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Amid Arab boycott, Qatar’s new friends find rich openings

DOHA: Six months ago Serkan Ucar arrived in Doha to scope out business opportunities - away from his usual patch. The mission looks set to pay off handsomely, as the Turkish entrepreneur expects to win a first contract to help build an iconic 2022 World Cup stadium. Since several Arab countries launched an economic boycott of Qatar a year ago, the tiny Gulf state has had to find alternative partners for trade and investment. Aided by its massive natural gas wealth, it has rapidly made new friends. A year ago Saudi…

Pence starts Mideast tour in Egypt amid Arab anger over Jerusalem

CAIRO: US Vice President Mike Pence arrived in Egypt on Saturday to begin a delayed Middle East tour overshadowed by anger in the Arab world over Washington's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Controversy over President Donald Trump's decision to move the American embassy in Israel to Jerusalem had led to the cancellation of a number of planned meetings ahead of the trip originally scheduled for December. While the deadly protests that erupted in the Palestinian territories at the time have subsided,…

16-year-old girl married off to 65-year-old Arab Sheikh

HYDERABAD, India: An underage marriage was reported from Indian city Hyderabad where a teenage girl was married off to an Arab Sheikh allegedly against the teenager’s parents. A minor from Hyderabad has been married off to an elderly sheikh based in Oman for a payment of Rs 5 lakh. Her parents approached the local police station and filed a complaint. Her family on Wednesday alleged that the 16-year-old had been fraudulently married off to Ahmed, a 65-year-old Omani national. The teenager's parents have been pleading…

UAE sees ‘parting of ways’ if Qatar does not accept Arab demands

DUBAI: A senior United Arab Emirates official said on Saturday that if Qatar did not accept an ultimatum issued by fellow Arab states which imposed a boycott this month on the tiny Gulf Arab nation, there would be a "parting of ways". The 13-point list of demands from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the UAE include closing the Al Jazeera satellite television network, curbing relations with Iran, shutting a Turkish base in Doha and paying reparations. The demands are apparently aimed at dismantling Qatar's two-decade-old…

Key developments in Qatar-Gulf crisis

Here are the main developments that led to the unprecedented crisis between Qatar and its Gulf neighbours: Smear campaign On May 20, 2017, Qatar says it is the victim of a smear campaign and rejects accusations of it supporting "terrorism" ahead of a landmark visit by US President Donald Trump to Saudi Arabia. Trump and Saudi King Salman sign a "strategic vision" agreement to intensify ties in defence, economics and other areas. In a speech in Riyadh on May 21, Trump urges the international community to isolate…

Canada apologises to men tortured in Syria. agrees settlement

OTTAWA: Canada on Friday formally apologised to three Canadian men of Arab descent who said they had been tortured in Syria and blamed Canadian secret services for their ordeal. The Liberal government also said it had agreed a cash settlement with Ahmad El Maati, Abdullah Almalki and Muayyed Nureddin, who had pressed their case for a decade. All three men were arrested separately when entering Syria between 2001 and 2003. They say they were tortured and interrogated, and some of the questions they were asked were based…

Angry anti-Saudi protest in Yemen after funeral carnage

SANAA: Thousands of Yemenis demonstrated in the capital Sanaa on Sunday to vent anger at Riyadh, head of a coalition accused of carrying out air strikes that killed at least 140 people at a funeral. The protesters gathered outside UN offices in Sanaa and chanted against the Saudi royal family. The rally, dubbed the "Volcano of Rage", came a day after bombs hit a funeral ceremony in the capital, in one of the deadliest air strikes since the Saudi-led coalition intervened against Houthi rebels in Yemen in March 2015. The…