Five countries cut ties with Qatar over ‘terrorism’ support

Five countries cut ties with Qatar over ‘terrorism’ support

By Keshala Dias

05 Jun, 2017 | 3:03 pm

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen have cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terror, in the Gulf Arab region’s most serious diplomatic crisis in years.

The countries claim that Qatar backs Islamic State (IS) and al- Qaeda, which Qatar has denied.

The countries noted they have planned to break off all land, air and sea traffic with Qatar and eject it’s diplomats from their territories.

Qatar was also expelled from a Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen.

Yemen’s internationally backed government, which no longer holds its capital and large portions of the country, also cut relations with Qatar, as did the government based in eastern Libya.

In the latest developments:

  • The UAE has given Qatari diplomats 48 hours to leave the country. Abu Dhabi accuses Qatar of “supporting, funding and embracing terrorism, extremism and sectarian organisations,” state news agency WAM said.
  • UAE airlines Etihad Airways, Emirates and Flydubai said they would suspend all flights to and from Qatari capital Doha from early Tuesday, local time.
  • The Gulf allies said they had closed their airspace to Qatar Airways.
  • Bahrain’s state news agency said it was cutting its ties because Qatar was “shaking the security and stability of Bahrain and meddling in its affairs”.
  • The Saudi-led Arab coalition fighting Yemen’s Houthi rebels also expelled Qatar from its alliance because of its “practices that strengthen terrorism” and its support to groups “including al-Qaeda and Daesh [IS], as well as dealing with the rebel militias”, according to SPA.