Saudi Arabia opposes Qatar for supporting radical Islamic ideology
Saudi Arabia said it was cutting ties due to Qatar’s “embrace of various terrorist and sectarian groups aimed at destabilizing the region,” including the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaida, the Islamic State group and militants supported by Iran in the kingdom’s restive Eastern Province.
Egypt’s Foreign Ministry accused Qatar of taking an “antagonist approach” toward Cairo and said “all attempts to stop it from supporting terrorist groups failed.”
Qatar long has denied funding extremists, though Western officials have accused it of allowing or even encouraging funding of Sunni extremists like al-Qaida’s branch in Syria, once known as the Nusra Front.
The Gulf countries ordered their citizens out of Qatar and gave Qataris abroad 14 days to return home to their peninsular nation, whose only land border is with Saudi Arabia.
The countries also said they would eject Qatar’s diplomats.
The nations said they planned to cut air and sea traffic to Qatar. Trucks carrying food have begun lining up on the Saudi side of the border, apparently stranded.
Qatar Airways, one of the region’s major long-haul carriers, has suspended all flights to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain until further notice.
On its website, the carrier said the suspension of its flights would take effect Tuesday and customers are being offered a refund.
Saudi Arabia meanwhile said Tuesday it revoked Qatar Airways’ operating licenses and closed the airline’s offices in the kingdom.
The Saudi ports authority said Qatari-flagged shipping vessels are barred from docking.
It said it ordered shipping agents not to receive any vessels owned by Qatari companies or Qatari nationals and not to unload any goods from Qatar.