No justification for cutting diplomatic ties by Gulf countries

06 Juin, 2017, 10:28 | Author: Claudine Rigal
  • Piotr Kovalev  TASS

An Egyptian official similarly said Qatar "threatens Arab national security and sows the seeds of strife and division within Arab societies according to a deliberate plan aimed at the unity and interests of the Arab nation".

(AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File).

Saudi Arabia closed its land border with Qatar, through which the tiny Gulf nation and global travel hub imports most of its food, sparking a run on supermarkets.

A sign indicating a route to the Qatar Embassy is seen in Manama, Bahrain, on June 5.

The Foreign Ministry of Qatar called accusations "unjustified" and said that they "are based on claims and allegations that have no basis in fact". Last month, Qatar's state news media published comments attributed to the emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, referring to tension with Washington over Iran policy and saying Mr. Trump might not be in power for long.

"They have attempted multiple times to get [Al Jazeera] to stop doing so, and Qatar has effectively refused", she says.

There was no immediate word from Kuwait and Oman on their ties with Qatar.

Still, the minister struck a defiant tone, vowing his nation rejected those "trying to impose their will on Qatar or intervene in its internal affairs".

The diplomatic withdrawal was first put into motion by Bahrain, then Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt, Yemen, Libya's eastern-based government and the Maldives all followed suit.

Trump and other U.S. officials participated in a traditional sword dance during the trip in which he called on Muslim countries to stand united against Islamist extremists and singled out Iran as a key source of funding and support for militant groups.

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Secretary of State Rex Tillerson Monday said that long standing "irritants" appeared to have bubbled up and pushed the cohort of nations to take action against Qatar.

Qatar's national team are still involved in the qualifying competition for the 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation and are bottom of their group with four points from seven games, with matches against South Korea, Syria, and China still to play. It did not elaborate.

Gulf states have for years accused Qatar of supporting extremist groups, in particular the Muslim Brotherhood, the world's oldest Islamist organisation. This time, however, they also cut off all travel to and from Qatar and ordered Qatari citizens to leave the countries.

Kurtulmus added that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had made some phone calls to solve the diplomatic row between Qatar and several other countries.

'The Qatari ambassador was summoned today and given formal notification of the expiry of his accreditation as an ambassador to Egypt, and was given 48 hours to leave the country, ' a statement from the foreign ministry said on Monday. The Qatar Stock Exchange fell 7 percent.

Air traffic was disrupted, with the United Arab Emirates suspending service to Qatar by its three carriers, Etihad Airways, Emirates and FlyDubai, beginning Tuesday morning.

The route between Doha, Qatar and Dubai is popular among business travelers and both are major transit hubs for travelers between Asia and Europe.

However, Qatar Airways flights between Dhaka and Doha, and Bangladesh Biman Airlines' Doha flights are operating as usual.

"All our Doha-bound flights have been cancelled for an indefinite period", said Al Mahmud Shamim.

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