In sign of new Middle East, Saudi and Iranian on Israeli TV

Posted June 08, 2017

But the recent decision of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain to break off diplomatic ties and impose an nearly total blockade on Qatar represents a serious escalation of tensions. Qatar denies supporting extremism.

A National Security Council spokesman didn't return NBC News' request for comment on the administration's plans in the Middle East as they relate to this issue.

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain severed relations with Qatar and closed their airspace to commercial flights on Monday, charging Doha with financing militant groups.

Riyadh and its allies accuse Qatar of supporting extremist groups and of serving the interests of regional arch-rival Iran, claims Doha has strongly rejected.

The CNN report late on June 6 cited unidentified US officials it said had been briefed on a probe by investigators sent to Qatar to help its government look into a hacking incident that produced the fake story.

Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman al-Thani told CNN the Federal Bureau of Investigation has confirmed the hack and the planting of fake news.

In order to reduce the expected loss, Arief said his ministry would coordinate with the Transportation Ministry to transfer the license given to the Qatari airline to other airlines, such as Emirates and Etihad.

Mr. Trump had said on Twitter that during his trip to the Middle East, he warned about funding "radical ideology" and leaders there had "pointed to Qatar".

Its emir, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, met Dubai's ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum and other senior UAE officials in Dubai on Wednesday, after talks the day before with King Salman in Saudi Arabia.

Rivalry with Iran - with which Saudi Arabia is engaged in a series of proxy wars across the region - looms over the dispute and a spark for the current crisis was US President Donald Trump's visit to the region.

The UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and others cut diplomatic ties with Qatar on Monday, partly over the tiny Gulf monarchy's alleged support for Islamist groups such as the Brotherhood. Trump, during the phone call, said that a United Gulf Cooperation Council is critical to defeat terrorism and promote regional stability, the White House added.

The four Arab nations took the move to cut off their neighbor over what they called Qatar's support of "terrorism". The minister said "the entire crisis [is] based on misinformation" caused by "fabricated news".

U.S. and European authorities have complained for years about funding for extremists from Saudi Arabia and other nations in the Gulf region.

Saudi Arabia said the move was necessary to protect the kingdom from what it described as terrorism and extremism.