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Qatar, Boycotting Arab States in Heated Arab League Clash

Qatar, Boycotting Arab States in Heated Arab League Clash

The trade, tourism and banking sectors have been worst hit by the restrictions put in place since June by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain, according to Moody's.

Rising debt, increased debt issuance from other GCC states, and rising USA interest rates had put pressure on Bahrain's financing costs since 2014, Moody's said. Qatar has rejected the allegation as "baseless".

The four have also insisted that Doha scales down its relations with Iran, as part of conditions to renew relations. But this time, there was a new twist in the dispute: Some of the invective, though carefully couched in diplomatic niceties, was directed at Kuwait.

Qattan, who is also his country's Permanent Representative to the Arab League and the Dean of the Arab Diplomatic Corps accredited to the host country of Egypt, now leading the Kingdom's delegation to the 148th session of the Arab foreign ministers in Cairo, added that the Kingdom is keen on the unity and sovereignty of Yemen, Syria, Iraq and Libya. "If the Qatari brothers think that if the rapprochement with Iran would serve their interests, they are carrying out matters in a wrong way and they will be accountable for that", he said.

Qatar's minister of state for foreign affairs, Soltan bin Saad al-Muraikhi, delivered the remarks at the Arab League headquarters in Cairo on Tuesday, angering Saudi and Egyptian representatives. "The Qataris will be held responsible for such a decision".

The bitter dispute between Gulf states and Qatar threatened to deepen amid a slanging match between rival ministers over the status of Iran. Qatar strongly denies the charge and argues the isolation effort is politically motivated.

"Then we saw this vicious media campaign against Qatar, waged by rabid dogs backed by some regimes", Muraikhi said, adding, "Mr Anwar [Gargash] forgot to mention that the four blockading countries tried a military action against my country in 1996".

The exchange then descended into a row between Kattan and Muraikhi, with each telling the other to be quiet.

"Even the animals were not spared [from the blockade], you sent them out savagely", he said, referring to the camels stranded on the Qatar-Saudi border after the imposition of the siege.

The Saudi Press Agency quoted Qattan as saying that Saudi Arabia is keen on the safety of their territories, restoring security, advancing their march towards development and building as the political solution based on legitimate and global resolutions is the only way to solve these issues.

The Arab states have demanded that Qatar sever any links with the Brotherhood and other groups they deem to be "terrorists".