Turkey says Qatar deployment aims to ensure security

Qatar hit by ratings downgrade over blockade crisis

Mark Runnacles Getty Images for ANOC

Al Jazeera is the flagship broadcaster for Qatar, which is in a stand-off with neighbouring Arab states over alleged ties to terrorism, a row which is endangering stability in the region. For that reason, Qatar realistically has no other option but to cooperate with Iran, even though that could again potentially drive a wedge between itself and the Saudis. By raising the stakes, Turkey and Iran could potentially contribute to efforts to find a political solution to the crisis. They also warned that anyone who expresses support for Qatar online faces imprisonment and hefty fines. Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif was scheduled to visit Ankara to discuss ways of resolving the Gulf crisis. Gargash said "not using the formidable media ownership in promoting an extremist agenda" was a condition for negotiations.

"Qatar is trying to emulate our experience in terms of education", he says, adding that the Qatar Foundation has provided some funding for research at universities here, and academics of the two countries have collaborated on research on topics of common interest. The three countries were forced to return their ambassadors after an absence of nine months with little to show for their action.

Kuwait - which unlike most of its fellow Gulf Cooperation Council members has not cut off ties with Qatar - has been leading efforts to mediate. The new upsurge can go the whole hog.

The Arab countries closed air, sea and land links with Qatar, barred the emirate's planes from their airspace and ordered Qatari citizens out within 14 days.

A joint declaration on Thursday accused 59 individuals and 12 charity groups in Qatar of being "linked to terror".

But recent events have dramatically upended the lives of thousands of people, according to Qatar's National Human Rights Committee (NHRC).

The Arab revolt of 2011 shook these autocracies. That includes Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt, Yemen, Libya and Maldives.

Blessed by Saudi Arabia and the UAE, former Egyptian army chief and now president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ousted the Qatar-aligned elected Islamist president Mohamed Mursi in a 2013 military takeover.

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He said there had been no change to Qatar's military deployment and no troops had been moved.

Qatari officials declined to comment on Gargash's comments.

A top Gulf official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AFP a major concern was the influence of Sheikh Tamim's father, Sheikh Hamad, who had allowed the Taliban to open an office in Doha and helped arm Syrian rebels before abdicating in 2013. That is equal to S&P's current assessment.

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

While Riyadh has told its banks it does not want them to do new business with Qatari institutions, neither Saudi Arabia nor the UAE has yet clarified whether banks will be required to liquidate existing deals.

It said Qatar may need to use Qatar Investment Authority and sovereign wealth fund money, as well as central bank reserves to tackle any big outflow of funds.

Earlier this week, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain unleashed a raft of punitive measure against Qatar, severing diplomatic ties and accusing it of supporting terrorism in the region. A statement last month that bore the signature of Saudi Arabia's mufti said the emir falsely claims he is a descendant of the cleric.

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