Dubai, June 5: Major setback for Qatar as four nations including Saudi Arabia has cut the diplomatic ties with Doha on Monday over its support for terrorism and its relations with Iran. Notably, Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have announced to cut the diplomatic relations with Qatar over its support for Islamic terrorism and its relations with Iran. All the four countries have rejected Qatar's diplomats from their territories too.
However, Saudi Arabia closed the border and halted air and sea traffic with Qatar, urging all brotherly countries and companies to do the same immediately. Saudi Arabia also said Qatari troops would be pulled from the ongoing war in Yemen.
Whereas, Bahrain's foreign ministry issued a statement saying it would withdraw its diplomatic mission from the Qatari capital, Doha, within 48 hours and that all Qatari diplomats should leave Bahrain within the same period.
Egypt also announced the closure of its airspace and seaports for all Qatari transportation "to protect its national security", the foreign ministry said in a statement. UAE-based carriers Emirates, Etihad Airways and fly Dubai also suspend flights to and from Qatar beginning Tuesday morning.
Meanwhile, Qatar's foreign ministry said it regretted the measures by the Arab nations, calling the decisions "unjustified". "The measures are unjustified and are based on claims and allegations that have no basis in fact," the statement said, adding that the decisions would "not affect the normal lives of citizens and residents". "The aim is clear, and it is to impose guardianship on the state. This by itself is a violation of its sovereignty as a state," it added.
The decision from four nations was a clear, public rebuttal of Saudi Arabia's efforts to force Qatar to fall in line against the Shiite-ruled nation, which the Sunni kingdom sees as its No. 1 enemy and a threat to regional stability. Qatar shares a massive offshore gas field with the Islamic Republic. The cut-off of diplomatic relations have caused crude and natural gas prices hike.
Qatar is also home to the sprawling Al-Udeid Air Base, which is home to the U.S. military's Central Command and some 10,000 American troops. It wasn't clear if the decision would affect American military operations. Central Command officials and the Pentagon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The rift was started between these nations after Qatar's ruling emir, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani gave inflammatory comments over Trump’s visit to Saudi and therefore Riyadh blocked several news channels of Doha. Qatar’s Emir attacked U.S. foreign policy while praising Iran and vowing to withdraw its diplomatic representation from several Middle Eastern countries, including Saudi Arabia. Qatari Emir al-Thani also described Iran as an "Islamic power" and strongly criticized President Trump's policy towards Tehran.
Later, Qatar authorities deported Saudi’s eminent human rights activist Mohammed Abdullah Al-Otaibi to Saudi Arabia few days after Riyadh and UAE banned Qatari news channels over inflammatory comments.