Qatar foreign minister rejects intervention in foreign policy

On Thursday, the UAE closed its airspace to all flights coming to and from Doha, escalating the diplomatic crisis between Gulf states.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain lead a string of countries that this week cut ties with Qatar over what they say is the emirate's financing of extremist groups and its ties to Iran, Saudi Arabia's regional arch-rival. "A political, economic and social aggression", a Qatari diplomat said.

"If there is any sensible argument or sensible accusation, we are ready to answer", Sheikh Mohammed said. The Qatari Foreign Ministry said in a statement the two held talks on how "restore the normal relations" of the Gulf as the 2022 FIFA World Cup host and worldwide air travel hub now finds itself isolated by land, sea and air.

Those two, Sa'd al-Ka'bi and Abd al-Latif al-Kawari, are among dozens of individuals and entities named Friday by Saudi Arabia and its three allies.

The feud has raised fears of wider instability in an already volatile region that is a crucial global energy supplier and home to several Western military bases.

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Such engagement should show "support for the mission of Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, encourage dialogue and be more actively engaged" Wahba said.

It accused Doha of harbouring "terrorist and sectarian groups that aim to destabilise the region including the Muslim Brotherhood, Daesh (the Islamic State group) and Al-Qaeda". Its foreign minister has struck a defiant tone in interviews, even after anxious residents emptied grocery stores in its capital of Doha as Saudi Arabia has blocked trucks carrying food from entering the country.

Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump has offered Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to mediate the standoff between Qatar and the Saudi-led coalition.

Turkey has brought forward a planned troop deployment to Qatar and pledged to provide food and water supplies to its Arab ally, which hosts a Turkish military base.

Analysts say the crisis is an extension of a pre-existing dispute which saw Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain temporarily recall their ambassadors from Doha in 2014 over Qatari support for Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood.

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A top Gulf official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AFP a major concern was the influence of Sheikh Tamim's father, Sheikh Hamad, who had allowed the Taliban to open an office in Doha and helped arm Syrian rebels before abdicating in 2013.

Kuwait's emir is working to mediate the Gulf crisis around Qatar, which is home to a major USA military base and the host of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. "We need the world to condemn the aggressors".

"We have not asked for mediation, we believe this issue can be dealt with among the states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)", he told a news conference on Wednesday during a visit to Berlin, broadcast on Saudi state television.

Bahrain on Thursday followed the UAE in announcing that expressing sympathy for Qatar over the sanctions was an offence punishable by jail.

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