Russian hackers 'planted false story' behind Mideast crisis

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"It has to choose whether it must move in one direction or another direction", the minister said.

The Chairman National Human Rights Committee of Qatar, Ali bin Smaikh Al-Marri, said that the 14-day term given to Qataris by those nations after breaking diplomatic ties with Doha on Monday contravenes worldwide norms and principles affecting Qataris.

Asked if he expects Qatar to change its policies at home and in the region, he replied "Our hope that this is the case".

Several countries have withdrawn their ambassadors from Doha, Qatar's capital. The Muslim Brotherhood ruled in Egypt from mid-2012 to mid-2013 before the Egyptian military removed the party from power. Some countries designate both as terrorist groups.

The U.S. news broadcaster says that the Qatari government reportedly said that a report by its official Qatar News Agency falsely cited the country's leader questioning the political future of U.S. President Donald Trump and making friendly statements about Iran. "We believe this issue can be dealt with among the states of the Gulf Cooperation Council", he told a news conference with his German counterpart during a visit to Berlin that was broadcast on Saudi state television.

Qatar's Foreign Minister HE Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani told the broadcaster that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has confirmed the hack and the planting of fake news. Doha, Qatar's capital, is a major hub for worldwide flight connections.

Qatari nationals will not be allowed to board flights to Dubai or Abu Dhabi because the United Arab Emirates has banned them from passing through its airports after Arab powers cut ties with Qatar, Etihad Airways said on Wednesday.

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"Apparently, Qatar is to be isolated more or less completely and hit existentially".

USA intelligence officials believe Russian hackers planted a false news story that led Saudi Arabia and several allies to sever relations with Qatar, prompting a diplomatic crisis, CNN reported Tuesday.

The severing of land and maritime links have also sparked fears of food shortages in Qatar, which relies heavily on imports.

But Qatar's ports and airports remained open to trade on Wednesday with countries not taking part in the Saudi-led boycott, a government official said.

"Trying to isolate Qatar, which certainly carries out an efficient fight against terrorism, will not resolve any problems".

French President Emmanuel Macron called for Gulf unity, saying he was ready to back "all initiatives to encourage calm".

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