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6 Arab Nations Cut Ties with Qatar, Accuse it of Supporting Terrorism



Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Yemen and Libya severed their ties with Qatar on Monday, accusing it of supporting terrorism, opening up the worst rift in years among some of the most powerful states in the Arab world.

The coordinated move dramatically escalates a dispute over Qatar’s support of the Muslim Brotherhood, the world’s oldest Islamist movement, and adds accusations that Doha even backs the agenda of regional arch-rival Iran.

Announcing the closure of transport ties with Qatar, the three Gulf states gave Qatari visitors and residents two weeks to leave their countries.

Qatar was also expelled from a Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen.

Economic disturbances loomed immediately, as Abu Dhabi’s state-owned Etihad Airways said it would suspend all flights to and from Doha from Tuesday morning until further notice.

Oil giant Saudi Arabia accused Qatar of backing militant groups and broadcasting their ideology, in an apparent reference to Qatar’s influential state-owned satellite channel al Jazeera.

The Saudi state news agency SPA said: “(Qatar) embraces multiple terrorist and sectarian groups aimed at disturbing stability in the region, including the Muslim Brotherhood, Islamic State and al-Qaeda, and promotes the message and schemes of these groups through their media constantly.”

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain accused Qatar of supporting what it described as Iranian-backed militants in its restive and largely Shi’ite Muslim-populated Eastern region of Qatif and in Bahrain.

Qatar on Monday said that it was facing a campaign of lies and fabrications aimed at putting the Gulf Arab state under guardianship.

“The campaign of incitement is based on lies that had reached the level of complete fabrications,” the Qatari foreign ministry said.

The ministry added that, as a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council, it was committed to its charter, respected the sovereignty of other states and did not interfere in their affairs.

The diplomatic broadside threatens the international prestige of Qatar, which hosts a large U.S. military base and is set to host the 2022 World Cup.

It has for years presented itself as a mediator and power broker for the region’s many disputes.

Kristian Ulrichsen, a Gulf expert at the U.S-based Baker Institute, said if Qatar’s land borders and air space were closed for any length of time “it would wreak havoc on the timeline and delivery” of the World Cup.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters in Sydney on Monday that the spat would not effect the fight against Islamist militants and that Washington has encouraged its Gulf allies to resolve their differences.

The announcements come 10 days after President Donald Trump visited Riyadh to call on Muslim countries to stand united against Islamists extremists, and singling out Iran as a key source of funding and support for militant groups.

“It seems that the Saudis and Emiratis feel emboldened by the alignment of their regional interests, toward Iran and Islamism, with the Trump administration,” said Kristian Ulrichsen.

“(They) have decided to deal with Qatar’s alternative approach on the assumption that they will have the (Trump) administration’s backing.”

Qatar has used its media and political clout to support long-repressed Islamists during the 2011 pro-democracy “Arab Spring” uprisings in several Arab countries.

Muslim Brotherhood parties allied to Doha are now mostly on the backfoot in the region, especially after a 2013 military takeover in Egypt ousted the elected Islamist president.

The former army chief and now president, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, along with the new government’s allies in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, blacklist the Brotherhood as a terrorist organization.

Egypt, the Arab world’s most populous nation, said on its state news agency that Qatar’s policy “threatens Arab national security and sows the seeds of strife and division within Arab societies according to a deliberate plan aimed at the unity and interests of the Arab nation.”

Oil prices rose after the moves against Qatar, which is the biggest supplier of liquefied natural gas and a major seller of condensate, a low-density liquid fuel and refining product derived from natural gas.


  1. seriously

    June 5, 2017 at 12:11 pm

    Finally, Arabs muslims are standing up. It’s been too long that they’ve remained silent on terrorism. Being mute about it and saying islam is peaceful is NOT cutting it. Speak against it, take actions.

    • Anon

      June 5, 2017 at 12:22 pm

      Who do you think the greatest supporters of these terrorists are? Please don’t let MSM deceive you.

      Why do you think they “fake” silence on terrorism? Basically, Sunni versus Shia.

      The cover up in the Gulf stinks and MSM is to blame.

  2. Anon

    June 5, 2017 at 12:19 pm

    An inevitable row that has been simmering underneath with all sorts of undercurrents. Saudi Arabia covertly supports Daesh and they are also not happy Qatar is supporting the wrong “Islamists.” Pots, kettles and black. Qatari Emir called Hamas the legitimate reps of the Palestinians.

    Oh dear! Kuwait is staying out of this and they didn’t listen to their Emir who is usually called the “wise man of the Gulf.”

  3. mami

    June 5, 2017 at 1:24 pm

    well all i heard was oil price going up, good for us

  4. Lol

    June 5, 2017 at 3:55 pm

    Israel must be sitting there laughing! As in you’d think these guys would have figured themselves out by now, fighting and destroying each other for more than 5 millennia and Islam comes, they can’t even decide on a version…as in smh….oh well, they’ll just keep getting pawned by the west!

  5. swagg1

    June 5, 2017 at 4:44 pm

    Saudi is banking on an unstable FRUMP? Goodluck on that dumb move. Btw, didnt alll the 9/11 terorists including Bin- Laden come from Saudi and isnt Wahabism from Saudi??. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.Just saying!!

  6. Nene

    June 5, 2017 at 7:09 pm

    Really? Qatar? I call bullsh*t. Qatar is one of the peaceful middle eastern countries. This accusation seems political.

  7. Nyc

    June 5, 2017 at 7:42 pm

    Blind fools believing this story. They’re diverting you your attention while they make some money from the increase in oil prices. The real terrorists are hiding in Saudi and because Trump was there to show some silly alliance to fight terror, they are using one of their own as a scape goat to divert attention from themselves to Qatar. More so Qatar is the largest supplier of LNG and begins to compete with UAE to attract visitors and development etc that’s competition they don’t like.

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