World

The Latest: Qatar says Arab quartet accusations are false

The Latest on Qatar developments (all times local):

8:40 p.m.

Qatar is calling allegations made against it by four Arab countries that it supports extremist groups as false and defamatory.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain broke ties with Qatar early last month. They accused the country early Friday of thwarting all efforts aimed at resolving the rift and said it intends to "continue its policy aimed at destabilizing security of the region."

In a statement attributed to an unnamed senior foreign ministry official released later, Qatar said its position on terrorism "is consistent and known for its rejection and condemnation of all forms of terrorism whatever the causes and motives are." It went on to say that Qatar "is an active member committed to international conventions in combating terrorism and its financing at the regional and international levels."

The official said Qatar is willing to cooperate with mediation efforts "and review all claims that do not contradict with the sovereignty of the State of Qatar.

___

7:45 p.m.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is in Saudi Arabia for the first in a series of meetings with Gulf leaders over the region's political crisis.

The Foreign Office says Johnson will meet in senior representatives of Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait.

He is meeting on Friday with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, and plans to travel to Qatar and Kuwait in the coming days.

Johnson is urging Gulf states go get behind Kuwait-led efforts to end tensions between Qatar and four Arab countries.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain cut diplomatic ties and severed air, land and sea links with Qatar last month, accusing it of supporting extremist ideology. They later issued a 10-day ultimatum to a 13-point list of demands.

Qatar denies supporting extremism and sees the ultimatum as an affront to its sovereignty.

___

3:35 p.m.

The chief of one of the world's busiest water corridors, the Suez Canal, says Egyptian authorities can't ban Qatari ships from crossing the vital waterway.

Suez Canal chairman Mohab Mamish, a retired navy admiral, said in a statement Friday that the canal authorities are abiding by the government's severing relations with Qatar. However, international treaties prevent them from barring Qatari ships from using the canal as a passage. He said Qatari ships will be barred from using Egyptian ports and the canal's economic zone.

Egypt along with Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain have accused Qatar of harboring Islamic extremism. The four countries cut diplomatic ties and severed air, land and sea links with the World Cup 2022 host early last month.

Around 10 percent of the world's trade flows through the waterway, which links the Red Sea to the Mediterranean, allowing vessels to avoid sailing around Africa. The canal is one of Egypt's top foreign currency earners and is seen as a symbol of it's the country's modernity.

___

11 a.m.

The four Arab countries isolating Qatar are vowing to take additional steps against the energy rich Gulf state after it refused to accept their demands over allegations that it supports extremist ideology.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain said in a statement carried early Friday on the Emirati state news agency WAM that they will "take all necessary political, economic and legal measures" against Qatar in a "timely manner." They did not specify what those steps could include.

The four countries cut diplomatic ties and severed air, land and sea links with World Cup 2022 host Qatar early last month. They later issued a 10-day ultimatum to a 13-point list of demands.

Qatar denies supporting extremism and sees the ultimatum as an affront to its sovereignty.