Egypt to suspend air links with Qatar from tomorrow


Qatar respects the sovereignty of other nations and does not interfere in their internal affairs, and it has fulfilled its role in fighting terrorism and extremism.

The issues in the Middle East have, however, already had an impact in football circles.

The host of soccer's World Cup 2022 said it has been subjected to an "incitement campaign based on fabrications, which reflects an intention to harm Qatar".

A senior Iranian official said on Monday the decision by some Gulf Arab states and Egypt to sever diplomatic ties with Qatar would not help end the crisis in the Middle East.

As well as severing diplomatic relations, Egypt announced the closure of its airspace and seaports for all Qatari transportation and said this was to protect national security.

Saudi Arabia is also shutting its border to neighboring Qatar, locking the state out of its only over-land border crossing. The Qatar Stock Exchange fell more than 7 percent.

It dramatically escalates a dispute over Qatar's support for the Muslim Brotherhood.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Bahrain recalled their ambassadors from Qatar over the situation in March 2014.

Turkey has developed close ties with both Qatar and Saudi Arabia in recent years.

Yemen and Libya have snapped ties with Qatar while accusing the nation of supporting "terrorism" and Islamic groups.

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"The aim is clear, and it is to impose guardianship on the state", it said, insisting authorities would "take all measures necessary.to foil attempts to affect or harm Qatar's society and economy".

Saudi Arabia's official state news agency, citing an official source, said the kingdom had made a decision to sever diplomatic and consular relations with Qatar "proceeding from the exercise of its sovereign right guaranteed by Global law and the protection of national security from the dangers of terrorism and extremism".

The Saudi-led coalition battling Iran-backed rebels in Yemen said it had expelled Qatar from the group.

"He is totally aligned with Abu Dhabi and Riyadh, who also want no compromise with either Iran or the political Islam promoted by the Muslim Brotherhood".

Qatar, however, claims that hackers took over the media outlet's website and published the comments, which it says were fake.

The Kremlin said that it hoped the matter could be solved in a peaceful manner. Al Thani reportedly hailed Iran as an "Islamic power" and criticized US President Donald Trump's policy towards Tehran.

Doha denied the comments and said it had been the victim of a "shameful cybercrime".

The crisis is the worst to hit Gulf Arab nations since the creation in 1981 of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) grouping Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar.

Qatar had no immediate comment.