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

Iran says severing ties with Qatar not a solution for regional crisis


Saudi Arabia and three Arab countries severed ties to Qatar on Monday and moved to cut off land, sea and air routes to the energy-rich nation that is home to a major U.S. military base, accusing it of supporting regional terror groups.

Egypt, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates on Monday chose to sever diplomatic ties with Qatar.

Already, diplomats from Saudi Arabia and Bahrain have been told they must leave Qatar as soon as possible, giving just 48 hours for them to exit the eastern Gulf nation.

All the nations also said they planned to cut air and sea traffic to the peninsular country.

"Qatar Airways has suspended all flights to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia" m, a statement from the Doha-based carrier said. The Qatar Airways and Qatari government officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Doha last month launched a probe into an alleged "hack" of state media after it said false and explosive remarks attributed to Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani were published on the Qatar News Agency website following Trump's regional visit.

"Qatar is an effective member at the Gulf Co-operation Council and abides to its charter; it also respects the sovereignty of all other states and does not interfere in any country's internal affairs". However, the 2014 crisis did not see a land, sea and air blockade.

NPR's David Welna, who is traveling with Tillerson and Mattis, notes that the rift among USA allies "comes just 10 days after President Trump addressed an anti-terrorism summit of Arab leaders in Saudi Arabia, and some see Trump's siding there with Sunni monarchs and his rhetoric against Iran as having given a kind of green light to blackballing this Gulf nation".

It said Qatar harboured "a number of terrorist and sectarian groups that aim to destabilise the region including the Muslim Brotherhood, Daesh (IS) and Al-Qaeda".

Dubai: Four Arab states have cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of destabilising the region.

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Abu Dhabi-based airline Etihad said it was suspending flights to Qatar amid the growing rift.

The Dolphin pipeline started pumping gas from Qatari oil fields to the UAE in 2007, the same year the UAE became an importer of gas.

Qatar backed the democratically elected Muslim Brotherhood government of Mohammed Morsi in Egypt, a move which angered Saudi Arabia which partly financed the military ouster of the Morsi-government.

David Cameron agreed to an inquiry into foreign funding of Islamist extremists in 2015, as part of a deal with the Liberal Democrats in return for their support on the extension of air strikes into Syria.

Qatar has denied the accusations.

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