Five Arab states cut ties with Qatar


Team Udayavani, Jun 6, 2017, 9:15 AM IST

Riyadh: In the biggest diplomatic crisis to hit the Gulf region in years, five Arab nations, including Saudi Arabia and Egypt, on Monday, cut ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting extremism.

Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Yemen and the Maldives joined Saudi Arabia and Egypt in severing relations with gas-rich Qatar, with Riyadh accusing Doha of supporting groups, including some backed by Iran, “that aim to destabilise the region”.

The Gulf states and Egypt said they were severing diplomatic ties and closing transport links with Qatar, which relies on imports from its neighbours. 

The Gulf states banned their citizens from travelling to Qatar and ordered Qatari citizens to leave within 14 days.

Saudi Arabia also closed its borders with Qatar, effectively blocking food and other supplies exported by land to Qatar. Supermarkets were besieged by shoppers on Monday as many rushed to buy food, leaving shelves bare and resulting in queues up to 25-people deep at some major stores in central Doha.The Qatar Stock Exchange tumbled 8% on opening and eventually closed down 7.58%.

Qatar reacted with fury, denying any support for extremists and accusing its Gulf neighbours of seeking to put the country under “guardianship”.

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