Monday, 5 June 2017 | MYT 11:52 AM
Saudi Arabia began the isolation by announcing it broke diplomatic relations and all land sea and air contacts with Qatar, saying the move was necessary to protect the kingdom from what it described as terrorism and extremism.
The official state news agency, citing an official source, said Saudi Arabia had decided to sever diplomatic and consular relations with Qatar ”proceeding from the exercise of its sovereign right guaranteed by international law and the protection of national security from the dangers of terrorism and extremism”.
Saudi Arabia cut all land air and sea contacts with Qatar ”and urges all brotherly countries and companies to do the same,” Reuters reported.
Almost immediately, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates followed suit.
Bahrain said on Monday it cut diplomatic relations with Qatar, accusing it of interfering in Bahrain’s internal affairs, Reuters reported.
A brief statement on the official Bahrain news agency said Bahrain, a close ally of Saudi Arabia, was also cutting air and sea contact with Qatar and was giving its citizens in Qatar 14 days to leave.
Egypt accused Qatar of supporting ”terrorist” organisations including the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s state news agency reported.
Egypt also announced the closure of its airspace and seaports for all Qatari transportation to protect its national security, the foreign ministry said in a statement on Monday.
The United Arab Emirates cut ties with Qatar, state news agency WAM reported, accusing its Gulf Arab neighbour of supporting extremism and undermining regional stability.
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”, WAM said.