Iran flies food to Qatar amid concerns of shortages

Gulf nations may let some Qataris stay amid diplomatic rift

Almost a week after Saudi Arabia and several of its allies severed ties with Qatar in an unprecedented Gulf diplomatic crisis, there were no signs of the bitter dispute being resolved.

On Sunday, Qatar said that the 11,000 citizens of those countries that have cut ties will be allowed to stay in the country.

A previous mediation effort by Kuwait in which the Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah shuttled between Riyadh, Abu Dhabi and Doha, failed to achieve an immediate breakthrough.

"Dozens of Iranian businesses are ready to help Qatar with more goods if they are needed", the diplomat said.

Tillerson phoned Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman on Sunday and the two discussed efforts to combat terrorism and "funding of terrorist organizations in a bid to achieve security and stability in the region", state-run Saudi Press Agency reported.

But a Qatari diplomat said the crisis reflected a lack of USA leadership. "(It) gives others the impression the US does not know how to manage the relationship with its allies or is incapable".


Qatar has been in talks with Iran and Turkey to secure food and water supplies after Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain cut links, accusing Doha of supporting terrorism.

In his latest message supportive of the Saudi-led move, President Donald Trump on Friday said he backed the isolation of Qatar, saying Doha has historically "been a funder of terrorism at a very high level" and that has to stop.

Iran said the planes were filled with vegetables and that it plans to send 100 tons of fresh fruit and legumes every day to the import-dependent nation, according to the semi-official Tasnim news agency.

"For potentially thousands of people across the Gulf, the effect of the steps imposed in the wake of this political dispute is suffering, heartbreak and fear", Amnesty International has said.

The NHRC said in a statement on Sunday that a hotline set up by Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain to assist mixed Qatari families who faced the prospect of deportation and expulsion was "too vague to have any practical impact" and was "void of a mechanism to be of assistance to those affected".

"Qatar has no other choice but to work on resolving the crisis", said Sami Nader, head of the Beirut-based Levant Institute for Strategic Affairs.

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