Qatar, Boycotting Arab States in Heated Arab League Clash

Media of siege nations spreading lies

For a moment, it appeared as though it might lead to an opening for resolving the three-month-old dispute that has divided US allies in the Persian Gulf, with Qatar on one side and a Saudi-led bloc of four countries on the other.

The Brotherhood, an Islamist movement designated a terrorist organisation by Saudi Arabia, is central to a dispute between the kingdom and neighbouring Qatar.

Qatar's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Sultan bin Saad Al-Muraikhi sparked tension when he started to discuss the boycott in his opening speech despite not being on the agenda.

Qatar is facing regional isolation after Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain plus Egypt cut ties with the small monarchy on June 5.

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However, Saudi state news agency SPA soon broke the news that Riyadh was suspending all dialogue and communication with Doha and accused the Qatar News Agency (QNA) of "distorting facts" while reporting on the phone conversation.

However, his attempt to break the stalemate ended in failure when the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, and the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, after speaking by phone for the first time in months, exchanged dueling, contradictory statements.

He went on to say that the boycotting countries refused to actively interact with the efforts of Doha to settle the dispute and described Iran as an "honorable country", a description which received a severe backlash later on in the session. It has also allowed Qatar's national carrier to use its airspace.

Muraikhi's remarks sparked angry reactions from Ahmed al-Qattan, Saudi Arabia's envoy to the Arab League, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and Emirati State Minister for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash, with the Qatari minister and Qattan even telling each other to "be quiet". "If the Qatari brothers think that if the rapprochement with Iran would serve their interests, they are carrying out matters in a wrong way and they will be accountable for that", he said. The dispute is based on claims that Qatar has been supporting terrorism and Iran - the region's foe, as well as Islamists.

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UAE's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said the Gulf crisis continued "due to Qatar's unwillingness for peace".

Israel's neighbors in the Middle East continue to sling mud at one another in their quarrel over Qatar.

Ankara, which has a military in Qatar, has signaled support for Doha in the diplomatic spat.

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