Gulf states cut ties with Qatar

AFP
"The Qatari government will take all measures necessary... to foil attempts to affect or harm Qatar's society and economy."
AFP

Gulf states on Monday cut diplomatic ties with neighboring Qatar, less than a month after US President Donald Trump visited the region to cement ties with powerhouse Saudi Arabia.

In the region's most serious diplomatic crisis in years, Qatar's Gulf neighbors Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates as well as Egypt, Yemen and Libya all announced they were severing ties with gas-rich Qatar.

The cutting of diplomatic ties revives tensions from 2014 when Gulf countries recalled their ambassadors from Doha, ostensibly over its support for the Muslim Brotherhood.

In a statement released by the media outlet, Bahrain said Qatar has interfered with its internal Affairs, engaged in negative media coverage against it, and supported terrorist activities and armed groups, as well as financed Iranian-backed groups that are responsible of vandalisms and violence in the country.

The country has also decided to withdraw its diplomatic mission in Qatar, and asked Qatari diplomats to leave the country within 48 hours.

Bahrain is also going to suspend air and sea traffic between the two countries within 24 hours following the statement.

Meanwhile, Bahrainis are not allowed to go to Qatar, while Qataris in Bahrain have 14 days to leave the country.

In an official media report, Egypt also accused Qatar of supporting terrorist groups.

"The Arab Republic of Egypt decided to cut diplomatic ties with Qatar in light of the Gulf Arab state's persistence to take a path against Egypt, and the failure of any attempts to prevent it from supporting terrorist organizations, topped by the Muslim Brotherhood," said the statement.

The Brotherhood has been outlawed by Egypt.

It added that Qatar is sheltering leaders of the Brotherhood who targeted security and safety of Egypt by conducting terrorist operations.

AFP

This combination of file pictures created on June 5, 2017, shows (L to R) Qatar's Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani in New York on September 20, 2016, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Cairo on March 2, 2017, Saudi King Salman in Riyadh on January 1, 2013, Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, in Riyadh on May 05, 2015 and Bahrain's King Hamad bin Issa al-Khalifa in Riyadh on May 21, 2017.

Unjustified

Qatar on Monday slammed the decisions of three Gulf states to sever ties with it, saying they were "unjustified" and aimed to put Doha under political "guardianship."

"The measures are unjustified and are based on false and baseless claims," the Qatari foreign ministry said in a statement, referring to the unprecedented steps taken by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt.

"The aim is clear, and it is to impose guardianship on the state. This by itself is a violation of its (Qatar's) sovereignty as a state," it added.

The host of the football World Cup 2022 said it has been subjected to an "incitement campaign based on fabrications, which reflects an intention to harm Qatar."

Doha insisted the sanctions, which include the Gulf states severing air, land and sea links with Qatar, "will not affect the daily life of citizens and residents."

"The Qatari government will take all measures necessary... to foil attempts to affect or harm Qatar's society and economy," the statement said.

Qatar has land borders with Saudi Arabia and is separated by Gulf waters from nearby Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.

Qatar has so far given no indication of where the alleged May 24 cyber attack originated.

Media organizations in several regional countries reported the emir's comments as fact, despite an official denial by Doha.

They also blocked Qatari broadcasters and websites following the alleged statements.

Last week, the Qatari emir travelled to Kuwait to meet Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah in what was widely seen as an attempt at mediation by the Kuwaitis.


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