Qatar pays for supporting terrorism: Arab countries

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Qatar has suffered a heavy political and economic blow after Arab countries, including Egypt, cut all diplomatic ties with it, accusing it of supporting terrorism and Islamist militancy.

Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on Monday that Egypt has cut diplomatic relations with Qatar, shutting down Egyptian airfield and ports to all Qatari means of transport, according to a press statement.

The ministry gave the Qatari ambassador to Egypt 48 hours to leave the country, according to local media.

It further explained in the statement that Egypt is working on the required procedures to inform neighbouring countries and companies about the process of their transport from Egypt to Qatar.

Egypt’s announcement followed similar announcements by Bahrain, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to cut diplomatic ties with their neighbour Qatar.

Although the six countries cut relations with Doha on accusations of supporting Iran, they didn’t cut ties with Iran itself.

According to the last manoeuvre, the three Gulf states gave Qatari visitors and residents two weeks to leave their countries. Qatar was also expelled from a Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen.

Saudi Arabia announced that it decided to cut ties and all transportation means through land, sea, and air with Qatar because of reasons related to the Saudi National Security and to protect its security from terrorism and extremism, according to an official statement.

Egyptian Minister of Expatriate Affairs Nabila Makram announced on Monday that no complaints were filed by Egyptian residents in Qatar yet, adding that there is no information about the Qatari intentions towards them, according to state-owned media.

Makram added that Egypt is ready to receive Egyptians returning from Qatar in case they would return, adding that they are welcome to return and the state is ready to offer them employment, reported local media.

Earlier in May, during the US-Arab-Islamic summit in Saudi Arabia—which was attended by the Gulf states, Qatar, and Egypt, among other countries—several Arab leaders as well as US president Donald Trump expressed that Iran was the biggest supporter of terrorism in the region.

On the same month, The UAE and Saudi Arabia blocked access to the Al-Jazeera website in response to statements published on QNA, the official Qatari News Agency, reporting that Qatar ordered the withdrawal of its ambassador from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, and Bahrain. Also, Egypt blocked access to Al-Jazeera website

Since 2013, Egyptian-Qatari relations have witnessed diplomatic tension, as Qatar expressed its support to Egypt’s ousted president Mohamed Morsi, who was affiliated to the brotherhood.

Morsi received a death sentence on charges of spying for Qatar; however, the sentence is still in the appeals stage.

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