Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and UAE cut ties to Qatar

Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and UAE cut ties to Qatar

Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and UAE cut ties to Qatar

Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates all announced they would withdraw their diplomatic staff from Qatar, a gas-rich nation that will host the 2022 FIFA World Cup and is home to a major USA military base.

The countries say Qatar is supporting terrorist groups including the Muslim Brotherhood. Saudi Arabia said it also would shut its land border with Qatar, effectively cutting off the country from the rest of the Arabian Peninsula.

Qatar has said that the website of its state news agency, which carried the alleged remarks, was hacked by unidentified people who meant to divide the Western-allied GCC.

The Pakistan People's Party (PPP) leader, while underlining the highly significant position of Pakistan among Muslim community said: "Pakistan being a nuclear power, a frontline state fighting against terrorism and one of the largest Muslim states, which enjoys most strategic position in the region, must contribute to stop the situation to deteriorate further, particularly when it comes to the unity of the Ummah".

The official Saudi news agency reported that Saudi Arabia broke diplomatic relations - as well as all land, sea and air contacts - with Qatar to protect itself from "the dangers of terrorism and extremism". Please refresh the page for the fullest version.

There was no immediate Qatari reaction to the announcements, and Qatari officials could not be reached for comment, but it has denied supporting terrorism or Iran in the past.

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The dispute between Qatar and the Gulf's Arab countries escalated after a recent hack of Qatar's state-run news agency.

The four countries announced that they would withdraw their respective diplomatic missions from Qatar, within the next few days.

Etihad Airways, the UAE's flag carrier, said it would suspend flights to and from Qatar beginning Tuesday morning.

Gulf nations see Qatar as too close to Iran and Islamist movements such as the Muslim Brotherhood.

The UAE's state news agency WAM reported the Emirates cut ties and gave diplomats 48 hours to leave the country, citing their "support, funding and embrace of terrorist, extremist and sectarian organisations". The Government of the Kingdom of Bahrain is banning its citizens from traveling to Qatar or staying there.

The Saudi-led Arab coalition has been involved in the war for the last two years.

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