Seven Arab nations cut diplomatic ties with Qatar


Seven Arab nations cut diplomatic ties with Qatar

Posted 25th June 2019

The nations of Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have announced they are cutting ties with Qatar because of what they claim is the country's ongoing support of terrorism and Islamist groups. Also Libya, Yemen and the Maldives have now joined the four Arab nations in severing ties with Qatar.

Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates announced they would withdraw their diplomatic staff from Qatar while Qatari diplomats have been given 48 hours to leave the countries. All the four nations have also advised that within 24 hours they will suspend traffic between all their air and sea ports and Qatar. The Qatari government has not responded to the severing of diplomatic ties, though it has previously denied funding extremist groups. 

Arab airlines cancel flights to Qatar: how travel will be affected

Emirates, in a statement on its website, said its last flight from Dubai to Doha will depart as EK847 at 02:30am on Tuesday. The last flight from Doha to Dubai will depart as EK848 at 3:50am on Tuesday.

Etihad Airways' last flight from Abu Dhabi to Doha will depart as EY391 at 9:35pm, while the last flight from Doha to Abu Dhabi will depart as EY398 at 10:50pm on Monday, the airline said in a statement.

FlyDubai, a Dubai-based budget carrier, said it is cancelling its flights to Qatar from Tuesday.

Air Arabia, a Sharjah-based carrier, said its last outbound flight from Sharjah to Doha will depart at 6:30pm on Monday, while the last inbound flight from Doha to Sharjah will depart at 7:25pm local time.

Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia), in a Twitter post, said it has cancelled all flights to Qatar from Monday morning onwards.

Gulf Air, Bahrain's national carrier, said its daily service between Manama and Doha will be suspended until further notice. Its last flight from Bahrain to Doha, GF530, will depart at 8:55pm and its final flight from Doha to Bahrain, GF531, will depart at 10:40pm local time on Monday. 

Egypt Air, has delayed its flights to and from Doha on Monday and is yet to announce a decision on whether it will resume or cancel its service between the two countries. 

Qatar Airways, one of the region's major long-haul carriers, said on its official website that it had suspended all flights to Saudi Arabia. It came after a number of airlines cancelled flights to Qatar following the diplomatic rift.

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 Qaeda, the Islamic State (IS) group 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".

The tiny island nation of 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. The decision comes after Qatar alleged in late May that hackers took over the site of its state-run news agency and published what it called fake comments from its ruling emir about Iran and Israel. Its Gulf Arab neighbours responded with anger, blocking Qatari-based media, including the Doha-based satellite news network Al-Jazeera. Qatar long has faced criticism from its Arab neighbours over its support of Islamists. The chief worry among them is the Muslim Brotherhood, a Sunni Islamist political group outlawed by both Saudi Arabia and the UAE as it challenges the nations' hereditary rule. 

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