On 5th June Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain, then later Yemen and the Maldives cut diplomatic ties with Qatar. The countries accused Qatar of supporting extremism and Islamist groups. This diplomatic dispute is the worst rift in years among the most powerful states in the Arab world.
The announcement was made through state news agencies and Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt and Bahrain have already put serious sanctions on Qatar. They asked all the diplomats of Qatar to leave their countries within 48 hours and their diplomats were also withdrawn from Doha. Qatari residents and visitors were given 2 weeks to leave and thez also banned their own citizens from travelling to Qatar, residing there or transiting through. Qatari forces were also expelled from the Saudi-led war in Yemen. Saudi Arabia also said it would close its border with Qatar and halt air and sea traffic (Bahrain and UAE also said they would halt sea and air traffic). Egypt closed its airspace and seaports to all Qatari transport. Several flights have immediately been cancelled as well but Qatar also cancelled airflights to Saudi Arabia. Economic disturbances loomed immediately, as Abu Dhabi's state-owned Etihad Airways, Dubai-based Emirates and flydubai said they would suspend all flights to and from Doha from Tuesday morning until further notice.
These events are the results of a really tense era among the Gulf states- it all started in April 2017 when thousands of Yemenis protested in Aden against President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi's sacking of the provincial governor and a cabinet minister widely praised for helping drive Iran-aligned Houthis from the city in 2015. The latest event occured on 3rd June when hackers released a series of emails from the inbox of the UAE's ambassador to the US.
The Qatari foreign ministry's reaction to the sanctions was the following: "The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar expressed its deep regret and surprise at the decisions by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Bahrain to close their borders and airspace, and sever diplomatic relations with the State of Qatar, bearing in mind that these measures are unjustified and based on false claims and assumptions. (...) Their purpose is clearly the imposition of guardianship over Qatar, which is in itself a violation of its sovereignty, and is rejected outright. (...) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs stressed that these measures will not affect the normal course of life of citizens and residents of Qatar. The Qatari government will take all necessary measures to ensure this and thwart attempts to influence and harm Qatari society and economy."
If you want to know more about this issue and want to see how it further develops, click on the link below to see the latest updates: