Saudi Arabia, Bahrain revoke Qatar Airways' licences

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain revoke Qatar Airways' licences

Seemingly unfazed over the accusations, the President tweeted, "During my recent trip to the Middle East I stated that there can no longer be funding of Radical Ideology".

The airline said Tuesday it was suspending all flights to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt "until further notice" after those countries broke off diplomatic relations and transport links with Qatar.

NPR's David Welna, who is traveling with Tillerson and Mattis, notes that the rift among USA allies "comes just 10 days after President Trump addressed an anti-terrorism summit of Arab leaders in Saudi Arabia, and some see Trump's siding there with Sunni monarchs and his rhetoric against Iran as having given a kind of green light to blackballing this Gulf nation".

"We have instructed Nepali embassies in Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Egypt to assess situation for Nepali migrant workers", MoFA spokesman Bharat Raj Paudyal said.

Saudi Arabia and several of its allies on Monday cut relations with Qatar, accusing it of supporting extremism, in the biggest diplomatic crisis to have hit the region in years.

Qatar hosts the Al Udeid Air Base, a major USA military base.

Gulf-based airlines announced that they would stop flying to and from Qatar on Monday morning following the severing of diplomatic ties. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said he's prepared to play a role in calming tensions.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain have given all Qatari nationals two weeks to leave their territory.

In announcing it was severing ties, Riyadh accused Doha of harboring "terrorist and sectarian groups that aim to destabilize the region including the Muslim Brotherhood, Daesh (IS) and Al-Qaeda", and supporting Iran-backed "terrorist activities" in eastern Saudi Arabia and in Shiite-majority Bahrain.

"I myself have to find a third country, a transit point tomorrow", he said.

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Monday's announcement triggered an immediate 7.58 percent plunge on the Qatar Stock Exchange, while oil prices continued a multi-day fall, amid fears that OPEC production could be affected.

FIFA, global soccer's governing body, said it remained in regular contact with Qatar, saying it spoke with local organizers of the 2022 World Cup.

Hints of Monday's six-nation split with Doha emerged last month when Qatar contended that hackers were behind the release of false remarks attributed to Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, the Qatari leader, that were published on the Qatar News Agency website.

While many Arab media outlets are reporting the developments as a response to Qatar's support for terroism, the Al-Jazeera news organization, which is owned by Qatar, has explained the dispute as stemming from a purported hack of Qatar's state-run news agency.

While the country is small, it's had an outsized influence in the Middle East, largely due to its backing of the Al-Jazeera news network, which is based in Doha.

The emirate has directly and indirectly supported Islamist groups across the Arab world, including the Muslim Brotherhood.

Qatar has long denied funding extremists, though Western officials have accused it of allowing or even encouraging funding of Sunni extremists like al-Qaida's branch in Syria, once known as the Nusra Front.

Qatar has called the move a "campaign of incitement" which is "based on lies".

Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber al-Sabah will meet with Saudi Arabia's King Salman and seek to resolve the worst infighting among the Arab world's strongest and richest powers in decades.

Translation: If direct travel from the UAE to Qatar is not possible for Qataris, the Embassy advises them to travel through the State of Kuwait or the Sultanate of Oman.