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Trump calls Saudi Arabia to resolve Qatar crisis

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Trump calls Saudi Arabia to resolve Qatar crisis

Analysts; Qatar’s friendly moves towards Iran worries US

A sense of losing a friend in the troubled gulf was considered to be affecting White House these days. It was virtually felt when President Donald Trump called King Salman bin-Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia on Wednesday and urged “all the parties in the Qatar dispute” to find a “diplomatic solution” to the ongoing regional standoff.

On June 5, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and UAE had suddenly severed their diplomatic, business and travel ties with Qatar alleging Doha of supporting terrorist groups. The move came after Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia in the third week of May when over 50 heads of Arab and Muslim states came together in Riyadh.

Later, the quartet put forwarded 13-point charter of demands for starting dialogue with Qatar. They demanded from Doha, among others, severing ties with Iran, closing new Turkish army base in its territory and shutting down Aljazeera news network.

According to white House readout issued on Wednesday, “The President urged that all parties to the Qatar dispute find a diplomatic resolution that follows through on their commitments made at the Riyadh Summit, to maintain unity while fighting terrorism. The two leaders also addressed the threat Iran poses to the region.”

Trump’s call to King Salman for resolving Qatar crisis came at a time when Doha has, on August 24, announced to send its Ambassador to Tehran after a gap of 20 months. Qatar-Iran ties were downgraded in the aftermath of Saudi Arabia severing ties with Tehran following huge protests in front of its missions in Tehran and Mashhad in early 2016.

The violent Iranian protesters set the mission on fire in Tehran. They were angry over the execution of a senior Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr, on January 2, 2016.

Meanwhile analysts believe that Trump administration was concerned about Qatar’s growing ties with Iran especially after the regional standoff was triggered by Saudi led quartet. Iran has been supplying most of the food items to Qatar after the blockade came into effect by the four countries. Tehran had also opened its air space to Qatar Airways.

Aljazeera, the Qatar based TV network,  quoted Giorgio Cafiero, the CEO of Gulf State Analytics (GSA) saying, “We need to see this within the context of Qatar making a decision about one week ago to return its envoy to Tehran afer nearly 21 months of him been pulled back to Doha.”

He further said, “The trump administration is very concerned about something that’s going on in the Gulf – that is the growing relationship between Qatar and Iran as a consequence of the current crisis in the GCC.”

GSA is a Washington based geopolitical risk consulting firm which assesses risks and opportunities among GCC states for lenders, traders, investors, policymakers and other stake holders.

Tehran based Press TV says that experts have touted the Qatar crisis as the fallout of Trump’s visit to Riyadh. It was indicated by Trump’s tweets in the early days of the crisis.

Reacting to June 5 developments, Trump tweeted on June 6 saying, “During my recent trip to the Middle East I stated that there can no longer be funding of Radical Ideology. Leaders pointed to Qatar — look!”

However, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said before Trump’s  Riyadh visit that it was aimed at getting Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations in the region to stand in “unity” with Israel and confront Iran.

Qatar houses US Navy’s fifth fleet, which is responsible for its naval forces in Persian Gulf, Red Sea, Arabian Sea and parts of Indian Ocean since 1995. It shares a commander and headquarters with US Naval forces Central Command in Bahrain.

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Bigg Boss 14 contestant Rahul Vaidya struggles walking in knee deep water, compares Dubai rains with Mumbai floods

Singer and TV personality Rahul Vaidya was recently stranded in the Dubai rains.

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Rahul Vaidya, who was in Dubai ahead of his show which was scheduled to take place today, left the country due to heavy rains and reached Kolkata. The artist shared on social media his encounters in the UAE city, including challenges like walking through knee-deep water. Rahul provided an update regarding the heavy rainfall in Dubai on his Instagram profile.

The Bigg Boss 14 contestant revealed that he was in Kolkata and prepared to do an evening performance. Recalling the terrifying period he went through, Vaidya said there was a lot of confusion and panic in Dubai. The situation was similar to that when heavy floods hit Mumbai in 2005.

Vaiday also posted seval other images and videos of cars that were underwater and flooded roadways. The Bigg Boss 14 contestant, who shared his ordeal, claimed that even though it had just rained for two hours, the situation was dire.

In one of the video, which went viral he can be seen struggling in walking in knee-deep water. He can be also seen holding his sneakers in one hand and with other hand he was seen managing other things.

This is the result of the two hours of rain that it had, he can be heard saying in the video. Vidya also said he dosen’t believe Dubai is accustomed to a lot of rain. Everything had stopped working, he remarked.

After taking part in the first season of the singing reality show Indian Idol, Rahul Vaidya gained widespread recognition. In addition to Bigg Boss, he took part in Khatron Ke Khiladi 11.

Meanwhile, heavy rains that triggered flooding in the UAE and Bahrain, which left 18 people dead in Oman on Sunday and Monday, have paralyzed the financial hub of the Middle East, Dubai.

A lot of incoming flights were diverted from Dubai’s international airport because of the rain. At 7:26 p.m., the busiest airport in the world for foreign visitors stopped accepting new arrivals; a gradual resumption was announced for more than two hours later.

Images of planes navigating flooded tarmacs are making the rounds on social media.

According to pictures shared on social media, the flagship malls Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates both experienced heavy floods, while at least one Dubai Metro station had water up to the ankles.

There were several road collapses, severe flooding in residential areas, and numerous reports of leaks from windows, doors, and roofs.

Due to the unfavourable weather, schools around the United Arab Emirates were forced to close, and as more storms are predicted, the closures are anticipated to last until Wednesday. The government of Dubai allowed its staff to work remotely till this Wednesday.

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Dubai sky turns green during storm in UAE, video goes viral

The UAE witnessed record-breaking rainfall on Tuesday and the National Centre of Meteorology recorded 254 mm of rainfall in less than 24 hrs in the Khatm Al Shakla area in Al Ain.

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1 person was killed in UAE as it witnessed heavy rainfall on Tuesday, stranding commuters, flooding roads, disrupting trains and flights and resulting in water leakage from mall ceilings. The UAE witnessed record-breaking rainfall on Tuesday and the National Centre of Meteorology recorded 254 mm of rainfall in less than 24 hrs in the Khatm Al Shakla area in Al Ain. It is being said that the rainfall was the highest documented since the start of data collection in 1949.

The heavy rainfall in UAE came days after a similar situation in neighbouring Oman, where 13 people were killed in flash floods. Many parts of Oman saw torrential rains, which caused students to be trapped in buses and swept away motorists and trapped people in their homes.

Videos from Dubai circulating on social media showed widespread waterlogging on roads in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and other important cities. This left daily commuters in cars and other vehicles struggling to get back home. Dubai metro station too was seen flooded and closed.

One such video circulating on social media shows the aerial view of the city of Dubai from the top of a building. In the video the stormy winds are seen blowing over the city of Dubai. As the storm intensifies the Dubai sky turns green and ultimately gets covered by heavy rainfall. The video has gone viral on social media with more than 1.1 million views.

Another video showed water leakage from the ceilings of shopping malls, flooding the floors and destroying goods. A video which was shot in the famous Mall of the Emirates, showed pieces of ceiling falling as the rainwater gushed inside. Videos from many outlets of the Deira City Centre mall chain showed escalators being rendered unusable. Majid Al Futtaim, the company which owns the Mall of Emirates, said that the shopping complexes have been kept open and the customers are being sent away from the flooded areas. 

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Sri Lankan Minister Douglas Devananda says statements on reclaiming Katchatheevu island from Sri Lanka have no ground

Devananda told the media on Thursday that it is not unusual to hear such claims and counterclaims about Katchatheevu as elections are taking place in India.

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Sri Lankan Minister Douglas Devananda has said the statements from some political leaders in India on reclaiming Katchatheevu from the island nation have no ground. He told the media on Thursday that it is not unusual to hear such claims and counterclaims about the strategic island as elections are taking place in India.

The Sri Lankan Minister said he thought India is acting on its interests to secure this place to ensure Sri Lankan fishermen would not have any access to that area and that Sri Lanka should not claim any rights in that resourceful area. According to the 1974 agreement, Devananda said Indian and Sri Lankan fishermen can go fishing in the territorial waters of both countries until the pact was reviewed and amended in 1976.

The amended agreement resulted in fishermen from both countries being barred from fishing in neighboring waters. India’s ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Thursday steered clear of the row surrounding Katchatheevu island. To a volley of questions on the Katchatheevu issue, MEA spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal reffered to External affairs Minister S Jaishankar’s recent comments on the matter.

He said he would like to talk about the issue that has been raised. He added the External Affairs minister has spoken to the press here in Delhi and also in Gujarat and has clarified all the issues. He said everyone should look into the press engagements and they would find the answers to their questions there.

The remarks from Devananda, a Sri Lankan Tamil, came days after the Narendra Modi government accused the Congress and its ally DMK in Tamil Nadu of overlooking national interests by handing over Katchatheevu island to Sri Lanka in 1974. The BJP has also been slamming the 2 parties for not ensuring the rights of the fishermen wanting to fish in waters around the island.

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