Jordan downgrades diplomatic relations with Qatar

Amman joins several Arab nations amid ongoing row

 Jordan will downgrade diplomatic ties with Qatar, following the example of several nations in the Arab world, Amman said Wednesday.

The decision aims to ensure regional stability, coordinate the politics of Arab countries and end the crises in the region, government spokesman Mohammad Momani said.

Amman will also be revoking the license of Doha-based TV channel Al Jazeera.

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Yemen and Egypt announced Monday they were cutting off all diplomatic relations with Qatar, citing national security concerns. They were soon joined by South Asian country Maldives and West African nation Mauritania.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain further blocked Qatar from their airspace and requested all Qatari diplomats to leave within 48 hours.

Last month, the website of Qatar’s official news agency was allegedly hacked by unknown individuals who reportedly published statements falsely attributed to its emir, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad al-Thani. The incident touched off a diplomatic row between Qatar and its neighbors.

The UN has announced that Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stands ready to mediate between the parties to resolve tensions.

Trump takes credit over row

As reactions continued to pour in worldwide, Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said Doha was ready for negotiations in search of a resolution.

Russian President Vladimir Putin underscored a dialogue-based solution during a phone conversation with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the Kremlin said.

Another reaction came from Hamas, condemning a statement by Saudi Arabia Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir saying Qatar should withdraw its support for Hamas to heal relations with Arab states.

A group of Jews stormed early Wednesday the west Jerusalem offices of Al-Jazeera, and demanding it be shut down for its “support for terrorist organizations”, the network reported.

Meanwhile, U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday appeared to take credit for the countries’ decision to sever ties with Doha.

“So good to see the Saudi Arabia visit with the King and 50 countries already paying off. They said they would take a hard line on funding extremism, and all reference was pointing to Qatar. Perhaps this will be the beginning of the end to the horror of terrorism!” Trump wrote on Twitter.

The American president on Tuesday held a phone call with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, in which they discussed fight against terror financing and extremism, according a White House statement.

Trump “underscored that a united Gulf Cooperation Council is critical to defeating terrorism and promoting regional stability”, the statement added.

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Tuesday spoke via telephone to his Qatari counterpart Khalid bin Mohammad Al Attiyah, the Pentagon confirmed without offering details.

The Pentagon announced earlier that there was no change in military cooperation between the U.S. and Qatar.