Qatar’s push for Open Skies remain unresolved

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Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu held talks in Saudi Arabia on Friday with King Salman, continuing efforts to resolve the Gulf’s biggest diplomatic crisis in years. Diplomatic sources told AFP that “the meeting was positive”, but there were no specifics. Riyadh, the UAE, Egypt and others severed diplomatic and economic ties with Qatar almost two weeks ago, accusing Doha of supporting groups, including some backed by Iran, “that aim to destabilise the region”. Qatar denies any such support for extremists.

Qatar’s efforts to force its Gulf neighbors to reopen their airspace to its flights were left unresolved on Friday, two sources familiar with the matter said, after Saudi Arabia argued the closure was part of a bigger political rift that could not be fixed by the United Nation’s aviation agency.

A Qatari official accused Saudi Arabia and its allies Friday of imposing a “siege” on his country with sanctions he said that were having a more devastating effect than the Berlin Wall. Ali bin Smaikh al-Marri, chairman of Qatar’s national human rights committee, said the measures amounted to collective punishment and cited one case of a mother being separated from her baby. The recent decision by several countries to cut ties with Qatar was trampling on the rights of citizens from the entire region, he said. “This siege and these measures have led to what is called collective punishment,” Marri told reporters in Geneva in Arabic through a translator, calling on the international community to intervene. Read the full article here: http://bit.ly/2sCUF7S

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