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Tunisia’s Ennahda urges dialogue amid ongoing Gulf row

Moderate Islamic movement voices concern over deteriorating diplomatic situation convulsing Arab Gulf states

07.06.2017
Tunisia’s Ennahda urges dialogue amid ongoing Gulf row

By Adel al-Thabeti

TUNIS

Tunisia’s Ennahda movement has voiced its concern over the deteriorating diplomatic situation now convulsing the Arab Gulf States, urging all parties to the dispute to avoid further escalations.

"We are deeply concerned over the deterioration of relations between brotherly Arab countries, which share historical ties and have common interests," read a statement issued by Ennahda late Tuesday.

The moderate Islamic movement went on to assert that the countries involved should spare no effort to resolve their political differences through dialogue.

It also called for “activating joint bodies” and “opening diplomatic lines of communication”, while also encouraging Kuwaiti mediation efforts aimed at containing the crisis.

On Monday, five Arab countries -- Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Yemen -- abruptly cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing Doha of supporting terrorism.

Mauritania followed suit the following day, while Jordan downgraded its diplomatic relations with Doha.

Saudi Arabia has also closed its land borders with Qatar, geographically isolating the tiny Gulf state.

Qatar, for its part, has strenuously denied accusations that it is a supporter of terrorism, describing the moves to diplomatically isolate it as “unjustified”.

Tensions first surfaced on May 23, when the website of Qatar’s official news agency was allegedly targeted by hackers who published statements falsely attributed to the country’s emir.

Some of those comments included praise for Iran, sparking a diplomatic row with Saudi Arabia -- long considered Tehran’s main regional rival.

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