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Qatar-Gulf crisis: Latest updates you should know

A lot has gone down in the past two days. Today the siege on Qatar completes 50 days without any breakthrough. While the Arab Quartet (Egypt, UAE and Bahrain led by Saudi Arabia) are still accusing Qatar of supporting terrorism, Qatar has too stood its ground denying these claims as baseless.

So what were the major developments in the recent past? Here are the highlights:

Saudi lobby pays $138,000 for anti-Qatar ads in the US

A Saudi lobby in the US has launched a television advertisement campaign against Qatar, contracts reviewed by Al Jazeera show, with $138,000 spent on seven, 30-second TV spots.

The TV spots have been purchased by the Saudi American Public Relation Affairs Committee (SAPRAC).

The advertisements, which began airing on NBC-4 in Washington, DC on July 23, say Qatar is supporting terrorism and destabilizing US allies in the region, allegations that the Saudi-led group of countries has maintained since cutting ties with Qatar on June 5.

Saudi, allies unveil Qatar ‘terrorist’ blacklist

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt blacklisted nine charity and media organisations and nine individuals “directly or indirectly linked to Qatari authorities” as “terrorist”, a joint statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency said.

The last list of “terrorists” was rejected by the UN.

UN praises Qatar’s call for talks

UN’s Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday welcomed the call for talks Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani to resolve the Gulf crisis.

Russia 6th country outside gulf ready to mediate Gulf crisis

Russia has announced that it is ready to help mediate the dispute between Qatar and four other Arab states if approached, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview released on Monday.

Russia joins the ranks of Turkey, US, Britain, France and Germany are to help ease the crisis.

“We are interested in this crisis being overcome, taking into account mutual concerns and finding solutions which will be acceptable for all participants of this process,” Lavrov told Kurdish television channel Rudaw, according to a transcript of the interview published on the foreign ministry’s website.

Erdogan discusses crisis with Qatar emir on his visit

Turkey’s president Erdogan has been on a gulf tour trying to ease the blockade by talking to three of the parties involved, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar. Qatar and Turkey have discussed the Gulf crisis and efforts being exerted to defuse the dispute between Doha and a group of Saudi-led Arab states through dialogue and diplomatic means.

This came during a meeting between Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Doha on Monday.

The two sides praised Kuwait mediation to end the row. Erdogan is on a Gulf tour that took him to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

Qatar Pilgrims given access to Haj by Saudi Arabia

After Qatar raised the issue that Saudi Arabia was breaching religious rights by politicizing the crisis the latter has finally agreed to allow Qatari pilgrims to perform Hajj.

“Pilgrims from Qatar who have Hajj permits … can come directly from Doha or through any other transit place,” the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) said in a statement cited by the official SPA news agency on Sunday.

Qatar-based websites were briefly unblocked in Saudi Arabia

A Saudi official announced on his Twitter account early on Monday that Qatar-based websites were unblocked in the country because of a technical issue and they will be blocked again in a few hours, according to Turkey’s Anadolu agency.

Saud al-Qahtani, a Saudi royal court adviser, was apparently referring to Al Jazeera and beIN Sports that have been blocked in the country since the beginning of the Gulf crisis.

There was no official statement on the issue.

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