Bahrain cuts diplomatic ties to Qatar as Gulf rift deepens

Lance Nichols
June 5, 2017

Saudi media viciously attacked Qatar, accusing it of having "betrayed" the other Arab countries particularly at a time when they had attempted to stage a show of "unity" against Iran in a much-publicized and extravagant series of events in Riyadh.

Egypt cut ties with Qatar, accusing the Gulf Arab state of supporting "terrorist" organisations including the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's state news agency reported.

In its statement announcing its severing of ties with Qatar, the UAE cited Qatar's "ongoing policies that rattle the security and sovereignty of the region as well as its manipulation and evasion of its commitments and treaties".

Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates announced on Monday they would withdraw their diplomatic staff from Qatar, a natural gas-rich nation that is hosting the 2022 World Cup.

Bahrain is also closing its airspace, ports and territorial waters to air traffic and shipping to and from Qatar within 24 hours of the announcement of the statement.

The Emir's comments appeared on Qatar's official news agency, but Qatar claimed that the website was "hacked", the report fabricated by the culprits.

The dispute between Qatar and the Gulf's Arab countries started over a purported hack of Qatar's state-run news agency. In March 2014, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain recalled their ambassadors from Qatar over the rift. However, the 2014 crisis did not see a land and sea blockade as threatened now. Western officials also have accused Qatar of allowing or even encouraging funding of Sunni extremists like al-Qaida's branch in Syria, once known as the Nusra Front.

The two leaders also met during US President Donald Trump's visit to the region last month.

Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani arrived in Kuwait on Wednesday for talks with his counterpart Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah.

Oman remains the only GCC member to maintain ties with Qatar. "Our relationship is extremely good".

Other reports by TheDigitalNewspaper

Discuss This Article