Iran flies food to Qatar amid concerns of shortages

12 June 2017, 07:48 | Noah Barnes

After cutting diplomatic ties, Gulf states announce hotlines for mixed Qatari families

Gulf nations may let some Qataris stay amid diplomatic rift

Meanwhile, Qatar has said citizens of the states that have cut ties with the emirate will be allowed to stay in the country despite measures against its own nationals.

Amnesty International has also slammed the decision accusing the Gulf states of toying with the lives of thousands of people in their dispute with Qatar.

But a Qatari diplomat said the crisis reflected a lack of USA leadership.

"The siege of Qatar is not only a gross violation of the rights of Gulf citizens (both Qatari and non-Qatari), but also the rights of expat residents in the State of Qatar", the NHRC said in the statement.

The crisis has been driven in part by the regional rivalry between Sunni-led Saudi Arabia, the Middle East's strongest Sunni power, and Shiite Iran, which has cordial relations with Qatar, known for its contradictory ties. He added that the commission is working to hire an worldwide law firm to handle cases related to Qatari and Gulf Cooperation Council citizens, who sought legal help after being affected by the blockade and embargo imposed on Qatar. They did not specify what services the hotline would provide.

Saudi Aravia, the UAE and Bahrain went a worrisome step further by imposing a sweeping blockade of Qatar from the air, land and sea.

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In a sign Gulf states were seeking to lessen the human impact of their June 5 severing of ties, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE said on Sunday they had set up hotlines to help families with Qatari members, without elaborating.

Kuwait did not follow the suit of other Arab states in cutting ties with Qatar and has been trying to mediate a diplomatic solution to the crisis.

Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Hamad Al-Sabah said his country would not abandon mediation efforts until the impasse was resolved, the state-run KUNA news agency reported.

Following the blockade, Iran, a main rival of Saudi Arabia, offered its support to Doha, urging Qatar and neighboring Gulf countries to engage in dialogue to resolve their dispute.

Niger's foreign ministry expressed its solidarity with Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Bahrain, and it announced it had recalled its ambassador to Qatar following the latest developments in the Gulf. Emir of Kuwait Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah has visited Doha, Riyadh, and Abu Dhabi in efforts to convince the parties to end the tension.



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