Friday 18th August, 2017
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Saudi, Egypt, others sever ties with Qatar

Saudi, Egypt, others sever ties with Qatar

A number of Arab countries includ­ing Saudi Arabia and Egypt have cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of destabilising the region.
They say Qatar backs militant groups in­cluding so-called Islamic State (IS) and al-Qaeda, which Qatar denies.
The Saudi state news agency SPA said Ri­yadh had closed its borders, severing land, sea and air contact with the tiny peninsula of oil-rich Qatar.
Qatar called the decision “unjustified” and with “no basis in fact”.
The unprecedented move is seen as a ma­jor split between powerful Gulf countries, who are also close US allies.
It comes amid heightened tensions be­tween Gulf countries and their near-neigh­bour, Iran. The Saudi statement accused Qatar of collaborating with “Iranian-backed terrorist groups” in its restive eastern region of Qatif and in Bahrain.
The diplomatic withdrawal was first put into motion by Bahrain, then Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt, Yemen, Libya’s eastern-based government and the Maldives all followed suit.
SPA cited officials as saying the decision was taken to “protect its national securi­ty from the dangers of terrorism and ex­tremism”.
Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain have given all Qatari visitors and residents two weeks to leave their territory. The three countries have also banned their citizens from travelling to Qatar.
However, Saudi Arabia says it will still al­low Qataris to take part in the annual Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca.
So far, there has been no sign of recipro­cal moves by Qatar.
 

 

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