Published: Mon, June 05, 2017
Science | By Cecil Little

Arab nations sever diplomatic ties with Qatar

Arab nations sever diplomatic ties with Qatar

Saudi Arabia said it also would shut its land border with Qatar, effectively cutting off the country from the rest of the Arabian Peninsula.

Oil prices are on the rise after Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain cut ties with Qatar, accusing it of financing terror and undermining security.

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.

The cuts came in quick succession, with Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and the Maldives all announcing that they were ending diplomatic relations with Doha and giving Qatari diplomats and citizens days or even hours to get out of their territories.

The move came as Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) took similar decisions by cutting diplomatic relations and all land, sea, and air contacts with Gulf Arab country Qatar, citing "terrorism" and "flagrant violation" of worldwide law.

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How are Qatar Airways flights affected?

All three major UAE airlines including Emirates, Etihad and flydubai will suspend flights to and from Doha from Tuesday morning.

Qatar called the move "unjustified" with "no basis in fact".

The Yemen government also announced that it was severing all ties with Qatar, and accused it of working with its enemies in the Iran-aligned Houthi movement, state news agency Saba reported.

"There is not much geopolitical risk premium priced into oil right now, (but) if tensions do ratchet higher between the key OPEC producers, like Saudi Arabia, Iran and Iraq, then the market will start paying attention to this", said Virendra Chauhan, an oil analyst at consultants Energy Aspects.

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Qatar has yet to comment on the growing crisis.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait and Qatar form a close regional alliance known as the Gulf Cooperation Council, established in 1981.

Monday's decision comes two weeks after Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt blocked several Qatari media outlets - including Al Jazeera - over comments allegedly made by Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim Al Hamad Al Thani. It wasn't clear if the decision would affect American military operations.

Bahrain jumped first with an announcement that Qatari diplomats should vacate the country within 48 hours, and vice versa, while citing Qatar's "support for armed terrorist activities and funding linked to Iranian groups to carry out sabotage and spreading chaos in Bahrain".

The SPA statement accused Qatar of backing these groups, as well as the widely-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, and that it "promotes the message and schemes of these groups through their media constantly".

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