Qatar approves law allowing some foreigners permanent residency

The dispute began in May when Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani was reported to have made statements on the state news agency supporting Iran.

The UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain cut ties with Qatar - a major global gas supplier and host to the biggest United States military base in the Middle East - on June 5, accusing it of backing militant groups and archfoe Iran, allegations Doha denies. Qatar has denied the allegations.

With few exceptions, the majority of foreigners in Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait need to be sponsored by locals to live and do business.

Later in June, the four Arab countries urged Qatar to abide by a 13-point list of demands if it wanted the crippling blockade lifted.

"Within a week or so they should have new routes", said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the talks are private.On Sunday, Saudi state news agency SPA cited a statement from the Saudi aviation authority saying they had already agreed to nine emergency air corridors, which were identified under ICAO supervision, and would be open from August 1.

Demands by the Saudi-led bloc include termination of regional news giant Al-Jazeera, the downgrading of Iran ties and the closure of a Turkish military base in the country. It argues the boycott hurts not only Qatar, which is the world's biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas, but also its trading partners.

They also rejected the "politicisation of Hajj" and attempts to use the religious event to progress a political agenda. If they fail, Qatar can request the establishment of an independent panel that could force the trio to end their boycott or face penalties.

The military deal between Qatar and Italy, announced by the foreign ministers of both countries in Doha, Qatar's capital, was the latest in a slew of diplomatic and economic moves suggesting that the crisis, the worst to hit the Persian Gulf countries in decades, shows little sign of abating.

"It's all about projecting PSG and to some extent Qatar with the World Cup", said Cannon, a professor at Liverpool University and advisor to the all-party Parliamentary group on football finance.

"They wanted this player and they used the money to buy him at whatever price".

  • Rogelio Becker