4 nations cut diplomatic ties to Qatar as Gulf rift deepens

Randall Padilla
June 5, 2017

Riyadh has meanwhile moved to improve ties with Turkey and Qatar, which support ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood group, now outlawed as a terrorist organization in Egypt.

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates announced on Monday they were severing diplomatic ties with Qatar, as they accused the Gulf state of supporting terrorism.

Saudi has also said Qatari troops would be expelled from the on-going war in Yemen.

Etihad Airways, the UAE's flag carrier, said it would suspend flights to and from Qatar beginning Tuesday morning.

Qatar and some of its fellow Gulf Cooperation Council members are now embroiled in a dispute over purported remarks by the Qatari emir in which he is alleged to have criticized their policies and called for better ties with arch-foe Iran.

Qatar said last week that hackers had posted fake remarks by its emir, Sheik Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, criticizing some leaders of fellow Gulf Arab states and calling for an easing of tensions with Iran, a regional adversary. Its Gulf Arab neighbors responded with anger, blocking Qatari-based media, including the Doha-based satellite news network Al-Jazeera.

The countries also were ejecting Qatar's diplomats from their territories.

The official Saudi news agency said the country had made a decision to sever ties with Qatar "proceeding from the exercise of its sovereign right guaranteed by worldwide law and the protection of national security from the dangers of terrorism and extremism".

Gulf nations see Qatar as too close to Iran and Islamist movements such as the Muslim Brotherhood.

In its statement announcing its severing of ties with Qatar, the UAE cited Qatar's "ongoing policies that rattle the security and sovereignty of the region as well as its manipulation and evasion of its commitments and treaties". It gave Qatari citizens 14 days to leave the country.

Saudi Arabia "urges all brotherly countries and companies to do the same", according to the official report. However, the 2014 crisis did not see a land and sea blockade as threatened now. Western officials also have accused Qatar of allowing or even encouraging funding of Sunni extremists like al-Qaida's branch in Syria, once known as the Nusra Front. Trump asked at the meeting.

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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