The United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Egypt announced Monday they are breaking diplomatic relations and cutting sea and air links with Qatar as the latter poses a security threat for allegedly supporting terrorist groups.
The UAE ordered all Qatari diplomats to leave the country within 48 hours. It also tweeted that Qatari citizens will not be allowed to enter or pass through the country. Qatari citizens in the region have been given 14 days to leave the country for security and precautionary reasons.
UAE also ordered the closure of its sea and airports to incoming and outgoing Qatar ships.
In the UAE’s announcement made on state news agency WAM, the emirate accused Qatar of “destabilizing security of the region” for its “support, funding and embrace of terrorist, extremist and sectarian organizations”.
Bahrain and Saudi Arabia were the first to announce the severing of diplomatic relations with Qatar. Both countries also announced they were cutting air and sea contact with Qatar.
Saudi Arabia’s official state news agency said it wants to protect the country from the dangers of terrorism and extremism.
Egypt cut diplomatic ties with Qatar following Bahrain and Saudi Arabia’s declarations.
The Egyptian Foreign Ministry cited the continued hostility of the Qatari authorities towards Egypt as reason for breaking relations.
The diplomatic crisis was reportedly triggered by a media pronouncement by Qatar that Iran guarantees the security of the Gulf region and Qatar’s decision to side with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and Hamas in the Palestinian territory.
photo credit: Climate Home