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UAE: Qatar fueling row by courting Turkey, Iran

11 June 2017

According to UAE's Foreign Affairs Minister, Anwar Gargash, economic embargo could be imposed against Qatar while Bahrain said "any options" were on the table as the crisis in the Gulf showed no signs of abating on Thursday.

Turkish exporters are ready to meet demand for food and water from Qatar, the head of Turkey's main exporting trade body told Reuters on Wednesday, allowing the Gulf state to stave off possible shortages after its biggest suppliers cut ties. It said hackers installed a file and then published a fake news item attributed to Sheikh Tamim just after midnight May 24. That crisis end eight months later, but the roots of it are clearly seen in the latest dispute.

An outspoken Emirati ruling family member has raised the prospect of a change in leadership in Qatar, which is embroiled in a major diplomatic crisis with its Gulf neighbors.

Speaking from a Foreign Ministry office in Dubai, Gargash listed a number of terror groups he says Qatar had funded, including al-Qaida's branches in Syria and Somalia, militants in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula and other groups with "al-Qaida-type organizations" in Libya. "Again, this is Qataris speaking to global media wondering whether this is possible at all".

But Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdul Rahman al-Than said there was "no evidence that the Qatar government is supporting radical Islamists".

The Gulf countries have ordered their citizens out of Qatar and gave Qataris overseas 14 days to return home.

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"We are in talks with Turkey and Iran and other countries", said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the subject, adding that the supplies would be brought in through Qatar Airways cargo flights.

A Qatari official had no immediate comment on the designations but said that Qatar adheres to UN Security Council resolutions on countering terrorism including eradicating sources of financing for terrorism.

Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, which on Monday severed diplomatic relations with Doha, on Friday designated dozens of people with alleged links to Qatar as terrorists.

In a statement, Attorney-General Counsellor Dr Hamad Saif Al Shamsi, announced that the UAE has taken a firm stance against Qatar's hostile and irresponsible policies.

The UAE did not hack the Qatari news agency, Gargash said. "I think the Americans would choose to side with Saudi Arabia over any other country in the region".