Gulf states traded public barbs on Saturday, showing little sign of resolving the region’s deepest rift in years, five days after Arab nations severed diplomatic, trade and transport ties with the tiny Gulf kingdom of Qatar.

Foreign leaders expressed growing concern over the dispute, which pits Qatar against Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Egypt. With backing from U.S. President Donald Trump, they accuse Qatar of supporting their regional arch-rival Iran as well as Islamist militants.

Kuwait has led a regional effort to mediate, but the four states intensified the pressure on Friday by placing dozens of people with alleged links to Qatar on terrorism blacklists.

A senior UAE official followed on Saturday by calling Qatar “duplicitous,” alleging in a series of tweets that its funding of militants had sown chaos and violence throughout the region.

“Qatar has been riding (the) tiger of extremism & terrorism. Cost to region & world too high,” tweeted Anwar Gargash, the UAE minister of state for foreign affairs.

“Diplomacy only way forward. Process can only work following clear indication that Qatar will stop support & finance of extremism & terrorism.”


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