DUBAI (AFP) - Gulf states Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates as well as Egypt on Monday (June 5) cut ties with Qatar over accusations it supports extremism, in an unprecedented regional crisis.
The measures taken against Qatar are:
- Immediately cutting diplomatic ties with Doha, with Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates ordering Qatari diplomats to leave within 48 hours.
This is a first since 2014, when Gulf countries recalled their ambassadors from Doha, ostensibly over its support for the Muslim Brotherhood.
- Closing air space and maritime territories in the three countries to Qatari flights and shipments, and suspending air and sea links with Doha within 24 hours.
UAE carriers Emirates, Etihad, flydubai and Air Arabia, as well as Saudi Airlines, have said they will halt flights to and from Doha starting from Tuesday morning.
Egypt will also begin its ban on flights to and from Qatar on Tuesday at 6 am local time (12pm Singapore time), the Civil Aviation Ministry said on Monday.
- The three Gulf states have banned their citizens from travelling to Qatar.
- Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates have also ordered Qatari citizens - visitors and residents - to leave within 14 days.
This measure goes against a Gulf Cooperation Council agreement on equal rights of movement and residency for all citizens of its member states.
Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar are all members of the GCC.
- Saudi Arabia has closed its borders with Qatar, effectively blocking food and other supplies exported by land to Qatar.
- The United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia have stopped exports of white sugar to Qatar, trade sources said on Monday. Qatar is dependent on the UAE and Saudi Arabia for its white sugar imports, which are estimated at less than 100,000 tonnes annually. Consumption is higher during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which is currently being observed.
- Only Qatari pilgrims can travel to Saudi Arabia to visit Islam's holiest sites.