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Qatar Airways CEO: U.S. 'fueling' the fire of Gulf crisis

Posted June 12

The boss of Qatar Airways has accused the U.S. of fanning the flames of a dispute between the country and its Gulf neighbors.

Akbar Al Baker told CNNMoney's Emerging Markets Editor John Defterios that the decision by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other states to severe diplomatic and transport links with Qatar amounted to an "illegal" blockade that the U.S. should be doing its best to resolve.

President Trump has endorsed the decision of Gulf nations to ostracize Qatar, even as U.S. Cabinet officials have said it is hurting the campaign against ISIS.

"I don't want to comment about Trump," Al Baker said in an interview in Doha. "I am extremely disappointed."

"[The U.S.] should be the leader trying to break this blockade and not sitting and watching what's going on and putting fuel on [the] fire."

Related: Qatar hires Bush attorney general for 'crisis response'

Qatar Airways has been hit hard by the dispute, with 18 destinations now out of bounds for the airline. Qatar has been accused by Saudi Arabia and the UAE of supporting terrorism, claims that the tiny state has rejected in the strongest terms.

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