ADDS YEMENI GOV’T CUTTING TIES WITH QATAR
By Ramazan Turgut
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AA) – Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Yemen on Monday cut links with Qatar, in the worst rift in years among some of the major states in the Arab world.
Saudi Arabia and Bahrain were the first to sever all diplomatic ties with Qatar, citing national security concerns.
In a Foreign Ministry statement, Saudi Arabia accused Doha of sheltering and backing terrorist groups, promoting terrorist groups in the media, and supporting Houthi militia in Yemen.
Cairo blamed the Qatari government for "hostile attitudes," sheltering the Muslim Brotherhood on its soil, and backing terror groups threatening the country's national security.
Bahrain's Foreign Ministry accused the Qatari government of destabilizing the country's security and stability and interfering in its affairs.
Qatar has "spread chaos in Bahrain in flagrant violation of all agreements and covenants and principles of international law without regard to values, the law, or morals or consideration of the principles of good neighborliness or commitment to the constants of Gulf relations, and in denial of all previous commitments,” it said.
Bahrain recalled its diplomats from Qatar and gave all Qatari citizens 14 days to leave Bahraini territories.
The UAE also gave Qatari diplomats 48 hours to leave the country, accusing Doha of "supporting, funding and embracing terrorism, extremism and sectarian organizations".
The Yemeni government also severed relations with Qatar, accusing it of dealing with Houthi rebels in Yemen.
In response, Qatar regretted the decision to cut relations with Doha, saying the move was “unjustified” and was based on “claims and groundless allegations”.
Issuing a statement, the Qatari Foreign Ministry said the measure aimed to “impose guardianship on the country, which is a violation of its sovereignty, something which totally rejected”.
The new escalation came two weeks after the website of Qatar’s official news agency was allegedly hacked by unknown individuals who reportedly published statements falsely attributed to its emir, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad al-Thani.
The incident triggered a diplomatic row between Qatar and its neighbors, the UAE and Saudi Arabia.