The uae, saudi arabia, bahrain and egypt cut ties with qatar, accusing it of supporting terror, in the gulf arab region’s most serious diplomatic crisis in years.
qatari diplomats ejected and land, air and sea traffic routes cut off in row over terror and regional stability.
the countries said they planned to break off all land, air and sea traffic with qatar, and eject its diplomats from their territories. qatar was also expelled from a saudi-led coalition fighting in yemen.
yemen’s internationally backed government, also cut relations with qatar, as did the government based in eastern libya.
the coordinated move dramatically escalates a dispute over qatar’s support of the muslim brotherhood, the world’s oldest islamist movement, and adds accusations that doha even backs the agenda of regional arch-rival iran.
saudi arabia said it took the decision to cut diplomatic ties due to qatar’s “embrace of various terrorist and sectarian groups aimed at destabilising the region”, including the muslim brotherhood, al-qaida, islamic state and groups supported by iran in the kingdom’s restive eastern province of qatif. egypt’s foreign ministry accused qatar of taking an “antagonist approach” toward egypt and said “all attempts to stop it from supporting terrorist groups failed”. bahrain blamed qatar’s “media incitement, support for armed terrorist activities and funding linked to iranian groups to carry out sabotage and spreading chaos in bahrain” for its decision.
qatar’s foreign affairs ministry said the measures were unjustified and based on false claims and assumptions. “the state of qatar has been subjected to a campaign of lies that have reached the point of complete fabrication,” a statement said. “it reveals a hidden plan to undermine the state of qatar.” the immediate effect on air travel in the region: @etihadairways, the abu dhabi-based carrier, said it would suspend flights to qatar “until further notice”; @emirates, the dubai-based carrier, announced it would suspend qatar flights starting on tuesday; and dubai-based budget carrier @flydubai
said it would suspend flights to and from doha from tuesday.