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UAE threatens 15 years in prison for expressions of 'sympathy' with Qatar

08 Juin 2017

According to the CNN report, Gulf nations have criticized Qatar for alleged support of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is considered a terrorist organization by Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Mauritania has become the latest country to cut diplomatic relations with Qatar as part of a growing rift between the energy-rich Gulf nation and other Arab countries.

"We have now reached a cul-de-sac in terms of trying to convince Qatar to change course", UAE state minister for foreign affairs Anwar Gargash said in an interview, accusing Doha of being "the main champion of extremism and terrorism in the region".

Kuwait is leading efforts to find a mediated solution.

Saudi Arabia's ruling monarch King Salman met Meng Jianzhu, a special envoy of Chinese President Xi Jinping, in Riyadh in November a year ago.

It was unclear how Trump's broadside against Qatar and any resulting diplomatic fallout might affect the USA military presence in Qatar, where there are roughly 10,000 American troops and a major US base.

"We believe that common sense and logic and will convince Qatar to take the right steps", he said.

As speculation swirled that Saudi Arabia could attempt to overthrow the Qatari government, Turkey's parliament agreed to deploy troops to the emirate in its defense.

Trump waded into the dispute on Tuesday, but seemed to only muddy the waters.

US intelligence officials believe Russian hackers planted a false news story that led Saudi Arabia and several allies to sever relations with Qatar, prompting a diplomatic crisis, CNN reported on Tuesday.

Some 8,000 USA military personnel are stationed at al Udeid in Qatar, the largest U.S. air base in the Middle East and a staging ground for US-led strikes on the Islamic State militant group that has seized parts of Syria and Iraq.

Jubeir declined to confirm a list of 10 demands published by Al Jazeera, which included shutting down the Doha-based news channel, but added that Qatar knew what it needed to do to restore normal relations.

Home to some 10,000 USA troops, it is a crucial hub for U.S. military operations in the Middle East, especially the battle against the Islamic State group.

"Such a "Trumpification" of relations in a region already susceptible to crises is particularly risky", Gabriel said.

"For Saudi Arabia to be at the center of American hopes for peace in the region, through an attempted isolation of Iran, Qatar, Iraq and Syria is akin to the U.S. anchoring Middle East security on a doomed-to-failure hate industry", he adds. The embassy said it is monitoring the situation closely with the authorities of Qatar in ensuring safety to all citizens.

"In our opinion recent events have the potential to destabilise these nonresident deposits and provoke an outflow", said S&P Global Ratings. It said Qatar is "promoting extremist thoughts and spreading chaos and disturbances across numerous Arab countries, resulting in big humanitarian miseries".

Qatar's longtime links to Iran also worry Saudi leaders.

Saudi Arabia has completely shut Qatar's only land border in a country that imports 90 percent of its food, much of it through its border with the Saudis.

Al-Udeid was established 12 years ago as Washington looked for an alternative base in the region after the Saudis asked them to leave the kingdom in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks.

UAE threatens 15 years in prison for expressions of 'sympathy' with Qatar