by WorldTribune Staff, June 5, 2017
Four Sunni Arab states have severed ties with Qatar over its close ties with Iran and terrorism.
Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain on June 5 announced they would break diplomatic ties with Qatar, Arutz Sheva reported.
Saudi Arabia accused Qatar of supporting “multiple terrorist and sectarian groups…including the Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS (Islamic State), and Al Qaida.”
A statement carried by Saudi state news agency SPA accused Qatar of supporting what it described as Iranian-backed militants in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. Saudi Arabia also said Qatari troops would be removed from the ongoing war in Yemen.
Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani was recently quoted as telling official media as speaking out in support of Iran, against the Gulf states and Egypt, claiming his country has a good relationship with Israel, defending Hizbullah, and admitting to strained relations with U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration, the report said.
In an official statement, the four countries said “Qatar adopted terror organizations which intend to harm the region’s stability.”
Bahrain said its decision was the result of what it called Qatar’s “media incitement, support for armed terrorist activities, and funding linked to Iranian groups to carry out sabotage and spreading chaos in Bahrain.”
Egypt’s Foreign Ministry said “all attempts to stop [Qatar] from supporting terrorist groups failed.”
Saudi Arabia told its citizens to leave Qatar within 14 days. Saudi Arabia also said it would shut its land border with Qatar, effectively cutting off Qatar from the rest of the Arabian Peninsula.
UAE carrier Etihad Airways announced all flights to Qatar would be canceled as of June 6.
Qatar, which will host the 2022 FIFA World Cup soccer tournament, said there was “no legitimate justification” for the decision of the four nations.
Yemen’s internationally recognized government followed regional allies in cutting ties with Qatar. So did an eastern-based government in Libya, which has spurned the UN-backed, internationally recognized government in Tripoli.