Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Yemen and Egypt severed ties with Qatar on Monday morning, following a diplomatic rift in the Gulf region in recent weeks.
According to the Saudi Press Agency, Saudi Arabia has taken this decision as a result of “ serious and systematic violations committed by the authorities in Doha over the past years with the aim of creating strife among Saudi internal ranks, undermining its sovereignty and embracing various terrorist and sectarian groups aimed at destabilizing the region.”
Among the extremist groups Saudi Arabia accused Qatar of supporting and harboring were the Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS and al-Qaeda, by means incitement through its media channels.
“Qatar has also supported the activities of the Iranian-backed terrorist groups in the Qatif province of Saudi Arabia and in neighboring Kingdom of Bahrain. It has also financed, adopted and is harboring extremists who seek to destabilize unity at home and abroad. It has used the media that seeks to fan internal strife. Saudi Arabia has also been made aware that authorities in Doha have supported Houthi militias even after the declaration of the coalition to support the legitimate government in Yemen,” the statement added.
In a statement, the UAE announced its full support for the Saudi stance towards Qatar, saying the Gulf state has threatened stability and security in the region, and has manipulated and shirked responsibilities and agreements made with the Gulf states.
The UAE has given Qatar’s diplomatic mission in Abu Dhabi 48 hours to leave the country after what it said where “Doha’s several policies which destabilizes the security and stability of the region and manipulates commitments”.
It also warned Qatari citizens they had 14 days to leave the UAE. Citizens from Qatar have also been banned from “even passing through the UAE”.
A statement on UAE’s official news agency WAM’s twitter account said “Emiratis are now banned from visiting or even passing by Qatar at all means”.
Meanwhile, Bahrain decided to sever ties with its neighbor “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”.
A statement also said Qatar’s incitement of the media and supporting of terrorist activities and financing groups linked to Iran were reasons behind the decision.
“(Qatar has) spread chaos in Bahrain in flagrant violation of all agreements and covenants and principles of international law Without regard to values, law or morals or consideration of the principles of good neighborliness or commitment to the constants of Gulf relations and the denial of all previous commitments,” the statement read.
Qatari citizens have 14 days to leave Bahraini territories while Qatari diplomats were given 48 hours to leave the country after being expelled. Meanwhile, Bahrain has also banned all of its citizens from visiting or residing in Qatar after the severance of ties.
“The dangerous Qatari practices have not been confined to the Kingdom of Bahrain, but have also been extended to sister countries that have been informed that such acts reflect a very dangerous pattern which cannot be ignored or accepted and must be addressed with full strength and firmness,” a statement added.
Halkan ka daawo muuqaalka
A statement to come out from Egypt indicates that one of the reasons was the Qatari government’s support of the Muslim Brotherhood, which Cairo has designated a terrorist group.
“Qatar’s has promoted al-Qaeda’s ideology, and given support to ISIS and terrorist operations in the Sinai. Qatar’s has insisted on interfering in the internal affairs of Egypt and the countries of the region in a manner that threatens Arab national security and promotes the seeds of sedition and division within the Arab societies,” the statement read.
Yemen’s government accused Qatar of working with its enemies of the Iran-aligned Houthi militia, state news agency Saba reported.
“Qatar’s practices of dealing with the (Houthi) coup militias and supporting extremist groups became clear,” the government said in a statement.
It added that Yemen supported a decision by a Saudi-led coalition fighting for more than two years to oust the Houthis from the capital Sanaa to remove Qatar from its ranks.
Closing of borders
Saudi Arabia has closed air, land and sea borders with Qatar. The UAE, Bahrain and Egypt have closed both air and sea borders with Qatar. Also, the Arab coalition has said it has suspended Qatar’s participation in all efforts to restore legitimacy in Yemen.
The coalition said it severed all ties with Qatar given the latter’s dealings with militias and its support of al-Qaeda and ISIS as reasons behind the decision, a statement read.
Doha has long faced accusations that it is a state sponsor of terror. Qatari individuals have been sanctioned by the US Treasury for terror-financing activities.
It was also criticized for providing a sanctuary to former Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal, who earlier this month used his Doha base — where he has lived in exile for several years — to launch a new policy document.
The Afghan Taliban opened an office in Doha in 2013.