Key Arab League States Cut Ties With Qatar Over 'Supporting Terrorism'
Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen have severed diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing the country of backing terrorist groups. Qatar has called the move a "campaign of incitement" which is "based on lies."
Bahrain announced early Monday that it is severing diplomatic relations with neighboring Qatar and cutting air and sea connections with Doha, accusing it of meddling in its internal affairs. Bahrain’s state news agency said in a brief statement that Qatari citizens have 14 days to leave the country.
It accused Doha of supporting terrorism and meddling in Manama’s internal affairs.
Citing “protection of national security,” Riyadh then announced it was also severing ties with Doha and closing off all land, sea and air contacts, the Saudi state agency said in a statement, cited by Reuters.
The Saudi state news agency SPA alleged that Qatar “embraces multiple terrorist and sectarian groups aimed at disturbing stability in the region, including the Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS and Al-Qaeda, and promotes the message and schemes of these groups through their media constantly.”
The Saudi-led coalition has announced that Qatar’s participation in its joint military operation in Yemen has been canceled. The coalition’s statement accused Doha of supporting the Al-Qaeda and Islamic State terrorist groups.
Egypt was next to join the diplomatic war, with Cairo announcing it is cutting relations with Doha, according to Sputnik news agency.
Egypt has closed all its seaports and airspace to Qatari vessels and planes, the country’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
“The Government of the Arab Republic of Egypt has decided to sever diplomatic relations with Qatar because of the continued hostility of the Qatari authorities towards Egypt,” the Cairo statement read, also accusing Doha of supporting terrorist organizations, including the Muslim Brotherhood.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has followed suit, citing “support, funding and embrace of terrorist, extremist and sectarian organizations” as the reason for cutting ties with Qatar.
The Emirates has similarly given Qatar’s diplomats just 48 hours to leave its territory.
Yemen also followed suit, accusing Qatar of working alongside its enemies in the country's ongoing civil war, Al Arabiya and Reuters reported, citing state news agency Saba.
The government said it cut ties with Qatar partly over its support of extremist groups in the war-torn country, which were “in contradiction with the goals announced by the countries supporting the legitimate government,” AP reports.
The UAE’s state news agency said in a statement that Qatar is “undermining regional stability,” Reuters reports.
Of course, Saudi Arabia is arguably one of the biggest sponsors of terror in the world leading some to wonder why Qatar is being sacrificed.