DOHA – Five Arab states, including Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Yemen and Egypt announced on Monday to cut all diplomatic relations with fellow Gulf Arab state, Qatar, for allegedly supporting terrorism and extremism.
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Saudi Arabia’s official state news agency, citing an official source, said the Kingdom had decided to break relations with Qatar “proceeding from the exercise of its sovereign right guaranteed by international law and the protection of national security from the dangers of terrorism and extremism”.
Bahrain, a close ally of Saudi Arabia, said it cut relations “on the insistence of the state of Qatar to continue destabilizing the security and stability of the Kingdom of Bahrain and to intervene in its affairs.”
It has given 14 days time to all citizens to leave Bahrain.
Later, the UAE announced that it would break relations with the fellow Gulf country over allegations of supporting extremism and undermining regional stability. The Emirates gave diplomats 48 hours to leave the country.
Egypt also decided to close all air and sea routes for Qatar.
Qatar is the largest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the world, besides having extensive air and banking links throughout the countries.