Qatar news LIVE: Warships arrive in Doha amid row with Saudi Arabia – Gulf crisis latest

4.17pm: Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has said that he will travel to Saudi Arabia on Friday to hold talks about a dispute between Qatar and its Gulf Arab neighbours after visiting Doha earlier this week.

Speaking at a joint press conference in Ankara with his Tunisian counterpart, Cavusoglu said Turkey maintained its impartiality in the spat and was pushing ahead with efforts to solve it.

3.30pm: Turkey’s Foreign Minister spoke with his Kuwaiti counterpart Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Saba in an attempt to mediate between the Gulf nations and Qatar.

Ahead of the talks, Cavusoglu said that he will travel to Mecca tomorrow for talks with Saudi King Salman.

He added: Although the kingdom is a party in this crisis, we know that King Salman is a party in resolving it. We want to hear the views of Saudi Arabia regarding possible solutions and will share with them our views in a transparent way … We pay a great attention to our relations with them.”

2.00pm: Two US Navy vessels have arrived in Doha ahead of a joint military exercise with the Qatari Emiri Navy.

Qatar is home to the largest US military base in the Middle East, with more than 11,000 deployed or assigned and over 100 aircraft operating from al-Udeid Air Base. 

It is unknown whether the exercise was planned before the Gulf crisis began.

12.00pm: Qatar’s Ministry of Defence have announced a deal to buy 36 F-15 fighter jets from the US for $ 12 billion.

The Pentagon has said that the sale will increase security cooperation and interoperability between the US and Qatar, despite US President Donald Trump’s recent criticism of Doha.

US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis and his Qatari counterpart Khalid Al Attiyah met today to finalise the deal.

They also discussed the current state of operations against ISIS and the importance of de-escalating tensions so all partners in the gulf region can focus on next steps in meeting common goals, the Pentagon added.

10.00am: French President Emmanuel Macron has spoken to the King of Morocco in his latest intervention in the Gulf crisis.

“The king of Morocco shares our concern: France would like to see the countries talking again and for the Gulf to remain stable, not least because these states are stakeholders in the crises in Syria and Libya,” Mr Macron said.

On Monday Mr Macron spoke to the Emir of Kuwait, the Emir of Qatar, the king of Saudi Arabia, the Turkish president and the crown prince of Abu Dhabi. 

The United Nations aviation agency has said that it will review a request from Qatar to intervene after its Gulf neighbours closed their airspace to Qatar flights.

The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) said it would host ministers and senior officials from Qatar, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt at its headquarters on Thursday.

ICAO is seeking a “consensus-based solution” that addressed “current regional concerns.”

“ICAO is presently reviewing requests from the government of Qatar to assess the flight restrictions imposed upon it by neighbouring states,” a statement said.

Most of the officials attending the meeting are expected to be transport ministers, according to an ICAO representative.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt cut diplomatic and transport ties with Qatar a week ago, accusing it of fomenting regional unrest, supporting terrorism and getting too close to Iran, all of which Doha denies.


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