Qatar's praise for Iran turns Arab League summit into shouting match

Qatar's praise for Iran turns Arab League summit into shouting match

Qatar's praise for Iran turns Arab League summit into shouting match

Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani is due in Turkey on his first foreign trip since a diplomatic crisis erupted between his small energy-rich nation and other Arab states.

The four Arab states have accused Doha of financing "terrorism".

The Arab countries allied with Saudi Arabia blame Doha for interfering in the domestic affairs of other states and sponsoring terrorism, an accusation Qatar has rejected as "groundless".

Arab foreign ministers meet in Cairo, Egypt, September 12, 2017.

Qatar's foreign minister used a fiery opening statement at an Arab League summit to praise Iran, the regional foe of Saudia Arabia, as an "honourable country".

Activists say those arrested have largely stayed silent about the Saudi-led blockade of Qatar thus infuriating the authorities in Riyadh.

The Saudi envoy warned that Qatar would soon "regret" its orientation towards Iran.

It's neighbours, some of which were listed as members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) voted to cut off Qatar, believing the country was complicit in the support of terrorism.

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.

"The severity of the diplomatic dispute between Gulf countries is unprecedented, which magnifies the uncertainty over the ultimate economic, fiscal and social impact on the GCC [Gulf Co-operation Council] as a whole", said Moody's Vice-President Steffen Dyck. "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.

On Sunday, the New York Times debunked information spread by official Saudi media outlets a day earlier claiming the Islamic State (IS) had expressed support for Qatar in the Gulf crisis.

In June of this year, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain joined forces in imposing far-reaching measures against Qatar, accusing it of propping up terrorist organisations including Al-Qaida, ISIS and Hezbollah. Qatari foreign minister said on July 31 that the crisis should be solved through diplomacy without touching Qatar's sovereignty and made it clear that Qatar will not accept any demands that are not in line with global law.

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

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