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Six Arab States Cut Diplomatic Ties with Qatar

Cairo, June 5 (RHC)-- In what is being called a major diplomatic crisis in the Persian Gulf, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, Yemen, Libya and the United Arab Emirates have broken off relations with Qatar, accusing Qatar of backing militant groups, including ISIS and al-Qaeda.  Qatar has denied the accusations. 

The United Arab Emirates has suspended all flights and sea travel to and from Qatar.  Saudi Arabia has also closed all ports between the two countries. 

Saudi Arabia's official state news agency confirmed that the kingdom decided to end diplomatic and consular relations with Qatar "proceeding from the exercise of its sovereign right guaranteed by international law and the protection of national security from the dangers of terrorism and extremism." 

Bahrain, a close Saudi ally, followed suit accusing Qatar of backing terrorism and interfering in its internal affairs.  The United Arab Emirates' decision to cut ties was reported by its state news agency WAM, citing Qatar's support of extremism and undermining regional stability as reasons. 

Egypt stated that Qatar's support of terrorist organizations as the reason for their withdrawal, according to a state news agency report.  Bahrain and Saudi Arabia announced that they will withdraw diplomatic missions from Doha within 48 hours.  Bahrain also warned Qatari citizens to make arrangements to leave the country within 14 days, prior to transportation between the two countries being discontinued. 

Edited by Pavel Jacomino
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