5 Arab States Break Ties With Qatar

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, Yemen broke off relations with Qatar in the worst diplomatic crisis to hit Gulf Arab states in decades.

The three Gulf countries and Egypt accused Qatar of supporting terrorism and destabilizing the region. Qatar — which shares its only land border with Saudi Arabia — has rejected the accusations, calling them “unjustified” and “baseless.” Yemen and the Maldives also cut ties with Qatar.
Qatari citizens have been told they have 14 days to leave Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE, and those countries also banned their own citizens from entering Qatar.

Key developments:

— Qataris given 14 days to leave the UAE, Bahrain and Saudi
— Qatar ejected from the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen over alleged support of ISIS and al-Qaeda, according to Saudi state media
— Yemen and Maldives governments also cut ties with Qatar
— Emirates airline says it’s suspending all flights to and from Doha starting Tuesday morning
— Kuwait, Oman only Gulf Cooperation Council members remaining with ties to Qatar.
— Iran blames tensions on Donald Trump’s recent visit to Saudi Arabia
— Saudi Arabia said it closed Al-Jazeera office in kingdom
— Turkey calls for dialogue to resolve the rift
Saudi Arabia’s state news agency announced the cutting of ties Monday, saying it was seeking to “protect national security from the dangers of terrorism and extremism.”
All ports of entry between the two countries will be closed, according to the statement.
Gulf allies have repeatedly criticized Qatar for alleged support of the Muslim Brotherhood, a nearly 100-year-old Islamist group considered a terrorist organization by Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
The UAE accused Qatar of “funding and hosting” the group in its statement announcing the severance of ties.
It also 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” as the reason for its actions.
Saudi Arabia accused Qatar in its statement of “adopting” groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood.
Qatar denies that it funds or supports extremist groups.
However, the Saudi-led Arab coalition fighting Yemen’s Houthi rebels also expelled Qatar from its alliance, alleging support of “al Qaeda and Daesh [also known as ISIS], as well as dealing with the rebel militias,” according to Saudi’s state media agency.
Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait and Qatar form a close regional alliance known as the Gulf Cooperation Council, established in 1981. After Monday’s development, only Kuwait and Oman have ties with Qatar. The Emir of Kuwait urged Qatar’s Emir to exercise “self-restraint and refrain from steps that would escalate the situation,” according to Kuwait’s news agency, KUNA.
As the crisis deepened in the region, Bahrain’s foreign ministry said it was suspending diplomatic relations “in order to preserve its national security,” according to a statement.
Qatari diplomats had 48 hours to leave and airspace and ports between the countries would be closed within 24 hours of Bahrain’s announcement, it said. Bahrain said its decision was based on what it said was Qatar’s destabilizing actions.
In further developments Monday, Egypt said Qatar had taken an “anti-Egyptian course” and that Cairo had been unable to dissuade it from supporting terrorism.
Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement saying that Qatar diplomats had 48 hours to leave the country.

Flights suspended, lines at supermarkets

Dubai-based airline Emirates said it is suspending all flights to and from Doha, the capital of Qatar, starting Tuesday; Emirates said it was instructed to do so by the UAE government.
Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways will also suspend its Doha flights on Wednesday. Other airways in the countries involved are expected to follow suit.
Qatar residents rushed to supermarkets following news the country's only land border was being closed.

There were reports of long lines at supermarkets in Qatar on Monday as people stocked up on food after news that Saudi Arabia was closing the country’s only land border.
Shalome Pinto shared pictures with CNN from Lulu Hypermarket in Doha and said her usual two-minute wait at the checkout line was 30 minutes amid the rush.

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