Senegal recalls Qatar ambassador, backs Saudi in Gulf row

Fears grow over Qatar's ability to host sport with Gulf Cup of Nations in doubt

Senegal recalls Qatar ambassador, backs Saudi in Gulf row

Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and several other countries severed relations with Doha on Monday, accusing it of supporting militants and their arch-foe Iran - charges Qatar says are baseless.

Qatar strongly denied the earlier allegations and expressed a willingness to engage in talks to resolve the crisis. "We have not asked for mediation, we believe this issue can be dealt with among the states of the Gulf Cooperation Council", the country's foreign minister said on Saudi state television. "I think this is the most serious of all the other catalogues of other infringements".

Tillerson said the blockade was "impairing USA and other worldwide business activities in the region", and had also caused inadvertent humanitarian consequences.

"Intelligence gathered by the USA security agencies indicates that Russian hackers were behind the intrusion first reported by the Qatari government two weeks ago, United States officials say". As we combine efforts to defeat the military, financial, and ideological support of terrorists, we expect to see progress in the Arab world toward greater political expression. We are a platform for peace not terrorism. One of these ABCs is: "you never feed the crocodiles".

Trump's call to the Qatari emir comes a day after the President spoke by telephone with Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdelaziz and expressed to him the importance of unity against terrorism in the Persian Gulf. In the call with the Qatari leader, Mr. Trump said the US wants a "united Gulf Cooperation Council to promote regional stability, but never at the expense of eliminating funding for radical extremism or defeating terrorism".

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The crisis escalated further on Friday after Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain released a list of 59 Qatari and Doha-based people and entities linked to "terrorism".

Tillerson said the United States supports the emir of Kuwait's efforts to mediate.

Bahrain has warned its media outlets - already subject to heavy state scrutiny - that any organisation which publishes or circulates "anything that condones or justifies Qatari policies by any means" will be "held responsible", without elaborating. During his first foreign trip as president last month, Trump attended a meeting of regional leaders in Riyadh, where he secured a commitment to crack down on support for extremist groups. The administration is also demanding Qatar drop all support for Syria's Salafist groups; those which adhere to the ideology of al Qaeda, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), and their subsidiaries.

"Now the concern is more serious, much more acute than 2014", he said.

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