Erdogan urges lifting of blockade against Qatar


So we had a decision to make.

"The time had come to call on Qatar to end its funding", Trump said. Ankara has taken Doha's side in the dispute, urging a boycott of Saudi products and having its parliament draft a bill ready to support the tiny Gulf state militarily should the need arise.

The US stance on Qatar has been roiled has by the mixed messages from the start.

"The blockade is hindering United States military actions in the region and the campaign against ISIS", Tillerson warned.

It wasn't immediately clear how Trump's sharp condemnation might affect with Qatar, which hosts some 10,000 USA troops and a major US air base that serves as a staging ground for operations in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. It is the U.S. Air Force's largest base in the region.

"No more funding", Trump said.

Donald Trump backed Riyadh and Abu Dhabi's decision to isolate Qatar while the USA secretaries of defence and state sought to calm the situation among its closest Arab partners, all of whom play a key role in U.S. counterterrorism and security policies in the region.

Trump initially took sides with the Saudi-led group before apparently being nudged into a more even-handed approach when US defence officials renewed praise of Doha, mindful of the major USA military base hosted by Qatar that serves, in part, as a launchpad for strikes on Islamic State insurgents. Though the president said others, too, were guilty of supporting terrorism, he said he would not name them.

A statement said the list shows that Qatar "announces fighting terrorism on one hand and finances and supports and hosts different terrorist organizations on the other hand". Erdogan, who has long tried to play the role of a regional power broker, said Ankara would do everything in its power to help end the regional crisis.

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, the federal minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources, said Qatar and Pakistan last year signed a $1 billion agreement, under which Qatar's Liquefied Gas Company Limited will sell LNG from 2016 to year 2031 to state-run Pakistan State Oil.

Riyadh, Cairo and their allies have accused Qatar, the world's richest country per capita, of supporting militant Islamist movements across the region.

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They have imposed an embargo on Qatar, cut diplomatic ties, expelled Qatari nationals and closed borders and airspace.

The blockade is also impeding U.S. and other global business activities in the region, Tillerson said, creating hardship for the people of Qatar and people whose livelihood depends on doing business with Qatar.

Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani was in Moscow on Saturday after talks in Germany on Friday. However, he did acknowledge the authenticity of recently leaked emails from Emirati Ambassador Yousef al-Otaiba in Washington, which several media outlets described as including criticism of Qatar.

"This will provide the necessary basis for any discussions", he added.

Gabriel agreed, stressing that "this is the hour of diplomacy".

"Along with our American colleagues but above all our colleagues in the region, we must try to find solutions, especially lifting the sea and air blockades", Gabriel told reporters.

Dubai/London: Qatar could defend its currency for years in the face of economic sanctions by other Gulf states, the country's balance sheet suggests, so the riyal's peg to the USA dollar is unlikely to fall victim to the region's diplomatic crisis. All that comes amid a crackdown on all dissent on the island home to the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet and an under-construction British naval base.

"China upholds that the relevant countries should appropriately resolve the disputes between them", the Chinese foreign ministry cited Wang as saying on Thursday. The biggest questions of all are about the impact on the World Cup 2022 if key projects are significantly delayed.

Armed Qatari gunboats patrolled the corniche of the capital Doha on Friday. S&P said those countries' severing of diplomatic and business links "will exacerbate Qatar's external vulnerabilities and could put pressure on economic growth and fiscal" stability. The riyal currency has tumbled and the cost of insuring Qatari debt against default has risen.

The row erupted on Monday when Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain moved to isolate Qatar over its support for Islamist and terrorist groups.