- Associated Press - Monday, June 12, 2017

DOHA, Qatar (AP) - The Latest on developments related to the diplomatic crisis engulfing energy-rich Qatar (all times local):

6:45 p.m.

Pakistan’s prime minister and army chief are heading to Saudi Arabia, where they hope to help ease tensions related to the Gulf diplomatic crisis.

Pakistani TV showed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa arriving in Riyadh on Monday.

Islamabad has longstanding, close ties to Saudi Arabia, but is also involved in recent business ventures in gas-rich Qatar. Sharif is considered close to the royal families in both countries.

Saudi Arabia and its allies cut diplomatic ties with Qatar last week and have moved to sever air, land and sea routes to the country. They accuse Qatar of supporting terrorist groups, charges denied by Doha.

___

5 p.m.

Saudi Arabia’s Flynas has waded into the kingdom’s row with Qatar, making a pitch to poach Saudi staff working for the much larger Qatar Airways.

In a post on Twitter Monday, the small budget airline says it welcomes applications from Saudi nationals working for Qatar Airways on the Airbus A320.

Last week, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain severed ties with Qatar. The Arab states blocked direct flights with Qatar and all except Bahrain barred Qatari flights from using their airspace.

Qatar Airways offices were closed in Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Qatar Airways was forced to cancel direct flights to those countries, which serve as a significant source of passenger traffic for the airline.

___

12:45 p.m.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry has urged the Arab nations who have cut ties to Qatar to negotiate an end to the crisis.

Ministry Spokesman Bahram Ghasemi tells reporters in a weekly news conference: “These countries should try to settle their differences at the negotiating table in a positive and comprehensive process.”

The diplomatic crisis, the worst since the 1990 invasion of Kuwait by Iraq and the subsequent Gulf War, has seen Arab nations and others cut ties to Qatar, which hosts a major U.S. military base and will be the host of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Ghasemi also says of the countries involved: “They should move toward peace and stability in the region and we invite them to negotiating and exercising restraint.”

___

10:50 a.m.

French President Emmanuel Macron is trying to boost France’s diplomatic profile in the Middle East and reconcile tensions between Qatar and its neighbors over allegations Qatar funds Islamic extremists.

Macron’s office says he has held a series of conversations over the past week with the emir of Qatar, the king of Saudi Arabia, the Turkish president and the crown prince of Abu Dhabi. French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian is scheduled to talk Monday with his Qatari counterpart.

Macron’s office says that the French leader called for a de-escalation of tensions, and stressed the importance of regional stability and joining forces to fight terrorism.

Qatar’s neighbors cut ties with the country over accusations that it sponsors Islamic extremism, which Qatar denies. France has economic and military ties with Qatar and other Gulf states.

___

10:10 a.m.

Qatar says it has begun shipping cargo through to Oman to bypass Gulf countries that have cut off sea routes to the tiny, energy rich nation.

Qatar’s port authority published video Monday showing a ship arriving at Doha’s Hamad Port from Oman’s port of Sohar.

Typically, cargo for Qatar stops at Dubai’s massive deep-water Jebel Ali port, then gets put on smaller boats heading to Doha. But since June 5, the UAE has joined Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt in cutting off sea traffic to Qatar as part of the nations cutting diplomatic ties.

Qatar’s port authority says its cargo will go through Sohar, as well as Oman’s port at Salalah.

Meanwhile, Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency has said two Iranian navy vessels will stop off in Oman soon.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide