Sat Nov 18 2017, 18:26:29 +03

Qatar faces serious diplomatic blow as 7 Arab countries cut ties

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(Riyadh-AlummahWorld-Ramadan11,1438H) The Qatar faces serious diplomatic blow as Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, Egypt, Maldives, one of Libya's three governments and the United Arab Emirates have joined Saudi Arabia and Bahrain in cutting ties with Qatar, adding fuel to a diplomatic dispute in the Gulf region.

Qatar said it regretted the coordinated decision by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain to cut diplomatic relations, according to Qatar-based Al Jazeera TV.

"The measures are unjustified and are based on claims and allegations that have no basis in fact," the network quoted the foreign ministry as saying.

Qatar said the decisions would "not affect the normal lives of citizens and residents".

Saudi Arabia and Bahrain were the first to sever all diplomatic ties with Qatar, citing national security concerns.

The countries have blocked Qatar from their airspace and requested that all Qatari diplomats leave within 48 hours.

Meanwhile, Egypt has given the Qatari ambassador in Cairo 48 hours to leave the country and has recalled its charges d'affaires in Doha, the foreign ministry said on Monday.

In a Foreign Ministry statement, Saudi Arabia accused Doha of sheltering and backing terrorist groups, promoting terrorist groups in the media, and supporting Houthi militia in Yemen.

Cairo blamed the Qatari government for "hostile attitudes," sheltering the Muslim Brotherhood on its soil, and backing terror groups threatening the country's national security.

Bahrain's Foreign Ministry accused the Qatari government of destabilizing the country's security and stability and interfering in its affairs.

Qatar has "spread chaos in Bahrain in flagrant violation of all agreements and covenants and principles of international law without regard to values, the law, or morals or consideration of the principles of good neighborliness or commitment to the constants of Gulf relations, and in denial of all previous commitments," it said.

Qatari citizens have 14 days to leave Bahraini territories. Bahrain also recalled its diplomats from Qatar, it added.

Last month the website of Qatar's official news agency was allegedly hacked by unknown individuals who reportedly published statements falsely attributed to its emir, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad al-Thani.

The incident triggered a diplomatic row between Qatar and its neighbors, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

Meanwhile, Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah of Kuwait trying to defuse increasing rift between Arab countries by mediating for concern parties. The Emir arrived in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday apparently to discuss about developments and possible dialogue between Saudi Arabia and Qatar.