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Qatar warns blockade will have ‘negative’ effects on region

Cairo – A current blockade by its Gulf neighbours of Qatar will have a negative impact on the region, Qatarin foreign Minister

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said on Friday.

His warning comes days after Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Yemen and Mauritania announced they were cutting diplomatic ties and closing borders with Qatar, accusing Doha of supporting terrorism in Syria and Yemen.

“The measures taken against Qatar violate international charters and humanitarian law. They will have negative effects on the region, particularly the Gulf,” the Qatari minister said without elaborating.

Mohammed condemned the moves against Qatar as “collective punishment.”

He, however, said that his country was still favouring the “options of diplomacy and dialogue” to resolve the crisis.

The Qatari official was speaking at a televised press conference in Berlin with his German counterpart Sigmar Gabriel.

Mohammed made the remarks hours after Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt placed on terrorism lists dozens of people and groups with alleged links to Qatar.

Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain are members of the US-allied Gulf Cooperation Council, which also includes Kuwait and Oman.

The current dispute is the most serious to hit the GCC since 2014, when Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain temporarily withdrew their ambassadors from Qatar, accusing it of breaching a regional security pact.

Qatar, an energy-rich country with a population of 2.5 million, has good relations with Iran, Saudi Arabia’s regional rival.

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