that a united Gulf Cooperation Council is critical to defeating terrorism and promoting regional stability, the White House said.

Trump's tweets might also put increasing pressure on Qatar to implement reforms or even the replacement of the current emir.

He name-checked "support of extremist groups", "hostile media" and "interference in affairs of other countries" as things Qatar would have to change if it wished to restore ties.

It's also another example of Russia's cozying up to a critical United States partner in the Middle East at a time of tension between traditional allies.

Ankara officials have said Turkey's parliament will fast-track a draft bill allowing its troops to be deployed to a military base in Qatar.