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Gulf crisis: Qataris stock food in advance fearing shortage of food

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Though this tempest has been brewing for a while, the decision to cut off Qatar from, among other things, 40 per cent of its food supply "constitutes a dramatic change" in the policies of Saudi Arabia, which has until now worked to bring as many Sunni groups as possible into the fold, rather than pushing them out for bad conduct, Tzuriel was quoted by The Times of Israel as saying.

Qatar's foreign minister Sheikh Mohammed Al-Thani contacted his counterparts in Tunisia, Sudan, Algeria, Morocco and Pakistan on Monday to discuss the boycott and potentially ensure that other countries did not follow suit.

Several airlines from those countries earlier announced they would no longer fly to Qatar.

DUBAI, June 6 Qatar's stock market may remain weak on Tuesday after Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates severed ties with Doha, but the drop should slow from Monday's 7.3 percent plunge, fund managers said. Some countries vowed to cut sea and air traffic to Qatar, as well as expel its diplomats and citizens.

The airline did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Qatar's ruling family and emir, Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, have always intended that hosting an event as globally captivating as the World Cup will dramatically boost the tiny but wealthy country's profile, and that such "soft power" could help be a bulwark against interference from its neighbours. Even before Monday, Qatar had appeared unperturbed by the growing tensions.

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The diplomatic spat has created a rift in the Gulf Cooperation Council, a regional alliance made up of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait and Qatar.

Saudi Arabia said it was cutting ties due to Qatar's "embrace of various terrorist and sectarian groups aimed at destabilizing the region", including the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaida, the Islamic State group and militants supported by Iran in the kingdom's restive Eastern Province.

As for the USA response, both Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary James Mattis say they don't think the decision will affect the fight against terrorism.

Qatar has always denied the accusations that it funds terrorist groups and its foreign ministry said in a statement responding to the blockade: "The state of Qatar has been subjected to a campaign of lies that have reached the point of complete fabrication".

Riyadh has accused Qatar of backing terrorism and extremism, while Bahrain has charged Qatar with interfering in it internal affairs.

Their first conspiracy was the hacking of Qatar News Agency's website and publishing a statement attributed to the Emir on some issues to achieve their pre-planned goals by creating a justification. Qatar long has faced criticism from its Arab neighbors over its support of Islamists.

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