Gulf air embargo only applies to Qatar companies: UAE

Reuters

Reuters

Qatar Airways has been hit hard by the dispute, with 18 destinations now out of bounds for the airline.

Qatar reacted with fury, denying any support for extremists and accusing its Gulf neighbours of seeking to put the country under "guardianship".

Johnson encouraged Qatar to "take seriously their neighbors' concerns" but also expressed alarm at the blockading of the country and called for it to be eased. "What we are having to do is get more consignments into those countries direct". "I think that may be what the Qataris are banking on right now".

So much so, both the airline and the football team have made a decision to part ways and Barcelona recently announced that Japanese retailer Rakuten would be the team's new sponsor in a four year deal worth $A79 million a season.

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The Eritrean Information Ministry's statement of support on Monday came despite its previously close ties with energy-rich Qatar.

Mogadishu has refused to side with the UAE, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia in their diplomatic offensive against Doha, despite pressures from the anti-Qatar camp.

The ban has led to food shortages across the small Gulf nation, which is largely dependent on imports from neighbouring Saudi Arabia and via ports in the UAE, provoking a panicked run on supermarkets.

As a hedge, Qatar hosts some 10,000 American soldiers and the forward headquarters of the USA military's Central Command. Its military, numbering around 11,800 troops, is only bigger than Bahrain's.

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But al Thani disputed that Monday, saying that "if the problem is Iran, why have those measures been taken against Qatar, why not taken against Iran?" "We also have our preventive action plan, but more importantly, we work very hard on tackling the root cause of terrorism".

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates last week suspended ties with Qatar, severing air, sea and land links and demanding that it distance itself from Iran and cut the funding of some Islamist groups.

Qatar has defiantly vowed the country is "not ready to surrender" even if it would mean an end to the diplomatic row.

Despite the standoff, Qatar's gas supplies to Egypt and the UAE have reportedly not been interrupted.

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"(Qatar) embraces multiple terrorist and sectarian groups aimed at disturbing stability in the region, including the Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS (Islamic State) and al-Qaeda, and promotes the message and schemes of these groups through their media constantly", the Saudi state news agency SPA said.

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