Citizens of Gulf can stay in Qatar despite crisis, Qatar says

DOHA: Qatar moved Sunday to avoid an escalation of its feud with Gulf neighbours by telling their citizens they are welcome to stay, while boasting of “business as usual” for vital gas exports.

Iran also announced it had sent tonnes of vegetables to Qatar, which has seen food imports threatened after its neighbours cut air, sea and land links with the country.

Nearly a week after Saudi Arabia and several of its allies severed ties with Qatar in an unprecedented Gulf diplomatic crisis, there were no signs of the bitter dispute being resolved.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and others accused Qatar of supporting extremist groups, an assertion since backed by US President Donald Trump.

The crisis has raised deep concerns of instability in the region and on Sunday Kuwait´s foreign minister said his country would continue efforts to mediate a solution to the crisis.

Qatar strongly rejects the allegations and has said it is open to talks on ending the dispute, which also saw the three Gulf states order all Qatari citizens out of their countries within 14 days.

Qatar said late on Saturday it would not retaliate with such measures of its own.

A statement carried on Qatari state media said Doha would “not take any measures against residents of Qatar who hold the nationalities of countries that severed diplomatic ties… on the back of hostile and tendentious campaigns against the country”.

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