Gulf states announce humanitarian hotline for mixed Qatari families


In a separate statement issued on Friday, the United Arab Emirates praised Trump's "leadership in challenging Qatar's troubling support for extremism".

On Thursday, Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani said his country could last "forever" despite the sanctions. "We are now buying Turkish products", he said. "We hope this dialogue between the two friendly countries will continue".

Sheikh Mohammed said his aim was to inform Russian Federation about "the illegal measures" taken against Qatar.

Qatar moved Sunday to avoid an escalation of its feud with Gulf neighbours by telling their citizens they are welcome to stay, while boasting of "business as usual" for vital gas exports.

Tillerson joined the Pentagon, the Foreign Relations Committee, and the deputy press secretary Friday in tempering Trump's sudden enthusiasm for condemning Saudi Arabia's eastern neighbor.

Among the raft of punitive measures, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain ordered Qatari nationals to leave their territories within 14 days, and announced that all of their nationals would need to leave Qatar in the same time period. "The next step is for Qatar to acknowledge these concerns and commit to reexamine its regional policies, this will provide the necessary basis for any discussions", Al Otaiba added.

The diplomatic crisis, the worst since the 1990 invasion of Kuwait by Iraq and the subsequent Gulf War, has seen Arab nations and others cut ties to Qatar, which hosts a major U.S. military base and will be the host of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

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Some African countries have cautiously come out in support of attempts to isolate Qatar.

Mauritania, an Arab League member, cut ties on Tuesday and central African oil producer Gabon condemned Qatar for failing "on counter-terrorism.". Qatar expressed regret over this decision calling it groundless.

Trump on Friday said that Qatar was funding terrorism "at a very high level", and said solving the problem in the tiny Gulf nation could be "the beginning of the end of terrorism". Qatar's detractors seized on his remarks as vindication of their stance.

The terror list came a day after both Bahrain and the UAE declared it a crime, punishable by multi-year prison sentences, to show "sympathy or favoritism" to Qatar or criticize both government's actions towards Qatar through social media or other ways. Saudi Arabia's state-run news agency carried an official statement welcoming Trump's remarks, adding that cutting off terrorism funding "required decisive and swift action. regardless of its financier".

People look at pigeons at Souq Waqif market in Doha, Qatar, June 6, 2017.

Qatar isn't the only Gulf nation accused of not sufficiently cracking down on support for extremist groups.

Riyadh is also skeptical of Doha's friendly ties with Iran, whom it considers a regional rival. Qatar ally Turkey meanwhile hosted the Bahraini foreign minister for talks on the crisis.