Anti-Qatar bloc threatens further steps against Gulf state

A women walks at the corniche seaside in Doha Qatar on Sunday Jan. 23 2011

A women walks at the corniche seaside in Doha Qatar on Sunday Jan. 23 2011

Qatar's foreign minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said his nation won't comply with any demands that it considers a violation of global law. Overseas law firms can also be hired, he said.

In their apparent bid to win more support from the USA and Israel, the Arab countries have suspended all land, air and sea traffic with Qatar, expelled its diplomats and ordered Qatari citizens to leave their countries.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain cut diplomatic ties and severed air, land and sea links with Qatar last month, accusing it of supporting extremism.

Gabriel said there were sufficient possibilities to defuse the situation, while pressing for joint regional efforts against terror financing.

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On 22 June, the four nations put forth a 13-point list of demands - including ending support for the Muslim Brotherhood, closing of al-Jazeera, a reduction in diplomatic ties with Iran, and the halting of a Turkish military base in Qatar -and gave Qatar 10 days to comply. He expressed his hope that the Kuwaiti mediation efforts would succeed in containing the crisis. Kuwaiti officials have held talks with the foreign ministers of Germany and fellow Gulf Cooperation Council member Oman, which has not joined the Qatar boycott.

"We have sovereign wealth funds of 250 per cent of gross domestic product, we have Qatar Central Bank reserves, and we have a ministry of finance strategic reserve", the country's finance minister Ali Sharif al-Emadi told The Times.

Next week, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is also expected to travel to Kuwait to further push for a resolution to the rapidly escalating crisis.

Kuwait's Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Al-Jarallah announced that Britain's Secretary of State Boris Johnson is to pay an official visit to the country tomorrow to discuss recent developments on the Gulf dispute and ways to end it. "But I am not going to pretend that it is going to be overnight", Johnson said after the meeting. As our Prime Minister has said: The Gulf's security is our security and we remain deeply committed to the stability of the region and to working with our friends in the Gulf to keep all of our people safe.

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