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War against Qatar, Al Jazeera take-down imminent?

 
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Disco_Destroyer
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2017 12:38 am    Post subject: War against Qatar, Al Jazeera take-down imminent? Reply with quote

http://theantimedia.org/saudi-ultimatum-qatar-10-demands-24-hours/

Quote:
The list of Saudi demands was allegedly sent to Doha earlier today and it is being reported that the Qataris have twenty four hours to comply. The ultimatum is composed of ten requirements for the Qatari government to immediately enact.

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According to ‘Iran Front Page’ the demands made by the Saudis are as follows:


Immediate severance of diplomatic relations with Iran.
Expulsion of all members of the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas from Qatar.
Freezing all bank accounts of Hamas members and refraining from any deal with them.
Expulsion of all Muslim Brotherhood members from Qatar.
Expulsion of anti-[P]GCC elements.
Ending support for ‘terrorist organisations’.
Stopping interference in Egyptian affairs.
Ceasing the broadcast of the Al Jazeera news channel.
Apologising to all [Persian] Gulf governments for ‘abuses’ by Al Jazeera.
Pledging that it (Qatar) will not carry out any actions that contradict the policies of the [P]GCC and adhering to its charter.
As you can see, these demands range from extremely hypocritical to logistically impossible, so let’s start from the top.

Diplomacy With Iran
It’ll be nearly impossible for Qatar to fully cut off relations with Iran. This is due to the fact that Iran and Qatar both share one of the largest natural gas reserves on earth.

Cutting off all cooperation with Iran could eventually deal a major blow to the Qatari economy or, even worse, could lead to hostilities between the two countries over future disagreements. The demand by the Saudis concerning Iran are clearly on the impossible end of the spectrum.


Ties to Hamas
Now let’s wade into the hypocritical demands of the ultimatum, starting with Qatar’s support for Hamas. While there’s no denying Qatar has offered support and shelter for Hamas, the Saudis are obviously guilty of the same thing.

Despite how you feel about Hamas, the Saudis have (at least in the past) provided material support to the militant group turned governing party in Gaza. If anything, this demand should be an embarrassment to the Saudis since Hamas’ primary adversary is Israel and they occasionally also have secondary conflicts with countries like Syria (who the Saudis also hate).

Many in the US establishment are cheering Trump’s efforts to restart negotiations between Israel and Palestine, not because a soft spot for Palestinians, but due to the aim of building stronger ties between the Gulf states and Israel without the Palestinian question hanging over everyone’s head. The question of the Muslim Brotherhood also loosely ties into this due to their ties with Hamas but it’s more likely the demands about the political party are more of a concern of Egypt.

The Muslim Brotherhood and Egypt
The Muslim Brotherhood is a radical Sunni Islamist party that shares a lot of ideas with the gulf states like Saudi Arabia. The problem here is, the Brotherhood looks to enforce their bleak interpretation of Islam via the ballot box. It’s this electoral threat to royal succession that led Saudi Arabia to declare the political party a terrorist group.

This threat of replacing one tyranny with another was of course first observed in Egypt during the Arab Spring. Egypt’s current government under Sisi is the military coup that overthrew their democratically elected government which was primarily composed of none other than the Muslim Brotherhood.

While the Saudis don’t support the brotherhood due to their commitment to imaginary royal bloodlines, the Egyptian government’s hatred of the party is due to remnants of the group still organizing in Egypt. Ending Qatari support for the Brotherhood isn’t necessarily impossible or hypocritical but it’s clearly motivated by Saudi and Egyptian concern for self preservation. While the Brotherhood is by no means innocent either, it shouldn’t be a military junta or a Wahhabi kingdom that makes that call.

The other demands can be summed up fairly quickly so we’ll just lay those out real fast. First, the charge of ‘abuses of Al Jazeera’ are ridiculous. The Qatari network has always promoted the same agenda as the Saudis as the largest Gulf network to broadcast pro takfiri and anti western trash.

As far as the demands to make things right with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), this is another ridiculous demand since Qatar has always carried out similar agendas and funded the same terrorists. Also, since we’re on the topic of funding terrorists, the word without any specifics issued by Saudi Arabia is obviously laughable for reasons we don’t even need to explore again.

Now the question is: what happens if Qatar doesn’t comply? So far there’s no official word on what the Saudi response could be so we will continue following this story.

By Jim Carey / Republished with permission / GeopoliticsAlert.com / Report a typo


see also
http://theduran.com/24-hour-ultimatum-saudi-arabia-threatens-qatar-to- submit-or-else-face-war/

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/07/world/europe/turkey-qatar-support.h tml?_r=2

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2017 12:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is this not how Gulf War 1 played out? Hey Saddam we don't care if you invade Kuwait etc.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2017 8:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Is war against Qatar imminent? Reply with quote

Like the list of demands of Austria on Serbia in 1914
Impossible demands which Saudis and CENTCOM know they'll have to say no to
No more of this
Israel diplomat forced to resign after AJ investigation
Shai Masot, a senior political officer at the Israeli embassy in the UK, was forced to resign, Al Jazeera learns.
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/01/israel-diplomat-forced-resign-aj -investigation-170112155109626.html
Yes, war, invasion

Qatar financing ISIS, immune to Arab spring in GCC
http://www.911forum.org.uk/board/viewtopic.php?t=23569

Disco_Destroyer wrote:

Immediate severance of diplomatic relations with Iran.
Expulsion of all members of the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas from Qatar.
Freezing all bank accounts of Hamas members and refraining from any deal with them.
Expulsion of all Muslim Brotherhood members from Qatar.
Expulsion of anti-[P]GCC elements.
Ending support for ‘terrorist organisations’.
Stopping interference in Egyptian affairs.
Ceasing the broadcast of the Al Jazeera news channel.
Apologising to all [Persian] Gulf governments for ‘abuses’ by Al Jazeera.
Pledging that it (Qatar) will not carry out any actions that contradict the policies of the [P]GCC and adhering to its charter.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2017 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Qatar-Gulf crisis: All the latest updates
The latest news after Arab Gulf countries cut diplomatic ties with Qatar and suspended Doha-bound flights.
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/06/qatar-diplomatic-crisis-latest-u pdates-170605105550769.html

SUMMARY

Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, Yemen, eastern government of Libya, Maldives, Mauritius, Mauritania, and Senegal cut diplomatic ties with Qatar
Jordan and Djibouti downgrade diplomatic relations with Qatar
US: No change planned for military base
Qatari aviation, exports, banks affected
The latest developments since four Arab countries cut ties with Qatar on Monday morning. (All times local.)

To jump to the first update on Friday, click here

11:30 - Erdogan says Turkey won't leave Qatar isolated

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reaffirmed his backing for Qatar in its dispute with other Gulf nations, saying Turkey would never leave the country isolated.

Delivering a speech at a Ramadan fast-breaking dinner in Istanbul, Erdogan said on Friday that Turkey would provide food and medicine to help Qatar ease its isolation despite the other nations "displeasure".

He called on Saudi Arabia and other countries of the region to end their sanctions, rejecting accusations by these countries that Qatar supports 'terror groups'.

Referring to a statement by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson calling on the Arab nations to immediately ease their blockade of Qatar, Erdogan said: "I say let's lift it entirely".

On Wednesday, Turkey's parliament passed legislation permitting the deployment of troops to a Turkish military base in Qatar.

11:15 - Amnesty condemns actions taken against Qatar

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are toying with the lives of thousands of Gulf residents as part of their dispute with Qatar, splitting up families and destroying peoples’ livelihoods and education, Amnesty International said on Friday.

The organisation's researchers have interviewed dozens of people whose human rights have been affected by a series of sweeping measures imposed in an arbitrary manner by the three Gulf countries in their dispute with Qatar.

"These drastic measures are already having a brutal effect, splitting children from parents and husbands from wives. People from across the region – not only from Qatar, but also from the states implementing these measures – risk losing jobs and having their education disrupted. All the states involved in this dispute must ensure their actions do not lead to human rights violations," said James Lynch, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Global Issues Programme, who was in Doha last week.

Read the full statement here

10:45pm - Rights committee present reports on effects of the blockade

Qatar's National Human Rights Committee presented 300 international and regional organizations with detailed reports that reveal the humanitarian conditions of the citizens of GCC countries as a result of the blockade in Qatar.

10:00pm - Trump accuses Qatar of funding terrorism

US President Donald Trump accuses Qatar of funding terrorism at "very high level" when speaking at the White House on Friday, where he was holding a joint news conference with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis.

Read the full story here

9:40 - Blockade against Qatar 'hindering' planning for long-term operation - Pentagon

A blockade against Qatar by Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states was not affecting current operations against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group, but was "hindering" the ability to plan for long-term operations, the Pentagon said on Friday.

"While current operations from Al Udeid Air Base have not been interrupted or curtailed, the evolving situation is hindering our ability to plan for longer-term military operations," Captain Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, said in a statement.

Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar is home to more than 11,000 US and coalition forces and an important base for the fight against ISIL. He did not explain how exactly it was affecting planning for longer-term operations.

Davis said Qatar remained critical for air operations against ISIL.

9:30 - Trump, Egypt's Sisi discuss Arab unity, fighting terrorism

President Donald Trump spoke on Friday with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and emphasised the importance of maintaining unity among Arab countries, the White House said in a statement.

It was the fourth call Trump has had with a regional leader since Gulf allies severed diplomatic ties with Qatar on Monday.

8:40pm - US secretary of state makes statement on Gulf diplomatic crisis

Rex Tillerson calls on Saudi Arabia, Egypt and UAE to ease the blockade against Qatar.
Tillerson says US urges no further escalation in Gulf crisis with Qatar.

Tillerson: Blockade hindering US military action against ISIL.

US expectation is that Gulf countries would immediately take steps to de-escalate situation in region - Tillerson

Read the full story here
4:30 - UN's response to the 'terror list'

The United Nations(UN) said it is bound only by the list of sanctions adopted by the organs of the United Nations and the Security Council.

This came in UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric response to a question about the list, made by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE and Bahrain, of so the called "terrorist organizations and entities" featuring the name of Qatar Charity.

Dujarric said that the UN has signed significant work with Qatar Charity in Yemen , Iraq and Syria and said that they are coordinating the aid work together.

The spokesman said that in principle, the UN relies solely on the list of sanctions adopted by the UN Security Council, and the UN is not obliged to take into account any lists other than that." Emphasizing that the UN Office of Humanitarian Affairs Coordination Office (OCHA) has developed strong co-operation and partnership with Qatar Charity over the years, Dujarric said that this cooperation is based on a common human principle, not a political one

Read the full story here

4:20pm - UAE Central Bank asks banks to adopt 'terror list'

UAE banks and other financial institutions have been instructed to search for and freeze any accounts or deposits or investments held by individuals or entities that are in the "terror list" issued by Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt late on Thursday.

In another circular, the Central Bank advised banks and other financial institutions operating in the UAE to apply enhanced customer due diligence for any accounts they hold belonging to six Qatari banks.

A bank press statement said the two circulars were issued based upon a UAE cabinet resolution designating 59 individuals and 12 entities as "terrorists or terrorist organizations".

2:15pm - Saudi Arabia bans Al Jazeera channels in hotels

The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage issued a circular in the early hours of Friday, ordering all "tourist facilities" to remove satellite channels that include religious, political or moral violations, including the Al Jazeera Media Network.

The circular read: "All tourist facilities must commit to choosing the appropriate TV channels in line with the official Saudi TV channels … and not to operate channels deviant to the Islamic religion or the state's policies, or morals."

It added: "The authority ensures the importance of removing all the 'Al Jazeera channels' from the list of available channels in rooms and other tourism accommodation facilities in order to prevent anyone who violates this circular from facing penalties, which could amount to 100,000 Saudi riyals ($26,600) or the revocation of their license, or both."

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

UAE planned to invade Qatar with Blackwater-linked mercenaries: Report
#GulfTensions
Plan aimed to overthrow Qatar emir, replace him with ruler subservient to Saudi-led bloc boycotting gas-rich state, ex-official says
http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/uae-planned-invade-qatar-blackwater- linked-mercenaries-report-1742295879

Blackwater founder Erik Prince testifies at a House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing in Washington DC in 2007 (AFP)
MEE staff's picture
MEE staff
Saturday 14 October 2017 18:52 UTC

Qatar's former deputy prime minister accused the United Arab Emirates of plotting to invade Doha with an army of mercenaries, according to a report.

Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiyah levelled the charges on Wednesday in a report published by Spanish daily ABC.

The UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt imposed a blockade and economic sanctions on Qatar in June, accusing it of supporting "extremism" and being too close to Iran, charges Doha has denied.

Attiyah said that the UAE hired a "Blackwater-linked" private security contractor to train thousands of mercenaries to invade Qatar with the aim of overthrowing the emir and replacing him with a ruler subservient to the Saudi-led bloc that is boycotting the gas-rich state, the New Arab website reported.

Attiyah said the plan, which was prepared ahead of the diplomatic spat, was never carried out because US President Donald Trump failed to green-light the assault, the NewArab said.

An unidentified official source told the daily that the soldiers for hire were trained at an Emirati military base in Liwa in the west of the country by Academi, a US security service company formerly known as Blackwater.

Blackwater military contractors killed 17 unarmed Iraqi civilians and wounded 20 in a notorious 2007 massacre in Baghdad that prompted the firm to change its name.

"We estimate that Blackwater trained about 15,000 employees, most of them Colombian and South American," the source told the New Arab.

The New York Times reported as far back as 2011 that Colombians were entering the UAE posing as construction workers to become part of a secret mercenary army being built by Blackwater founder Erik Prince with more than $500m in financing from the oil-rich sheikdom.

The Colombians, along with South African and other foreign troops, were being trained by retired American soldiers and veterans of German and British special operations units and the French Foreign Legion, former employees and American officials told the New York Times.

According to a recent email purportedly sent by the Emirati ambassador to the US, Yousef al-Otaiba, Saudi Arabia came close to "conquering" Qatar before the start of the blockade.

People close to Trump told Bloomberg in September that the Saudi-led bloc considered taking military action against Qatar at the start of the crisis, before the US president urged for calm.

Recommended reading


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Israeli police arrest Palestinian after Facebook mistranslated ‘good morning’ as ‘attack them’ #Occupation
Hundreds mourn Egyptian police killed in ambush #EgyptTurmoil
Israeli police arrest 15 over campaign to stop Jew-Arab dating #InsideIsrael
Kurdish militia announces capture of key oil field in east Syria #SyriaWar
#GulfTensions

Follow the story

Qatar says Gulf crisis hurts fight against Islamic State group

Qatar's Sheikh Abdullah says assets frozen over Gulf crisis

The threat of regime change 2.0 to GCC unity

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Qatari opposition figures to announce 'government-in-exile': report
Recommended Topics

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

by email wrote:
More on this as it relates to Syria.

From Eurasia Review
http://www.eurasiareview.com/19112017-saudi-uae-push-to-mobilize-tribe s-against-qatari-emir-analysis/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email &utm_campaign=Feed%3A+eurasiareview%2FVsnE+%28Eurasia+Review%29

Coup is also anti Muslim Brotherhood.

http://www.eurasiareview.com/19112017-the-saudi-purge-the-parallel-bet ween-populism-and-authoritarianism-analysis/?utm_source=feedburner&utm _medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+eurasiareview%2FVsnE+%28Eurasia+Rev iew%29

Unlike many other oil rich countries, Qatar has a well planned and diversified economy and a sov. wealth fund which has made huge investments all over the world. Qatar has also come to an agreement with Iran re PARS and pipelines.

As it was:
https://www.globalresearch.ca/the-secret-stupid-saudi-us-deal-on-syria  /5410130

However, Qatar has now decided to join forces with Iran and Russia, as they can see that Assad is not going to be removed in a hurry, and the whole Syrian war has been a pipeline tug-of-war.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-06-06/forget-terrorism-real-reason- behind-qatar-crisis-natural-gas

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

New Barclays charge over £2bn Qatari deal: Lender could lose banking licence over alleged fraud

http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/markets/article-5383135/Barclays-lo se-banking-licence-alleged-fraud.html

By James Burton For The Daily Mail Published: 09:11 AEDT, 13 February 2018 | Updated: 09:11 AEDT, 13 February 2018

Millions of Barclays customers face turmoil as it battles a fraud case that could see it stripped of its licence to operate.

The lender has been charged over a £7.3bn fundraising drive which saved it from needing a state bailout during the 2008 financial crisis.

It has been claimed that, as part of this fundraising, Barclays illegally loaned £2.1bn to the Qatari state which was then used to buy shares in the bank.

Caught in a storm: Barclays has been charged over a £7.3bn fundraising drive which saved it from needing a state bailout during the 2008 financial crisis

This is illegal under the Companies Act 1985 because it is a form of market manipulation that lets businesses artificially boost their share price. A guilty verdict would leave Barclays open to unlimited fines that could run into the hundreds of millions or even billions of pounds.

The scandal has already seen its former chief executive John Varley, 61 (pictured) and three other former executives charged with conspiracy to commit fraud.

Last year the bank’s holding company, Barclays Plc, was charged with fraud and providing unlawful financial assistance. But yesterday the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) charged operating company Barclays UK Plc – the part of the bank which actually deals with its 48m customers’ money. It will now be tried alongside the other defendants in 2019 and, if found guilty, could be stripped of its banking licences.

It is feared this could leave Barclays unable to handle deposits or make loans in Britain and other key markets such as the US, crippling the institution and plunging its clients’ finances into chaos.

Raising private money to get it through the financial crisis meant that Barclays, unlike rivals Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland, was able to avoid needing a bailout. Accepting state help would have given ministers a say over its casino banking operation and multi-million-pound bonus schemes.

Insiders at the bank last night played down the risk of losing its banking licence, saying it remains a distant prospect. Other observers argued that the SFO’s decision is a negotiating tactic aimed at bouncing Barclays into pleading guilty to the charges against its holding company, where a criminal conviction would have less impact on day-to-day operations.

The bank has vowed to fight the claims, as have Varley and the others charged – Roger Jenkins, 62, Thomas Kalaris, 62, and Richard Boath, 58.

A spokesman said: ‘Barclays PLC and Barclays Bank PLC intend to defend the respective charges brought against them. Barclays does not expect there to be an impact on its ability to serve its customers and clients.’

Sources said by the time the case is over, Barclays will have split its UK retail bank into a separate business under new regulations. This may protect the consumer arm from losing its licence even if the regulator decides to act, although the vitally important investment bank would still be hammered.

If Barclays is found guilty, axing its licence would be a drastic step that regulators might decide was against the public interest.

Barclays also faces a £700m lawsuit over the Qatar deal from financier Amanda Staveley, who acted for Abu Dhabi during the same 2008 fundraising and claims she was unfairly treated.

It is fighting a separate case in the US after handling £14bn of toxic mortgage debt during the financial crisis.

Barclays shares rose 0.2 per cent, or 0.42p, to 193.32p in a sign that traders took the latest charging decision in their stride.

http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/markets/article-5383135/Barclays-lo se-banking-licence-alleged-fraud.html

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2018 5:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Al Jazeera did a hard-hitting investigation into US and Israeli lobbying – so why won't they air it?
https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/al-jazeera-investigation-us-israe l-lobbying-not-published-why-qatar-a8257191.html

According to Swisher, if his documentary on the American lobby doesn’t air soon, 'it might prove to be ammunition sought by a group of zealous US politicians who wish to declare Al Jazeera a foreign entity, and label us journalists as ‘spies’'
Robert Fisk Thursday 15 March 2018
The newsroom at the headquarters of the Qatar-based Al-Jazeera satellite channel in Doha
The team who work on ‘The Lobby’ with Al Jazeera are well-respected investigative journalists, but for some reason their latest venture hasn't appeared in the public eye AFP/Getty
So when am I going to be able to watch Al Jazeera’s hard-hitting investigation into Israel’s powerful lobby in the United States? Remember Al Jazeera? The tough, no-holds-barred Middle East satellite channel that transformed Qatar into a media empire whose reports frightened dictators and infuriated potentates and presidents alike? Why, George W Bush once wanted to bomb its headquarters in Doha – so it must have been doing something right. It even has an office in Jerusalem.

But something seems to be amiss. Not Al Jazeera’s disastrous American venture, which was supposed to break free of the dross on CNN and Fox News and ended up looking just like CNN or Fox. Nor the tragicomedy of its journalists’ imprisonment in Sissi’s Egypt, banged up by Cairo’s farcical laws and the stupidity of Al Jazeera’s own management in Qatar.

No, I’m talking about a documentary called The Lobby, directed by one of Al Jazeera’s top journalists, Clayton Swisher, the man whose exclusive (and book) on the “Palestine Papers” blew open the secret and scandalous American-led negotiations between Israelis and the Palestinian authority between 2000 and 2010. But after months of postponement, The Lobby, which secretly filmed pro-Israeli US activists and Israeli government officials and was completed last autumn, is still no nearer to being shown – and Swisher himself has taken a paid leave of absence. He even chose to explain his frustration in an article for the progressive American Jewish magazine Forward, which has always maintained a liberal and often very critical view of Israel.


“Don’t mistake me – I love Al Jazeera,” Swisher told me this week. “I love working for Al Jazeera. They’ve done fantastic things. And they look after their staff very well. But our new documentary doesn’t seem to be getting on air.”

In his published explanation, Swisher described how his award-winning investigative unit – which he says operates “without [Qatari] government interference” – sent an undercover reporter to look into “how Israel wields influence in America through the pro-Israeli American community. But when some right-wing American supporters of Israel found out about the documentary, there was a massive backlash. It was even labelled as antisemitic in a spate of articles.”

Nothing surprising there, you might think. Any reporters who have dared to criticise Israel grow used to the vile smear of antisemitism thrown over them – but there was an even more disturbing background to Swisher’s attempts to get his documentary on the air.


Al Jazeera investigation reveals corruption links to Maldives president
The programme’s completion, he writes, “came at a time when, due to an arbitrary blockade on Qatar imposed by the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, Qatar had been pursuing an end to its siege by appealing to the US. According to reports, Qatar sought to offer its own side of the narrative in this conflict by hosting thought leaders, including from the American Jewish community. From reports in the Israeli press, I learned that [Harvard Professor Alan] Dershowitz had been brought to meet with the Qatari emir [Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani], and that the American Jews had brought up what they saw as Al Jazeera’s antisemitism in those meetings. Of course, our documentary is not antisemitic. It is an exploration of how Israel, a foreign government, influences US foreign policy.”


Ironically, one of the Saudi-UAE demands for a return to normal relations with Qatar was to shut down Al Jazeera.

Most of Swisher’s staff within Al Jazeera are American or British, and he recruited a young Oxford postgraduate, James Anthony Kleinfeld, to meet and mix with members of pro-Israeli groups in Washington. When this was discovered – partly because Swisher, for legal reasons, contacted those appearing in the programme to say that his team had used secret filming during their investigations – there was uproar.

Kleinfeld, who apparently used the name “Tony Kleinfeld”, was accused of being “pro-Palestinian” but of “embedding himself with the Washington pro-Israel crowd” while spending “months of his life under a new and meticulously fabricated persona to infiltrate pro-Israeli groups”.

The concern of Israeli lobbyists was not without reason. Recipients of legal letters from the documentary group – referring to the secretly recorded Israeli activists – included AIPAC, the Israeli-American Council, the Sheldon Adelson-created Maccabee Task Force, the Israel Project, the Zionist Organisation of America and other groups. Although Swisher’s reporters had exposed genocide in Myanmar, presidential corruption in the Maldives and paedophilia in British youth football, another documentary under Swisher’s direction concentrated on Israel’s influence over Britain and included a secretly filmed sequence in which Israeli official Shai Masot discussed how to “take down” British MPs regarded as pro-Palestinian, including Sir Alan Duncan. Masot was forced to resign and the Israeli ambassador to London, Mark Regev, issued a formal apology.


According to Swisher, if his documentary on the American lobby doesn’t air soon, “it might prove to be ammunition sought by a group of zealous US politicians who wish to declare Al Jazeera a foreign entity, and label us journalists as ‘spies’”. In response to antisemitism claims after the London documentary, the broadcasting regulator Ofcom ruled that the programme was “a serious investigative documentary”. It was the same question, Swisher says, that he and his team sought to answer in the American edition of The Lobby: “whether the Israeli government was funding or involved in lobbying efforts in the US under the guise of a domestic lobbying group”.

Swisher says that several “leaders of Jewish American organisations” met with Qatar’s registered agent and lobbyist, Nick Muzin – a former aide to US Senator Ted Cruz, who supported American recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital – “to see if he could use his ties with the Qataris to stop the airing”. Since October, Swisher says, “we’ve faced a series of unexplained delays on broadcasting our project, the likes of which I’ve never experienced. I was repeatedly told by everyone to ‘wait’, and was assured our documentary would eventually see the light of day. Then, as now, I took my senior management at its word. To my own specially trained ears, ‘wait’ did not constitute ‘stop’. In fact, it must not constitute ‘stop’.”

WORLD NEWS IN PICTURES

Almost every journalist I’ve met in the Middle East has encountered similar problems. When I worked for the The Times, I alerted the then editor, Charles Douglas-Home, to evidence that Israeli officers had secretly buried at least seven Palestinian and Lebanese prisoners – done to death in an interrogation centre – at night in a Sidon graveyard in 1983. He wanted me to spend as many weeks as necessary to find out if the story was true. Then, months later, when witnesses emerged with evidence of the burial, including the gravedigger – the bodies still had their hands tied behind their back with nylon rope when they were brought to him – I called my editor. My witnesses were being “visited” by armed members of the Israeli Shin Beth intelligence agency, I told him, and I was being trailed around Sidon by Israeli-registered vehicles. It was time to run the story.

To my shock, Douglas-Home – an editor who otherwise loyally stood by me in every Middle East dispute over my work – replied that he wasn’t sure “how we’re justified in running a story like this so long after the event”. In other words, we had to be sure of our facts on such an important story – but by taking the time to do just that, the story was now out of date.

After much argument – during which I suggested to the Israelis that they might like to institute a military inquiry into the deaths if they wanted to avoid a scandal (they said, mysteriously, that it was already under way, although I doubted this) – the story ran. A deputy editor, I was told, had tried to cut the report by two-thirds. He was overruled. Then the story ran. In full.

So, old story, new story. I’ve appeared many times on Al Jazeera. And never been told to mince my words. Nor would I. But a lot of us are waiting to see Swisher’s new documentary. If we don’t, we’ll know what to think of Al Jazeera.

_________________
--
'Suppression of truth, human spirit and the holy chord of justice never works long-term. Something the suppressors never get.' David Southwell
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Martin Van Creveld: Let me quote General Moshe Dayan: "Israel must be like a mad dog, too dangerous to bother."
Martin Van Creveld: I'll quote Henry Kissinger: "In campaigns like this the antiterror forces lose, because they don't win, and the rebels win by not losing."
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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2018 11:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Qatar-Gulf crisis: All latest updates

Today is the 345th day of the blockade.
16 May 2018
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/06/qatar-diplomatic-crisis-latest- updates-170605105550769.html

Analysis: Will Pompeo end the GCC crisis?
2 weeks ago

Eleven months ago, an air, sea and land blockade was imposed on Qatar by four Arab countries.

Here are the latest developments:
Food security

On May 15, local media reported that Greece is to share its agro-tech expertise in support of Qatar's self-sufficiency plans.

Panagiotis G Mihalos, the chairman of the Greece-Qatar Business Council, said Qatar's self-sufficiency efforts have placed food security on the spotlight.

"In line with the Qatar government's efforts towards food security and achieving self-sufficiency, I hope we can play a role in all of this," Mihalos told Gulf Times in an interview.

Qatari economy

On May 13 Khamis al Mohannadi, a senior official of the Ministerial Group for the Encouragement and Participation of the Private Sector said the sale of Qatari products had increased 300 percent in the first quarter of 2018 compared with the same period in 2017.

Local dairy companies are working to increase their production to cover the needs of the local market, adding that 92 percent of local demand for milk will be met by these firms by the end of the first half of this year.

On May 9, the Chairman of General Authority of Customs (GAC) Ahmed bin Abdullah al-Jamal stressed that GAC worked to secure the entry of products necessary during the first weeks of the siege.

On the total declaration volume of Qatar's ports, al-Jamal said the number of completed declarations during the last year was 2,010,569 and a total value of 132.5 billion Qatari riyals ($36bn).
On May 7, the Ministry of Finance reported that Qatar is estimated to go from a deficit of 1.6 percent of its GDP in 2017 to a surplus of 2.8 percent of GDP in 2018. This is based in the Economic Outlook Brief to be released by the IMF in May 14.

Bonds: On April 12, Qatar raised $12bn from its first bond issuance on the international market since 2016, a few days after Saudi Arabia raised $11bn in bonds.
"The overall success of the issue clearly reflects the strength of the Qatari economy and the confidence the state enjoys from international investors," a Qatari official said.

Investigation: On March 17, Qatar's central bank asked US regulators to investigate the US subsidiary of a UAE-owned bank for engaging in "bogus" foreign exchange deals intended to undermine the Qatari riyal and harm its economy.


Joint efforts

On May 10, Special Envoy of the Minister of Foreign Affairs for Combating Terrorism and Mediation in Conflict Resolution Mutlaq bin Majed al-Qahtani, stressed that Qatar is making "strong efforts in the fight against terrorism".
Al-Qahtani chaired Qatar's delegation in a meeting that was held in Kuwait with the participation of all GCC countries and the US.

He said that the country actively participated in the meeting, which aimed to "coordinate joint disruptive actions", and, "offer support to countries in the region that need assistance building capacity to counterterror funding threats".

Qatar Petroleum

On May 8, Saad al-Kaabi Qatar Petroleum CEO, said the company will push ahead with its production expansion despite the blockade.

Qatar is one of the most influential players in the global liquefied natural gas (LNG) market due to its annual production of 77 million tonnes.

Human Rights

On May 2, Qatar's National Human Rights Committee condemned the arrest without charges of Mohsen Saleh Saadoun al-Karbi, a Qatari citizen, at Yemen's Shahn border on April 21, during his visit to family.

Trump mediation

On April 29, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called for unity in the Gulf region, during a visit to Saudi Arabia.

In advance of Pompeo's visit, US officials told reporters the US secretary of state would urge Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and King Salman to resolve the Gulf crisis in a series of meetings on Saturday and Sunday.

On April 23, US Ambassador to Kuwait Lawrence Silverman said: President Donald Trump was eager to find a "quick and final" solution to the Gulf crisis.

There have been contacts between US and Gulf officials over the crisis, he told Kuwait state news agency KUNA, and he affirmed the "unity" of the six was important amid huge security challenges.

On April 11, cited officials said Trump is interested in restoring unity among Gulf Arab states and present a united front against Iran.



Qatar Airways

Losses: On Wednesday, April 25, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar al-Baker told reporters that the airline has made a "substantial" loss in its financial year because of the regional dispute.

Acquisitions: On April 10, Qatar Airways bought a minority stake in JetSuite, a US private aviation company, potentially expanding the semi-private model across the US.
On February 20, Italian airline Meridiana changed its name to Air Italy with the backing of its new shareholder, Qatar Airways. The airline aims to become Italy's flagship carrier, as UAE-backed Alitalia filed for bankruptcy.

The blockading countries have targeted Qatar Airways by forbidding it from using their airspace, but it has found alternative routes and expanded its travel network with new international partnerships.

Syria intervention

On April 24, Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said that "Qatar must pay for the US military forces' in Syria, and send its military forces there before the US president denies US protection for Qatar."

Al Jubeir's remarks came after US President Donald Trump repeated earlier calls on the "immensely wealthy" countries in the region to step up their financial and military involvement in the region, in lieu of the US.

"They wouldn't be there except for the United States. They wouldn't last a week. We are protecting them. They have to now step up, and pay for what is happening," Trump said.

Earlier in April, Trump announced his intention to withdraw from Syria and said "Saudi Arabia is very interested in our decision ... Well, you know, you want us to stay, maybe you're going to have to pay."

Qatar airspace

Qatar airspace: On April 23, Qatar's civil aviation authority denied UAE's claims that Qatari military planes intercepted a civilian aircraft on April 22.

According to Qatar, an unauthorised military aircraft from the UAE entered Qatar's airspace in the same area as the UAE's civilian aeroplane.

On April 22, the United Arab Emirates said that a civilian aircraft heading to Bahrain was approached by a Qatari jet, forcing its pilot to take evasive manoeuvers to avoid a collision.
On March 28, Qatar reported to the UN Security Council an alleged violation of its airspace by a Bahraini warplane. Since December, Qatar has reported four such violations to the UN.

US-GCC summit

On April 23, Kuwait Foreign Minister Khaled al-Jarallah said, "Kuwait and the Arab Gulf countries were determined to solve the crisis."

"Everybody realises the longer this division the deeper the wound will be," al-Jarallah said.

He added circumstances were not yet ripe to hold a summit between the GCC and the US. He noted the summit might be held next September.

On April 3, US officials cited by Reuters said that the summit planned between Gulf Arab leaders and the US is being postponed to September.

On March 7, Kuwaiti Deputy Foreign Minister Khalid al-Jarallah confirmed to Kuwait's news agency that the US planned to host a summit to resolve the Gulf dispute, but said that no invitations had been sent.

INSIDE STORY: Can Donald Trump end the Gulf crisis? (24:50)
Al Jazeera

On April 22, Bahrain's Foreign Minister, Khalid bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa tweeted his "14th demand", calling for the prosecution of Al Jazeera for "spreading lies and rumours that cause confusion in our countries".
In July 2017, Bahrain and the other blockading countries issued a 13-point list of demands to lift the blockade on Qatar, including the shutdown of the Al Jazeera's Network.



Qatar - US

Military: On April 19, Governor Jim Justice announced a new military partnership between Qatar and West Virginia "to expand upon military to military, military to civilian, and civilian to civilian engagements," between the two.

On April 11, the US approved a $300m sale of guided missiles to Qatar, after Qatar's emir met with the US secretary of defence at the Pentagon on April 9.

Economy: On April 17, Qatar's economy minister chaired the Qatar-US Economic Forum in Charleston, South Carolina, and highlighted that 84 percent of the $24bn of trade between the two countries in 2017 was in favour of the US.

On April 11, Qatar's emir also participated in the Qatar-US Economic Forum and said that the country is planning to "double" the $125bn partnership in coming years.

The Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) allocated $45bn of investments for the period between 2015 and 2020 of which $10bn were allocated for the infrastructure sector, Qatar's economy minister said.

Gulf shield drill

On April 18, the Qatari Ministry of Defence announced its participation in the month-long "Gulf Shield 1" military exercises held in Saudi Arabia.
The military drill was conducted in the town of Ras Al Khair, north of Jubail city in the eastern region of Saudi Arabia, from March 21 to April 16, along with land, sea and air forces from 25 other countries.

Military bases

Qatar: On April 16, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdg visited a Turkish military base in Qatar as part of his official tour to the Gulf state.

Earlier this year, the Turkish ambassador to Qatar said that "according to the agreement signed between Qatar and Turkey in 2014, all ground, air, and naval forces will be deployed to Qatar."
Qatar also hosts American, British and French forces at the Al Udeid airbase.

Bahrain: On April 5, in Bahrain, the UK inaugurated its first permanent naval base in the Middle East since 1971.

Bahrain's crown prince said that it "reflects Bahrain's support for the international coalition against terrorism and will also contribute to global security by safeguarding maritime activity and global trade".

Meanwhile, Bahrain and the Saudi-led quarter expect Qatar to shut down a Turkish military base, together with 12 other demands which Qatar consider to violate its sovereignty.

Arab summit

Dhahran: On April 15, Qatar announced that Ambassador Saif bin Muqaddam al-Buainain, its permanent ambassador to the Arab League, will head the Qatari delegation at the 29th Arab League Summit in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.

A week earlier, the spokesperson for the Qatari foreign ministry confirmed that it had been officially invited to the summit, but ruled out discussions on the Gulf crisis.

Cairo: On April 9, an official Qatari delegation was present at the 45th session of the Arab Labour Conference in Cairo to represent Qatar.

Trump meetings

Phone calls: On April 11, Reuters revealed that President Trump had a phone conversation with King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud on April 2, and demanded an end to the dispute with Qatar, according to two US officials briefed on the conversation.

On April 3, the US president and Qatar's emir discussed the obstacles to restoring unity in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) over the phone, according to a statement issued by the White House.

Meetings: On April 10, Qatar's emir met the US President at the White House to discuss the "strategic" relationship between the two countries, the Qatar-Gulf crisis, and "terrorism" funding in the region.
Donald Trump met the Saudi crown prince on March 21, Qatar's emir on April 10, and is scheduled to meet with Abu Dhabi's crown prince after that.

WATCH Trump: US-Qatar ties 'work extremely well' [2:45]
World Cup

On April 10, the British ambassador to Qatar Ajay Sharma confirmed that the Typhoon jets acquired by Qatar in 2017 "will be ready for the World Cup."

"We certainly see these jets as part of the way of securing the event," Sharma added.

On March 23, Qatar's Attorney General Dr Ali bin Fetais al-Marri said that the blockading countries had asked Qatar to give up its right to host the World Cup in exchange for lifting the blockade.

In an interview with the Spanish newspaper ABC, al-Marri said: "They have asked us to give up organising the World Cup to have the boycott against Qatar lifted."

Al-Marri added: "I do not see any reason for the blockade other than envy. Why do the Qataris have more liberties than we have, why are they richer if Saudi Arabia is a country with more wealth? Why did Qatar get a chance to host the 2022 football World Cup?"

WATCH: Businesses in Qatar booming since Gulf crisis began (2:24)
Bahrain airspace

On April 2, the United Arab Emirates said that it filed a complaint against Qatar at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) over alleged interceptions of its aircrafts in Bahraini airspace.

On March 27, Qatar denied claims by the UAE that the Qatari air force had intercepted two passenger flights in Bahraini airspace on March 26.

Qatar's Civil Aviation Authority (QCAA) said the Emirati statement was an attempt to cover up the UAE's multiple breaches of Qatari airspace.

UAE lobby

On April 2 , the Wall Street Journal reported that a firm established in Israel was contracted by the UAE to lobby the US government against Qatar.
The US special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating the firm.

March 5, leaked emails obtained by the BBC suggested that a major Trump fundraiser, with links to the United Arab Emirates tried to convince Donald Trump to sack Secretary of State Rex Tillerson for not supporting the blockade against Qatar.


Turkey - Qatar

Investment: On March 29, Turkey's Investment Support and Promotion Agency opened its new office in Doha.

"The expanding cooperation between our countries, as two crucial players of the region, has an ever growing importance," Fikret Ozer, Turkey's ambassador to Doha said.
Transport: On February 1st, Doha hosted the Turkey-Qatar Business Forum to boost bilateral trade and ease transportation through Iraq and Iran.

"We want to create a mechanism which makes transportation easier and provides a transit pass via Iraq between the two countries," Turkey's customs and trade minister Bulent Tufenkci said.

In November, Erdogan had visited Qatar to attend the third meeting of the Turkey-Qatar Supreme Strategic Committee.

Al Udeid base

On March 25, US Central Command (CENTCOM) denied that it was leaving the Incirlik base in southern Turkey's Adana provinces and the Al Udeid base in Qatar.

The US Air Forces Central Command (AFCENT) also said that "These unhelpful reports feed mistrust and division among regional partners at a time when we need to work together to address shared security concerns" .

Russia - Qatar

On March 26, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani met Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow.

Also on Monday, Qatar Airways announced plans to buy a minority stake in Russia's Vnukovo Airport, the third-largest in the Moscow area by passenger numbers.

On February 7, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani met the president of the Russian Republic of Ingushetia, Yunus-bek Yevkurov, in Doha.

President Yevkurov had delivered a written message from Putin, including an invitation to visit Russia.

Paramilitary funds

On March 21, Iraq's foreign ministry spokesman Ahmed Mahjoub questioned the UAE's claim that Qatar funded Shia-dominated paramilitary forces in Iraq.

"These remarks come as an obstacle at a time when Iraq is seeking to strengthen its ties with the UAE," Mahjoub said.
Ahmed Saeed al-Rumaihi, head of Qatar's media office for the foreign ministry, described the accusations as "baseless" and made without evidence.

'Terror' list

On March 21, Qatar's National Counter-Terrorism Committee, established in 2007, published its national "terrorist" list, including 20 individuals and eight entities.

In May 2017, Qatar signed an agreement establishing the Anti-Terrorist Financing Center in Riyadh, together with the United States and GCC states.

Kushner

On March 19, Jared Kushner's father, Charles Kushner, confirmed to the Washington Post that his company met Qatari officials in 2017, but nothing came out of it.
On March 14, the Qatari embassy in Washington reiterated that Qatar had not been in touch with anyone related to the US Special Counsel investigation of Jared Kushner, the US president's son-in-law.
In a statement, the Media Attache Jassim Al-Thani said: "Qatar has no information concerning any individuals related to the US Special Counsel's investigation, including the Kushner family. Qatar has not been approached nor has it considered approaching the Special Counsel's Office or any entity within the United States Government."

US media had alleged that because Kushner failed to receive Qatari funding for a real estate project, the US retaliated against Qatar by supporting the blockade against it.

Morocco - Saudi

Grey area: On March 18, referring to Morocco's neutral stance with respect to the GCC crisis, Saudi Arabia's Sports Authority chairman and royal court adviser said: "To be in the grey area is no longer acceptable to us."

He continued: "There are those who were mistaken in their direction … If you want support, it'll be in Riyadh."

World Cup: Morocco has bid to host the FIFA World Cup in 2026, but while FIFA member states are set to vote on their preferred host on June 13, Saudi Arabia's Sports Authority chairman has hinted that his country may not support Morocco's bid.

Anti-Qatar campaign

Lawsuit: On March 16, Qatar's government communication office filed a lawsuit in the US against people who launched a social media campaign to spread false information about the Gulf state to harm its interests.

Munich: In February, the countries blockading Qatar invited journalists to a meeting calling for sanctions against Qatar.

"When no one showed up, organisers reportedly hired a PR company ... and the room was filled with young women who told us they were mostly from Eastern Europe," Al Jazeera's Hashem Ahelbarra reported from Munich.

London: Also in February, a report on Buzzfeed revealed that a British parliamentarian was paid 15,000 British pounds ($20,700) to help organise an anti-Qatar conference in London.

WATCH: Women 'paid' to attend anti-Qatar conference in Munich (2:31)
Airspace defence

ICAO meeting: On Friday, March 16, Chairman of the Qatar Civil Aviation Authority Abdulla Nasser Turki Al-Subaey met Fang Liu, secretary-general of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), in Doha, to discuss aviation safety in the region.

Military equipment: On March 15, Qatar announced that it would spend $3.71bn to buy 28 military helicopters for "enhancing the capabilities and efficiency" of the Qatari air force.

On March 8, the US announced the sale of air force component upgrades to Qatar, worth $197m.

Minutes later on Thursday, the US also announced approving a $270m deal to sell air-to-air missiles to the UAE.

Local alternatives

Development plan: On March 14, Qatar unveiled its strategy to "rationalise energy consumption and encourage development of renewable energy while raising self-sufficiency levels for farming and fishing production".

Dairy supplies: The Qatari dairy company expects to meet local demand for fresh milk and other dairy products by the holy month of Ramadan in May.

Qatar had relied mainly on dairy product imports from Saudi Arabia.

Qatar Games: Blocked from taking part in students' sports competitions in Dubai, Qatar has organized an alternative local sports competition, the Qatar Games.

WATCH: GCC crisis - Kids in Qatar compete in new 'Qatar games' (2:09)
Shared oilfield

On Tuesday, March 13, Qatar's news agency announced the signing of a concession agreement with Qatar Petroleum for the continued operation of the al-Bunduq offshore oil field, shared between Qatar and the UAE.

From its side, sources from the UAE's Supreme Petroleum Council said: "the concession was recently extended by each respective government to the Japanese consortium, with no direct communication or engagement between the two states."

Al-Bunduq offshore oil field near Abu Dhabi was discovered in 1965 and commenced production in 1975.

Jordan - Qatar

On Sunday, March 11, the Qatar Chamber received a Jordanian business delegation in Doha to discuss opportunities for increased economic cooperation and investment.

The Jordanian delegation, headed by Nael Al-Kabariti, chairman of Jordan's Chambers of Commerce, also invited Qatari businessmen to visit Amman to explore investment and partnership opportunities with Jordanian businesses.

In June 2017, Jordan downgraded diplomatic relations with Qatar and closed Al Jazeera's office in Amman.

Coup documentary

On Sunday, March 12, Al Jazeera aired the second part of its documentary on the financial and logistical support provided by the blockading countries' governments to perform sabotage operations inside Qatar in 1996.

Al Jazeera released the first part of the documentary on Sunday, March 4, uncovering evidence of the involvement of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Bahrain in supporting a foiled coup attempt to overthrow the Qatari government in 1996.
The blockading countries' 13 demands from Qatar include "ending interference in sovereign countries' internal affairs".

INSIDE STORY: What does the anti-Qatar quartet want exactly? (24:46)

NATO agreement

On Wednesday, March 7, NATO and Qatar signed a military agreement that will allow NATO forces to enter and transit the country and use Qatar's Al Udeid Air Base, according to a written statement from the alliance.

The deal came as NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg received Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani at the headquarters in Brussels.
Earlier in January, Qatar and NATO signed a security agreement for the for the exchange of classified information.

Kuwait's letters

On Monday, March 5, Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani met Timothy Lenderking, US deputy assistant secretary of state for Gulf affairs, and retired US Marine Corps General Anthony Zinni.

Monday's meeting comes after the Qatari emir received a letter from his Kuwaiti counterpart, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah.

Al-Sabah also reportedly sent letters to two other Gulf leaders: Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa. The contents of the letters have not been disclosed.

UNHRC session

On Monday, February 26, at the 37th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, Qatar's foreign minister urged the council to take action and stop the blockade imposed on Qatar by its neighbours.

Earlier on February 20, the United Nations High Commissioner Prince Zeid bin Ra'ad al-Hussein met the Chairman of Qatar National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) Ali bin Samikh al-Marri in Geneva.

Al-Marri explained the latest humanitarian situation resulting from the blockade on Qatar and the actions taken by the National Human Rights Committee.

Credit rating

On February 21, Fitch ratings agency said that Qatar's fiscal deficit is narrowing, despite the blockade. Fitch also noted that there are "signs of broader economic resilience".

In August 2017, Fitch had downgraded Qatar's credit rating to AA-.

Restored relations

On Tuesday, Qatar and Chad signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) resuming diplomatic relations between the two countries, Qatar's foreign minister said.

Munich conference

On Friday, in an address to the Munich Security Conference in Germany, Qatar's emir warned that the Qatar-Gulf crisis is undermining the region's security and economic outlook.

"It has been a futile crisis, manufactured by our neighbours," Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani said.

"Those aggressive actors wish to use smaller states as pawns within their power games and sectarian conflicts. It is vital to the interests of the people of the Middle East to guarantee the sovereignty of states like Qatar," he added.

Tillerson in Kuwait

On Tuesday, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that the restoration of Arab Gulf unity was in the best interest of all parties in the region.

Tillerson made the assertion at a press conference held in Kuwait, where he is attending a high-level meeting between members of a US-led coalition against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS).

Asian champions

On Monday, Al Gharafa of Qatar opened its Asian Championships League campaign in Abu Dhabi against Al Jazira of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

UAE had requested that the games be played in a third country, but the idea was rejected by the Asian Football Confederation which organises the tournament.

"Clubs from Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates should be played on a home and away basis in 2018 as per the AFC regulations," the AFC said in a recent statement.

The football federations of the UAE and Saudi Arabia accepted the decision, though they expressed reservations about how it had been made.

Previous updates

Click here for all previous updates since the blockade started.

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