The Gulf Split : Six Arab countries cut ties with Qatar over terror links

Rift deepens further between the powerful Gulf countries and Qatar over its support of Islamist groups and relations with Iran

UAE, Saudi and Egypt have cut their airspace and closed borders with the tiny peninsula of Qatar.

Six Arab countries including Saudi Arabia and Egypt severed diplomatic ties with Qatar accusing it of backing militant groups including Islamic State(IS) and al-Qaeda.

The Arabs said, Qatar supports terror that destabilises the region and closed their borders cutting off land, sea and air contact with the tiny peninsula of Qatar.

While Qatar denied the allegations and called the decision ‘unjustified’ and ‘baseless’, the move is widely viewed as a split between powerful Gulf countries, who are also close US allies.

Tensions between Gulf countries and near-neighbour Iran has been trigger to this unprecedented  move. Saudi blamed Qatar for collaborating with Iranian-backed militias.

The split was initiated by Bahrain early on Monday, seconded by Saudi, UAE, Egypt and Yemen followed suit.

The Aftereffects

  • Saudi and Egypt   given Qatari nationals two weeks to leave their countries. UAE has asked Qatari diplomats to leave within 48 hours
  • UAE airlines Etihad Airways, Emirates and Flydubai is set to suspend all flights from Qatari capital Doha from Tuesday.
  • The Gulf allies have closed their airspace to Qatar Airways, which suspended all flights to Saudi Arabia.

UAE said Qatar “supports, funds and embraces extremism and sectarian organisations while Bahrain’s State news agency accused Qatar of “shaking the security and stability of Bahrain and meddling in its affairs”.