Saudi Arabia Says Qatar Airspace Closure To Protect Citizens From Threats

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Qatar's Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al Thani on Monday told a news conference in France that he "still had no clue" why fellow Gulf states cut ties with Doha.

"Qatar Airways continues to operate to the rest of its network as per its published schedules with day-to-day adjustments for operational and commercial efficiencies", he said, without elaborating further.

Pakistan's parliament last week passed a resolution urging the Pakistani government to help mediate the crisis, which could turn out to be disastrous for the regional security and stability.

On Sunday evening, the Qatar Ports Management Company (Mwani) announced that shipments would now be able to go through Oman, bypassing the UAE.

The Amnesty's Secretary General Salil Shetty made the remarks while meeting with Ali Bin Smaikh Al Marri, the chairman of the National Human Rights Committee of Qatar, who had paid a visit to the rights body's headquarters in London, Arabic-language daily Alquds Alarabi reported on Tuesday. According to Qatar's foreign minister, 16 per cent of the country's food supplies are usually transported across its land border with Saudi Arabia.

The majority of the population in Qatar which is also rich in liquified natural gas is overseas workers.

"We in Qatar are prepared to engage in dialogue positively, but in accordance with the global norms and standards that govern any dialogue as per worldwide law", Sheikh Mohammed said. Three ships carrying 350 tonnes of food are also set to leave Iran.


Soon after his visit, the Saudi Arabia-led consortium of Sunni Gulf states last week suspended all ties to Qatar over what they say is the state's support for extremist groups and its proximity to Shiite Iran.

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 USA military base and will be the host of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

The ostensible reason for the blockade - that the Qataris have funded terror - is as easily applicable to Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states. But Qatar wields a potential economic weapon if the crisis escalates and countries around the world that depend on its supply may find themselves needing to side with the tiny nation that is home to a major US military installation.

They accuse Qatar of supporting terrorist groups, charges denied by Doha.

A businessman in Qatar is flying 4,000 cows into the Gulf country to tackle the shortage of milk after Saudi Arabia and other major Arab nations cut diplomatic ties with Doha on June 5.

"We have legal channels to object to this", he said.

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