FIFA 'in regular contact' with Qatar amid growing diplomatic dispute

A man fills up his car at a petrol station in Rome

A man fills up his car at a petrol station in Rome

Bahrain joined the group of the Arab countries, who have chosen to sever diplomatic ties to Qatar amid a deepening rift between Gulf Arab nations.Earlier, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain had announced they were severing diplomatic ties with Doha.

Through its national press agency, Saudi Arabia issued a statement accusing their neighbours of "harbouring a multitude of terrorist and sectarian groups that aim to create instability in the region".

Egypt's foreign ministry said in a statement the country was suspending air and sea links to Qatar, citing national security.

Several airlines including Emirates, Etihad, Flydubai, Air Arabia and Saudia has suspended all Qatar flights.

Air Arabia, a low-priced airline based in the United Arab Emirates, said it is suspending flights to Qatar along with other Emirati airlines over a growing diplomatic crisis.

The dispute between Qatar and the Gulf's Arab countries escalated recently over a hack of Qatar's state-run news agency.

The six countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council do little merchandise trade with each other, instead relying on imports from outside the region, and Qatar's liquefied natural gas shipments by sea are expected to continue normally.

Qatar's government categorically denied that the comments, in which the country's leader expressed support for Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah and Israel while suggesting that US President Donald Trump may not last in power, were ever made.

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Aboutalebi said continuing to "domineer" others would only bring more chaos, and dialogue is the only way of settling differences.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain announced the suspension of transport ties with Qatar, and gave Qatari visitors and residents two weeks to leave their borders.

Trump and other U.S. officials participated in a ceremonial sword dance in a trip to Saudi Arabia last month.

Shiite Iran has had no diplomatic ties with most of the mainly Sunni Gulf states since 2016, when Arab nations followed Saudi Arabia in severing relations after protesters torched its missions in the Islamic republic.

"There is not much geopolitical risk premium priced into oil right now, (but) if tensions do ratchet higher between the key OPEC producers, like Saudi Arabia, Iran and Iraq, then the market will start paying attention to this", said Virendra Chauhan, an oil analyst at consultants Energy Aspects. Additionally, the capital Doha has been accused of being a supporter of Iran's agenda. Its Gulf Arab neighbors responded by blocking Qatari-based media, including Al-Jazeera.

In Washington, a series of emails belonging to the United Arab Emirates' ambassador to the USA have been leaked.

Trump and other USA officials participated in a traditional sword dance during the trip in which he called on Muslim countries to stand united against Islamist extremists and singled out Iran as a key source of funding and support for militant groups.

Last week, the Qatari emir travelled to Kuwait to meet Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah in what was widely seen as an attempt at mediation by the Kuwaitis.

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