DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – Qatar restored full diplomatic relations with Iran early Thursday, disregarding the demands of Arab nations now locked in a regional dispute with the energy-rich country that it lessen its ties to Tehran. In announcing its decision, Qatar did not mention the diplomatic crisis roiling Gulf Arab nations since June, when Qatar found its land, sea and air routes cut off by its neighbors over Doha's policies across the Mideast. However, the move comes just days after Saudi Arabia began promoting a Qatari royal family member whose branch of the family was ousted in a palace coup in 1972. "Qatar has shown it is going to go in a different direction," said Kristian Coates Ulrichsen, a research fellow at the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University who lives in Seattle. "It could very well be calculated toward reinforcing the point that Qatar will not bow to this regional pressure placed upon it."
More than 70 flights were grounded Tuesday going to and from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt after the Arab countries cut diplomatic ties and closed their airspace to Qatar after accusing the country of supporting terrorism, according to reports. A majority of the flights belonged to Qatar Airways. On Monday, Qatar Airways issued a statement that passengers holding a confirmed ticket to any of the four Arab nations between June 5 and July 6 are permitted to rebook their flights up to 30 days after their current departure date. Other airlines affected include Dubai's Emirates, Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways, Saudi Arabia's Saudia, and Bahrain's Gulf Air, which all canceled flights to and from Doha, the capital of Qatar. Read: Why Did Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain And Egypt Boycott Qatar?
Kuwait has given Qatar a list of demands from Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations that includes shutting down Al-Jazeera and cutting diplomatic ties to Iran. Kuwait has given Qatar a list of demands from Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations that includes shutting down Al-Jazeera and cutting diplomatic ties to Iran. DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) -- Turkey on Friday rejected a key demand by several Arab states involved in a major dispute with Qatar, saying Ankara has no plans to shut down its military base in the small Gulf country. The list says Turkey's military base in Qatar must be closed immediately, and insists that Doha also shutter broadcaster Al-Jazeera, cut back diplomatic relations with Iran and sever all ties with the Muslim Brotherhood.