Emirati diplomat to AP: 'Nothing to negotiate' with Qatar

Emirati diplomat to AP: 'Nothing to negotiate' with Qatar

The United Arab Emirates' top prosecutor Hamad Saif Al Shamsi warned on Tuesday that showing sympathy for Qatar on social media is a "crime".

Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi's comments came as Emirati officials also announced those offering support to Qatar online could face years in prison and fines for offering sympathy to the country, suggesting the crisis will only intensify.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain all cut off diplomatic contact with Qatar on Monday morning, after officially accusing it of "sponsoring terrorism".

Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, his son, became Qatar's ruling emir in 2013, but Hamad Al Thani still looms large in the world of Qatari ruling-family politics.

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain severed relations with Qatar and closed their airspace to commercial flights on June 5, charging it with financing militant groups.

Under-fire Qatar - which is due to host the football World Cup in 2022 - vehemently denies the accusations.

"We hope that cooler heads will prevail, that wiser heads will prevail and we will not get to that", Anwar Gargash, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, told Reuters in an interview.

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The country's foreign minister also repeated Riyadh's demands that Qatar change the nature of its relationship with Iran and end support for what he called "terrorist organisations".

Talking to Al Sharq Al Awsat daily on Thursday, he said: "I hold Qatar accountable for unsuccessful efforts, and I also hold them responsible as they did not give Sheikh Sabah an opportunity to bring all the parties concerned on negotiating table".

"We believe that common sense and logic and will convince Qatar to take the right steps", Adel al-Jubeir told reporters in Paris.

The worldwide agency Standard and Poors announced Wednesday that it lowered its rating on Qatar's long-term debt to AA-minus because of the country's dispute with its neighbors. They were later joined by Libya, Yemen, the Maldives, Mauritius and Mauritania.

He also said Qatar's emir will not leave the country while it is "in blockade", so he can not attend an offered mediation by US President Donald Trump at the White House. Qatar relies heavily on food imports, especially those coming over its only land border with Saudi Arabia.

Meanwhile, Pakistan also chose to send military contingent to Qatar after a similar decision was made by Turkey.

He said: "The current crisis has nothing to do with the US Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar, as this is not an issue that concerns us".

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