Published: Mon, June 12, 2017
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

Qatar Airways profits hit $540 million before Gulf crisis

Qatar Airways profits hit $540 million before Gulf crisis

But a Qatari diplomat said the crisis reflected a lack of USA leadership.

To ease stress on Qatar, Iran opened its airspace to about 100 more Qatari flights, which has increased Iranian air traffic by 17 percent. While Qatar blamed the story on hackers, it was only the latest in years of strain.

Morocco's King Mohammed VI has offered to mediate a diplomatic row between Qatar and three Gulf Arab states that severed diplomatic relations with Doha and have since imposed a debilitating blockade on the country.

Qatar is the world's largest exporter of Liquified Natural Gas (LNG), and produces up to 77 million tonnes of gas each year. However, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the U.A.E.in a collective statement has accused 59 individuals and 12 charity organisations in Qatar of being "linked to terror". But when it comes to terrorism and the most extreme versions of Islam, Saudi Arabia has a far worse track record than Iran.

In separate statements Saturday, they lauded Trump for his supportive stance.

Qatar's state-owned media outlet asserts: "Amnesty International criticised the measures as sweeping and arbitrary and said they had split up families and destroyed peoples' livelihoods and education".

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates have all announced hotlines to help families with Qatari members, their official news agencies reported on Saturday and Sunday.

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U.S. President Donald Trump has said he backs the move against Qatar, although other U.S. officials, including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, have sought to ease the tensions.

On June 5, the countries cut diplomatic ties to Qatar and ordered all Qataris out within 14 days. They also warned that anyone who expresses support for Qatar online faces imprisonment and hefty fines.

Qatar National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) said the recent directives issued by Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain regarding the humanitarian situation of mixed-citizenship families as too vague to have any practical impact and were void of a mechanism to be of assistance to those affected.

Saudi Arabia and Bahrain also set up similar services on Sunday.

For its part, Qatar issued an overnight statement saying residents living in the country from those nations that severed ties would have "complete freedom" to stay despite the "hostile and tendentious campaigns" now targeting it.

Earlier this week, Wafa Al-Wazeedi, a Qatari, whose children have Bahraini citizenship, said that her family is "lost". He also risks losing his job.

Intermarriage between citizens of GCC states is routine, and family and tribal connections both precede the creation of the six countries and continue today.

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