Qatar boycott to remain in place

Gabriel visited Saudi Arabia, Qatar and mediator Kuwait this week as the Saudis and others seek to isolate Qatar over its alleged support for extremists.

Demands on Qatar include ending financial support to terrorist groups, closing Qatar-based al Jazeera TV, downgrading ties with Iran and shutting down a Turkish military base.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said Qatar's response to the bloc's conditions had "no substance" and "reflects a lack of understanding of the gravity of the situation".

Qatar Petroleum has also said it "mobilised all available resources" to mitigate any actions that could disrupt supplies.

The Saudi foreign minister said further steps would be taken against Qatar at the appropriate time, and would be in line with worldwide law.

The statement also said that the "UK remains committed to supporting" the process towards finding a solution.

In a further escalation, Bahraini Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa declared that any suspension of Qatar's membership in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) would be decided "by the GCC alone", suggesting that Doha's expulsion from the six-member council could be imminent.

In Washington, the US President Donald Trump has spoken separately with all the leaders of the Gulf countries, as the new tension arises among the countries which are against Qatar.

Qatar has said the demands break global law.

According to Arab News, they are expected to meet next in Bahrain.

They had been expected to consider further sanctions at the gathering, but announced no new measures. He expressed concern over the continuation of the crisis and stressed the United Nations support of Kuwait for its mediation efforts to solve the situation, Al Jazeera reported. Their next meeting will be in Bahrain's Capital Manama, but the timing has not been announced.

Late last month, Saudi Arabia and its allies gave Qatar a 13-point ultimatum in order to lift the sanctions.

Qatar has denied such allegations, and has been part of the US-led global coalition against ISIS as well as the coalition led by Saudi Arabia supporting Yemen's internationally recognized government and fighting the Houthi rebels backed by Iran.

"They are constrained in what escalation measures they can take and they're facing an global community that prefers some kind of negotiated settlement, which they're not really interested in, " Griffiths said.

Trump has been in contact with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi by telephone to discuss the stale mate while pushing for a diplomatic resolution. The deadline has since been extended to Wednesday and diplomatic efforts to resolve the crisis continue. He said Kuwait's mediation, backed by the USA, had already achieved a lot.

  • Eleanor Harrison