Oil prices jump amid Qatar diplomatic rift

Qatar is also among several gulf countries, including Kuwait, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, accused in recent years of looking the other way as its citizens privately sent money to Islamist militants overseas, including in Syria.

On Monday, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Yemen, Bahrain and Egypt all severed diplomatic ties with Doha. Meanwhile, Manama suspended air and sea communication with Doha and banned citizens of Qatar from visiting Bahrain, and also prohibited its citizens to visit Qatar.

Although the minister quickly said the offensive tweet - like the statements posted on the QNA's website - had been the work of hackers, tensions soon rose between Riyadh and Doha, with Saudi media questioning Qatar's "hacker" story.

Qatar said there was "no legitimate justification" for the coordinated action, adding that its citizens would not be affected by the "violation of its sovereignty".

"I would like to place on record the full support of our State to the considered stance that Union Government would take on the issue, given the complexities involved".

Though Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that he does not expect a growing rift between Qatar and its neighbours to degrade unity in the fight against Islamic extremists, Washington will have to think twice before siding with anyone. Last week, the emir called Iranian President Hasan Rouhani to congratulate him on his re-election - a clear and public rebuttal of Saudi Arabia's efforts to force Qatar to fall in line. It was unclear how it would play with the military base.

Some 4.82 million Indians live in the Gulf, including 630,000 in Qatar.


Analysts say President Donald Trump's recent visit to Saudi Arabia emboldened hawkish Saudi royals by positioning America squarely with Sunni Arab countries against Iran.

The crisis started when Qatar had alleged that cyber criminals had hacked its news agency in May and published fake comments about Iran and Israel made by Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the UAE all declared it a "terrorist group" after a Brotherhood government, led by Mohamed Morsi, won democratic elections in Egypt before being overthrown by the military in 2013. Yemen's internationally recognized government, which no longer holds its capital and large portions of the country, cut relations with Qatar and said it supports the decision by the Saudi-led coalition to end Qatar's participation in the war on the Houthis there.

The three Gulf states announced the closure of transport ties with Qatar and gave Qatari visitors and residents two weeks to leave their countries.

How severe the impact will be on Qatar, which hosts the region's main USA military base used to launch strikes on the Islamic State group, depends on what further measures will be taken. The Qatar Stock Exchange fell 7 percent. However, it remains a key patron of the Islamic Hamas movement, which rules the Gaza Strip.

"What we're witnessing is a growing list of irritants in the region that have been there for some time", he said. Mr. Trump asked at the meeting.

Speaking to reporters, Dmitry Peskov said: "We are really interested in maintaining these good relations and in having a stable and peaceful atmosphere in the Persian Gulf where the existing differences are resolved", according to Russian news agency TASS.

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