The Latest: Qatar Airways CEO slams Gulf blockade

The Latest on the diplomatic crisis between Gulf nations and Qatar (all times local):

3:45 p.m.

The CEO of Qatar Airways says the blockade imposed on his country by its Gulf neighbors “will leave a lasting wound.”

Speaking Monday at the Paris Air Show, Akbar Al Baker told The Associated Press: “People will not forget.”

Al Baker said he expects U.S. President Donald Trump will quickly intervene “to make sure that this blockade is lifted soonest … especially since he knows that we are part of his alliance against terrorism.”

He called the blockade illegal and said customers are coming back to Qatar Airways and again using Qatar as an aviation hub after an initial hit to business.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut ties with Qatar earlier this month and blocked air, sea and land traffic with Qatar over its support for Islamist groups and ties with Iran.


1:30 p.m.

The deadline for Qataris to leave neighboring Gulf Arab states has come into effect as the diplomatic standoff persists despite multiple mediation efforts.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain cut ties with Qatar on June 5 and announced that Qatari residents would have 14 days to leave. The deadline was Monday.

Officials later clarified there would be exceptions for mixed-nationality families in the Gulf.

Still, the United Nations human rights chief and rights groups such as Amnesty International have criticized the expulsion of Qataris, saying there are people who risk losing their jobs and students who cannot sit for exams.

Gulf Arab states, outraged by Qatar’s support of Islamists, accuse it of backing terror groups. Qatar says the allegations are politically motivated and that it denounces terrorism.

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