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Arab countries cut diplomatic ties with Qatar

June 05, 2017, 7:48 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates accuse Qatar of financing terrorism and undermining security in the region

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Qatari foreign minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani

Qatari foreign minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani

© AP Photo/Bilal Hussein

MOSCOW, June 5. /TASS/. Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates said on Monday they were breaking off diplomatic relations with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terror.

Bahrain blamed Qatar for "media incitement, support for armed terrorist activities and funding linked to Iranian groups to carry out sabotage and spreading chaos in Bahrain." Authorities of Bahrain have given Qatar’s citizens fourteen days to leave the country.

The Saudi Foreign Ministry said in a communique posted in Twitter the country had used its sovereign right guaranteed under international law to break off relations with Qatar to protect its security against the threats of terrorism and extremism.

Egyptian news services said Cairo was severing relations with Qatar over the latter's reported support to terrorist organizations, including the Muslim Brotherhood.

All the four nations said they were also breaking off land, sea and air contacts with Qatar.

Later Yemen also announced it was severing diplomatic relations with Qatar, the Al Arabiya TV channel reported. "The government has accused Doha of supporting extremist groups in the country and also backed a decision of the Arab coalition to halt Qatar’s participation in the military operation in Yemen," the TV channel said.

The interim government of Libya also followed suit declaring that it will cut diplomatic ties with Qatar.

Earlier in the day, the command of the Arab coalition led by Riyadh announced the decision on expelling Qatar from the alliance struggling against the Houthi rebels in Yemen because of its "practices that strengthen terrorism" and its support to groups "including al-Qaeda and Daesh [IS], as well as dealing with the rebel militias."

Hamid Aboutalebi, deputy chief of staff of Iran's President Hassan Rouhani, wrote on Twitter that the decision of the Arab countries will destabilize the situation in the region. "The era of cutting diplomatic ties and closing borders is over … it is not a way to resolve crisis. These countries have no other option but to start regional dialogue," he tweeted.

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