Arab states sever diplomatic ties with Qatar over Isis terror claims

Five Middle East countries cut diplomatic ties with Qatar over allegations of destabilising the region

The move comes amid rising tensions with Iran

Monday, June 5, 2017

Five countries in the Middle East have cut ties with Qatar over allegations it has "destabilised" the region by backing militant groups. 

Bahrain made the move first, followed by Saudi Arabia, on Monday morning. The United Arab Emirates, Yemen, and Egypt soon followed, cutting off all diplomatic ties with Doha. 

The reason for the collective decision relates to accusations of Qatar supporting groups like Islamic State and Al-Qaeda, thereby causing the region to become unstable. 

The unprecedented move come in the wake of rising tension between the gulf countries and Iran - a statement from the Saudi government accused Qatar of working with militia backed by Iranians.

The five countries have ended air, land, and sea-based travel into the country, while private airlines such as Emirates, Etihad and Saudi Airlines have suspended flights. Qatari diplomats have been asked to leave, while residents of Qatar in three of the five countries have been given two weeks to leave. 

Saudi Arabia has also shut down the offices of broadcaster Al-Jazeera, the international broadcaster headquartered in Qatar, and instructed Saudi employees to resign, according to the MSDAR News Agency.

The government in Qatar has said the decision is "unjustified, and that it lacks "basis in fact."

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