UAE's Etihad to suspend flights to Qatar

Cornelia Mascio
Giugno 5, 2017

In a tweet sent out early on Monday morning, the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs said: "Protecting national security from threats of terrorism and extremism, Saudi Arabia has chose to sever diplomatic and consular relations with the State of Qatar".

On Monday four Arab nations, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates cut diplomatic ties with Qatar.

The UAE, Yemen and Egypt announced that they will be joining Bahrain and Saudi Arabia and will be withdrawing their diplomatic staff from Qatar.

The Qatari News Agency report claimed the small Persian Gulf nation had withdrawn its ambassadors from Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the U.A.E. because of "tension" with the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump.

Qatar was also expelled from a Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen. Also, Manama suspended air and sea communication with Doha and banned citizens of Qatar from visiting Bahrain, and prohibited its citizens from living and visiting Qatar.

CNN reported on Monday that the four nations chose to cut ties with the small Persian Gulf nation based on support from the Qatari government in Doha for the regime in Iran, a long-time rival in the Arab world of the Saudis.

This had angered Saudi Arabia as it failed in its efforts to get Qatar to fall in line.

Signs of the escalating feud in the gulf emerged days after Trump's visit to Saudi Arabia, when the Saudi government and its allies attacked Qatar for statements allegedly made by Qatar's emir. The airline and Qatari officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Qatar's Foreign Affairs Ministry said there was "no legitimate justification" for the countries' decision, though it vowed its citizens wouldn't be affected by it.

Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani (Osama Faisal/AP)How does Qatar support Islamist groups?

All three major UAE airlines including Emirates, Etihad and flydubai will suspend flights to and from Doha from Tuesday morning, they announced on Monday, as the rift between the GCC states intensifies. The Gulf neighbours reacted with anger and blocked Qatari-based media, including the Doha-based satellite news network Al-Jazeera.

Yemen has also joined in the boycott of Qatar, unhappy that it's allegedly supporting Houthi coup militias.

Those ambassadors returned to Qatar eight months later, after it forced some Brotherhood members to leave the country and quieted others.

The countries say Qatar is supporting terrorist groups including the Muslim Brotherhood.

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