Three Gulf Arab states and Egypt severed their ties with Qatar for helping terrorism
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Doha, June5:Three Gulf Arab states and Egypt severed their ties with Qatar on Monday in a dispute over Doha’s support for Islamist groups, in particular the Muslim Brotherhood, which they regard as a political enemy.
— Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain cut diplomatic and consular relations with the state of Qatar and will close all ground, sea and air ports to forbid transit, state news agencies said.
— It was not immediately clear when these measures would be implemented. Saudi Arabia said it would “begin immediate legal measures with friendly, sisterly countries and international companies to implement that measure as quickly as possible for all types of transit from and to the state of Qatar.”
— Abu Dhabi-based Ethiad Airways said it would suspend flights to and from Qatar on Tuesday.
— The decision forbids Saudi, UAE and Bahraini citizens from travelling to Qatar, residing in it or passing through it, SPA said. Residents and visitors of those countries must leave Qatar within 14 days. Qatari citizens have 14 days to leave Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar.
— Qatar has been expelled from a Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen.
— Egypt said it was also severing ties and would close its airspace and seaports for all Qatari transportation to protect its national security. It was not immediately clear whether it was expelling Qataris or had asked its citizens to come home
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Monday that they did not expect a decision by some Gulf countries to sever ties with Qatar to affect the fight against terrorism but urged them to address their differences.
The region plays an important role for the U.S. military in the fight against Islamic State. Bahrain houses the U.S. Navy’s Fifth fleet, which patrols the seas of the Middle East and Central Asia, while Qatar
is home to the Al Udeid Airbase, from where the United States carries out airstrikes against militants in the region.