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Qatar Says Gulf Citizens Can Remain Amid Bitter Diplomatic Dispute With Neighbors

A painting depicting Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani is seen on a bus during a demonstration in his support in Doha, Qatar, June 11, 2017.

Qatar said on June 11 that citizens of its Gulf neighbors are welcome to stay despite the ongoing blockage by regional Arab nations and other countries.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and others broke all diplomatic ties and blocked sea, land, and air transport with Qatar, accusing it of supporting extremist groups. Most have ordered Qataris to leave their countries.

U.S. President Donald Trump has said he backs the move against Qatar, although other U.S. officials, including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, have sought to ease the tensions. The United States has a major military base in Qatar.

Qatar has denied allegations that it supports terrorism and has said it is ready to hold talks to end the tensions.

Qatari state media said Doha would "not take any measures against residents of Qatar who hold the nationalities of countries that severed diplomatic ties...on the back of hostile and tendentious campaigns against the country."

Iran's national carrier on June 11 said it has sent five planeloads of food to Qatar, which is suffering shortages amid the blockade.

Iran has opened its airspace to Qatari flights following airspace closures by Qatar’s neighbors.

Based on reporting by AFP and AP