Qatar hits out at neighbours as Arab rift enters third week

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"The blockade in which we are now considered to be force majeure, and we can close the gas pipeline to the UAE, however, Qatar does not deal with contracts, but with ethics", said Saad Sherida al-Kaabi, executive director of the state oil and gas company Qatar Petroleum, in an interview with Al-Jazeera.

"When you look around the Arab world today you see civil war and instability in many key countries and the Saudis perhaps feel this leadership role is one they are playing by default", Friedman added.

Turkey has stood with Qatar throughout the crisis and last week Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan denounced the isolation of Qatar as "inhumane and against Islamic values", and said the methods used against the Gulf state were unacceptable, and analogous to a "death penalty".

On June 5, a number of countries, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt, cut diplomatic ties with Qatar and embargoed all sea, air and land traffic to and from the country.

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"Turkey's openly pro-Qatar policy stems from its deep economic, political and military engagement which has been built up over the years", Ilhan Uzgel, a senior Turkish analyst of global relations, told Xinhua.

However, the recent Gulf crisis spurred Turkey's government to approve sending troops to Qatar forthwith. Many Erdogan supporters fear that he could be the next target by the US after the Qatari emir. "Leaders pointed to Qatar - look!"

Tillerson had held talks on Tuesday with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir and Foreign Minister of the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan on Wednesday night. "It's early days. Turkey is trying to balance between its ideological zeal and its national interests". "Qatar has to be brought around, put out of business or absorbed". This list will surely include Doha's hosting and supporting the 59 individuals and 12 entities named in the recently announced list of terrorism. They are also perturbed by the fact that Qatar has maintained open relations with Iran, Saudi Arabia's adversary in the region. They also urged their own citizens in Qatar to leave and threatened imprisonment and fines for anyone who criticizes the measures.

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