Pope Francis meets HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser of Qatar
Through every city shall he hunt her down,
Until he shall have driven her back to Hell,
There from whence envy first did let her loose.
Inferno Canto I
Just one month ago the pope appoints a Filipino as Nuncio to Qatar:
Pope appoints Apostolic Nuncio to Qatar
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Saturday appointed an Apostolic Nuncio to Qatar. Filipino Archbishop Francisco Montecillo Padilla who is serving as Apostolic Nuncio to Kuwait, Bahrein, Yemen, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Apostolic Delegate to the Arabian Peninsula, has now been appointed Apostolic Nuncio to Qatar as well. He takes over from Canadian-born Arch. Petar Antun Rajič who was transferred as Apostolic Nuncio to Angola and Sao Tome and Principe in June 2015. Arch. Padilla was appointed Apostolic Nuncio to Kuwait and Apostolic Delegate to the Arabian Peninsula in April 2016. The 63-year old prelate has served in the Holy See’s diplomatic missions in the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Austria, India, Japan and Australia. He was also Apostolic Nuncio to Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands. Prior to his appointment to the Arabian Peninsula, Archbishop Padilla was Apostolic Nuncio in Tanzania. The Archbishop is fluent in English, Spanish, Italian, French and German. The official residence of the Apostolic Nuncio to the Arabian Peninsula countries is in Kuwait. (from Vatican Radio)
Now All Hell is breaking loose in QATAR!
5:50am - Bahrain cuts ties with Qatar
- Bahrain says it is cutting diplomatic ties to Qatar amid a deepening rift between Gulf Arab nations.
- Bahrain's Foreign Affairs Ministry issued a statement early on Monday saying it would withdraw its diplomatic mission from the Qatari capital of Doha within 48 hours and that all Qatari diplomats should leave Bahrain within the same period.
6am - Saudi cuts ties with Qatar
- Saudi Arabia says it is cutting diplomatic ties to Qatar and it has pulled all Qatari troops from the ongoing war in Yemen.
- Saudi Arabia made the announcement via its state-run Saudi Press Agency early on Monday. It appeared to be timed in concert with an earlier announcement by Bahrain similarly cutting ties.
- The dispute between Qatar and the Gulf's Arab countries escalated recently over a hack of Qatar's state-run news agency. It has spiraled since.
6:10am - UAE, Egypt cut ties with Qatar
- The United Arab Emirates and Egypt have cut diplomatic ties with Qatar.
- Both the UAE and Egypt made the announcement on their state-run news agencies within minutes of each other.
8:35am - Etihad suspends flights from Tuesday
- Abu Dhabi-based airline Etihad said it is suspending flights to Qatar from June 6 "until further notice".
- Etihad said its last flights would leave early Tuesday morning.
- Etihad gave no reason for the decision. It is the flag carrier of the United Arab Emirates.
9:55am - Qatar's official reaction
- Qatar says there is "no legitimate justification" for four Arab nations to cut diplomatic ties.
- Qatar also says the decision is a "violation of its sovereignty", vowing to its citizens it will not affect them.
10am - US urges GCC unity
- US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters in Sydney: "It is important that the GCC remain a unified [front]".
- Tillerson does not expect the rift "to have any significant impact, if any impact at all, on the unified fight against terrorism".
- Qatar hosts the largest US military base in the Middle East.
10:20am - Emirates flights cancelled from Tuesday
- The Dubai-based airline Emirates says it is suspending flights to Qatar amid a growing diplomatic rift.
- Emirates said on its website on Monday flights would be suspended until further notice starting Tuesday.
10:45am - Yemen cuts ties with Qatar
- Yemen's internationally recognised government has cut relations with Qatar and says it supports the decision by the Saudi-led coalition to end Qatar's participation in the war on the Houthis in Yemen. Qatar has been part of the coalition since March 2015.
- The government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi says it severed ties with Qatar in part over is support of extremist groups in Yemen "in contradiction with the goals announced by the countries supporting the legitimate government".
- Dubai's budget carrier FlyDubai says it has canceled its flights to Qatar amid a diplomatic dispute between it and other Arab countries.
- The carrier said on Monday that, starting Tuesday, all flights would be suspended. It offered no other details.
- FlyDubai's decision follows that of Emirates and Etihad in canceling flights to Doha.
- Saudi Arabian Airlines says it is suspending flights to the Qatari capital, Doha.
- The airline, also known as Saudia, posted on Twitter that it would be halting flights from Monday morning, without elaborating.
- Air Arabia, a low-cost airline based in the United Arab Emirates, said it is suspending flights to Qatar along with other Emirati airlines over a growing diplomatic crisis.
- Air Arabia says its flights will be suspended from Tuesday "until further notice".
1:20pm - Updates from FIFA
- Football's world governing body says it remains in "regular contact with Qatar".
- FIFA issued a short statement saying it has spoken with "the Qatar 2022 Local Organizing Committee and the Supreme Committee for Delivery Legacy handling matters relating to the 2022 FIFA World Cup".
- It said: "We have no further comments for the time being".
1:30pm - Saudi border line up
- Reports of trucks being lined up across the border in Saudi Arabia unable to enter Qatar.
2pm - Saudi closes border with Qatar
- Saudi Transport authority confirms immediate border closure with Qatar by land and by sea.
2:50pm - Libya's Haftar cuts ties with Qatar
- The faction led by Khalifa Haftar, one of three rival governments in Libya, announced it is cutting ties with Qatar.
- Haftar's foreign minister accuses Qatar of "harbouring terrorism".
3:10pm - Egypt recalls ambassador
- Egypt's foreign ministry says it has given the Qatari ambassador in Cairo 48 hours to leave the country and has ordered its own envoy in Doha to return home, also within two days.
3:15pm - Maldives cuts ties with Qatar
- Decision made because of the Maldives "firm opposition to activities that encourage terrorism and extremism".
3:30pm - Iran calls for dialogue
- Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi was quoted on the ministry's website as calling for a "clear and explicit dialogue" among the feuding nations.
- Iran says rising tensions among its Arab Gulf neighbours threaten the interests of everyone in the region
3:30pm - UAE port to turn away Qatar-bound vessels
- UAE's Port of Fujairah says all vessels flying the flag of Qatar or destined for Qatar will not be allowed to call at the port.
4pm - Iran's food 'can reach in 12 hours'
- Food shipments sent from Iran can reach Qatar in 12 hours, said Reza Nourani, chairman of the union of exporters of agricultural products.
4:40pm - Turkey expresses 'sorrow'
- Turkey is ready to help however it can to bring the disputes to a manageable level, said Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu speaking at a joint press conference in Ankara.
- Cavusoglu also said: "Turkey sees the unity and solitary among Gulf states as our own unity".
5:10pm - Egypt suspends air and sea links
- Egypt's foreign ministry said in a statement the country was suspending air and sea links to Qatar, citing national security.
5:40pm - No Qatari vessels allowed in Saudi ports
- The Saudi Ports Authority has notified shipping agents not to receive vessels carrying Qatari flags or ships that are owned by Qatari companies or individuals.
6:25pm - Saudi shuts Al Jazeera office
- Saudi Arabia has shut down Al Jazeera Media Network's local office, according to Saudi state media
6:30pm - Israel praises anti-Qatar moves
- Avigdor Lieberman, Israel's defence minister, has praised the measures against Qatar, saying "there is no doubt that this opens very many possibilities of cooperation in the struggle against terror".
7:30pm - Egypt airspace to close on Tuesday morning
- Egypt's ministry of civil aviation has announced that the country's airspace will be closed to Qatari flights starting Tuesday 04:00GMT.
8pm - US military has "no plans" for change
- The US military's Central Command says it has "no plans to change our posture in Qatar" amid a Gulf diplomatic crisis.
- Major Adrian J T Rankine-Galloway said in a statement that US military aircraft continue to fly missions in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria from Qatar's Al-Udeid air base.
8:30pm - Turkey is seeking to resolve Gulf spat
- Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is "actively involved" in efforts to resolve the diplomatic spat between Qatar and its neighbours, according to Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus.
8:30pm - Saudi banks asked to sell Qatari Riyals
- Saudi Arabia's central bank asks local banks to sell Qatari Riyals and not to buy anymore of it, local media and Reuters report.
10:40pm - Kuwait calls for restraint
- Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah has called Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and "urged him for restraint and not to take any measure that could escalate" the situation in the Gulf, according to the state-run KUNA news agency. Source
Qatar debt rating downgraded by S&P as riyal hits 11-year lowStandard & Poor's downgraded Qatar's debt on Wednesday as the riyal currency fell to an 11-year low amid signs that portfolio investment funds were flowing out of the country because of Doha's diplomatic rift with other Arab states. S&P cut its long-term rating of Qatar by one notch to AA- from AA and put the rating on CreditWatch with negative implications, meaning there was a significant chance of a further downgrade.
Turkey Agrees to Send Up to 3,000 Troops to Qatar Amid Gulf Diplomatic CrisisWASHINGTON — Turkey's decision to send up to 3,000 troops to Qatar further cements their growing ties, but it virtually eliminates a possible role for Ankara to mediate between Qatar and the Gulf states that have decided to isolate it for alleged support of terrorism. Both countries have found themselves increasingly isolated Turkey for the increasing authoritarian rule of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Qatar for its alleged financial support of extremist groups and growing ties with Iran, the main competitor to Saudi Arabia for power and influence in the region. Qatar denies the allegation. Erdogan reportedly tried to intervene after Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt and Yemen cut diplomatic ties Monday with Qatar and took other measures to pressure it. He then convened a special session of Parliament on Wednesday night to authorize the dispatch of up to 3,000 troops to Qatar and hold military exercises with the country. Saying both countries faced the “same threats,” Turkey agreed last year to open a military base in Doha and had already dispatched 150-300 troops there. The agreements that were finalized Wednesday were signed in 2016 but had not yet been approved before suddenly being pushed to the top of Parliament's agenda. Source
Pakistan to send soldiers to Qatar
Following Turkey’s decision to deploy troops in Qatar, Pakistan took a similar step, by deciding to send twenty thousand soldiers to the region After the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (TBMM) decided to deploy troops in Qatar, Pakistan also took action to send soldiers to Qatar. Pakistan has passed a motion to send twenty thousand soldiers to Qatar. Turkey launched diplomatic initiatives to defuse the tension in the region after nine countries, including Saudi Arabia and Egypt, cut their diplomatic ties with Qatar, and tried to impose an embargo on the country. Within this framework, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan spoke to the leaders of the countries in the region, and called for dialogue for settlement of the crisis. Turkey’s parliament ratified the decision of sending troops to the region, within the framework of the military base agreement which was agreed to by Qatar and Turkey in 2014, and was signed in 2015. Turkey, Pakistan will also provide support to defusing the tension in the region, by sending twenty thousand soldiers to Qatar.