Qatar Airways profits hit $540 million before Gulf crisis

Saudi Arabia, the U.A.E., Bahrain and Egypt last week cut diplomatic relations and transport links with Qatar, saying the country must distance itself from Iran and stop funding Islamist groups, plunging the region into its biggest crisis in decades.

On Saturday, in Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov held talks with his Qatari counterpart.

The head of the industries, business and trade organization in the Fars province was also quoted by the Tasnim news agency as saying on Sunday the first planes carrying food to Qatar had flown from the southern city of Shiraz. In their apparent bid to secure United States support and that of Israel, the countries cited Qatar's links with Hamas and accused it of supporting terrorism and Iran.

An equal amount of fruits and vegetables are being sent to Qatar by plane from Iran's southern city of Shiraz, Fars Province.

Iran, with which Qatar shares a massive offshore gas field, will send its sixth planeload of vegetables to Qatar on Sunday, Iran Air spokesman Shahrokh Noushabadi told The Associated Press.

"We will continue deliveries as long as there is demand" from Qatar, Noushabadi added, without mentioning if these deliveries were exports or aid.

Saudi authorities have prevented Qatari nationals from entering the Grand Mosque in Mecca, after the diplomatic tension increased between Doha and some Arab countries, Al-Sharq newspaper reported.

Qatar has called the accusations baseless and have described the measures as a "siege" harmful to ordinary people there.

The conference, was attended by Aziz, Pakistan's Ambassador to the UN Maleeha Lodhi, as well as envoys to UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait, who were called back especially for the event.

"Even if the political crisis isn't solved, the blockade affecting people should be lifted", Mr Al Marri said.

Washington has sent mixed signals on the crisis, despite Qatar's position as a key ally and host to the largest USA airbase in the region.

The row threatens to draw in many countries, and on Friday US President Donald Trump accused Qatar of being a "funder of terrorism at a very high level".

Kuwait's foreign minister, Sheikh Sabah al-Khalid al-Sabah confirmed the comments on Sunday, according to its state-run KUNA news agency, in the latest shift to hit the ongoing diplomatic dispute.

Saudi Arabia is taking initials steps to ease the growing humanitarian crisis caused by the blockade it is leading against Qatar, in what a senior State Department official described to Fox News as "an encouraging sign".

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