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Qatar says backs Kuwait mediation efforts over rift with Arab states

13 Juin 2017

The comments were in reaction to remarks by Qatar Airways' chief executive that Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain were violating global law by shutting out Qatari flights.

"We in Qatar are prepared to engage in dialogue positively, but in accordance with the global norms and standards that govern any dialogue as per worldwide law", Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani told a news conference in Paris.

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 severing diplomatic ties over Qatar's alleged support of extremists groups and close ties to Iran.

Khamenei's comments come as tensions in the Middle East are among their highest in years, following the cutting of ties between major regional powers led by Saudi Arabia, and Qatar, which has been accused of supporting terrorism in the region. "We have no clue about the real reasons".

"So far five planes carrying ... vegetables have been sent to Qatar, each carrying around 90 tonnes of cargo, while another plane will be sent today", Iran Air spokesman Shahrokh Noushabadi said. Anwar Mohammed Gargash, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, said on his twitter account.

Qatar has rejected the accusations, calling them "unjustified" and "baseless".

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But he supported moves by Kuwait to act as a mediator in the dispute "with the help of friendly countries such as the United States", he added. Doha is a major global travel hub, but flagship carrier Qatar Airways now flies increasingly over Iran and Turkey after being blocked elsewhere in the Middle East.

In televised interviews on Monday, Qatar Airways outspoken CEO Akbar Al Baker called the move an "illegal blockade" and urged the United Nations civil aviation branch to intervene. Global shipper Maersk already has said it will begin using Salalah for its shipments to Qatar.

"I think that President Trump s comment about my country is ill-placed, ill-informed, and I can again repeat that I m very disappointed in him".

However, one source told AFP on Monday that Qatar s World Cup preparations continue "as normal".

Three boats, carrying more than 350 tons of food, will also be leaving an Iranian port for Qatar, according to Tasnim news agency, quoting local officials.

The Saudi-led alliance is demanding that Qatar distance itself from Iran and stop funding Islamist groups.

Qatar says backs Kuwait mediation efforts over rift with Arab states