UAE, Saudi Arabia halt white sugar exports to Qatar -trade sources

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis left and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson listen to Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop right during a joint press conference in Sydney Monday

Qatar is also home to the sprawling al-Udeid air base, which is home to the U.S. military's Central Command and some 10,000 American troops. Its al-Udeid Air Base serves as a launching pad for coalition jets bombing IS sites in Iraq and Syria. Qatar shares a massive offshore gas field with Iran. Qatar has also hosted talks between the Taliban and Afghan government. Egypt's Foreign Ministry accused Qatar of taking an "antagonist approach" toward Egypt and said "all attempts to stop it from supporting terrorist groups failed".

Sheikh Hamad maintained close ties with the United States, which for decades has flown warplanes from a major military base in Qatar.

The measures are more severe than during a previous eight-month rift in 2014, when Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE withdrew their ambassadors from Doha, again alleging Qatari support for militant groups.

"Due to the insistence of the State of Qatar in further destabilizing security and stability in the Kingdom of Bahrain and interference in its affairs, continuing the escalation and incitement media and supporting armed terrorist activities... the Kingdom of Bahrain announces the severance of diplomatic relations with the State of Qatar", the statement read. Some Gulf news coverage seemed to support regime change in Qatar as well, and accused its emir of holding a secret meeting with Iranian Revolutionary Guard commander Gen. Qassem Soleimani.

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There could be long-term economic consequences for Qatar, which would affect the millions of migrant workers and expatriates living there.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) also lauded the handover, affirming the "deepness of the brotherly relations" between the countries.

The report said that GACA has chose to prevent all Qatari airlines and aircraft from crossing Saudi Arabia's airspace as June 6 at 00:01 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).

Qatar Airways, one of the region's major long-haul carriers that routinely flies through Saudi airspace, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters in Sydney on Monday that Washington had encouraged its Gulf allies to resolve their differences.

In the time since, Qatar repeatedly and strongly denied it funds extremist groups. The issue appears to be funding that goes through the country, and in principle that could be addressed.

Even before Monday, Qatar had appeared unperturbed by the growing tensions.

The US President also used the trip to finalise the "largest single arms deal in American history" with Saudi Arabia - believed to be worth nearly €110bn. They were followed by other countries.

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"He is totally aligned with Abu Dhabi and Riyadh, who also want no compromise with either Iran or the political Islam promoted by the Muslim Brotherhood".

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