INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS : TERRORISM : DIPLOMATIC CRISIS : MIDDLE EAST : COUNTRIES: QATAR, SAUDI ARABIA, EGYPT, QUATIF, BAHRAIN, YEMEN, LIBYA, IRAN : Qatar Row: Six Countries Cut Links with Doha

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INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS : TERRORISM : DIPLOMATIC CRISIS : MIDDLE EAST : COUNTRIES: QATAR, SAUDI ARABIA, EGYPT, QUATIF, BAHRAIN, YEMEN, LIBYA, IRAN : Qatar Row: Six Countries Cut Links with Doha

David P. Dillard
Administrator


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INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS :

TERRORISM :

DIPLOMATIC CRISIS :

MIDDLE EAST :

COUNTRIES: QATAR, SAUDI ARABIA, EGYPT, QUATIF, BAHRAIN, YEMEN, LIBYA:

Qatar Row: Six Countries Cut Links with Doha

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Qatar Row: Six Countries Cut Links with Doha

BBC News

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-40155829

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Six Arab countries including Saudi Arabia and Egypt have cut diplomatic
ties with Qatar, accusing it of destabilising the region.
They say Qatar backs militant groups including so-called Islamic State
(IS) and al-Qaeda, which Qatar denies.

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The Saudi state news agency SPA said Riyadh had closed its borders,
severing land, sea and air contact with the tiny peninsula of oil-rich
Qatar.

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Qatar called the decision "unjustified" and with "no basis in fact".
The unprecedented move is seen as a major split between powerful Gulf
countries, who are also close US allies.

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It comes amid heightened tensions between Gulf countries and their
near-neighbour Iran. The Saudi statement accused Qatar of collaborating
with "Iranian-backed terrorist groups" in its restive Eastern region of
Qatif and in Bahrain.

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What has happened?

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The diplomatic withdrawal was put into motion by Bahrain then Saudi Arabia
early on Monday. The United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt, Yemen and Libya
followed suit.

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SPA cited officials as saying the decision was taken to "protect its
national security from the dangers of terrorism and extremism".
Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain have given all Qatari visitors and
residents two weeks to leave their territory.

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In the latest developments:

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The UAE has given Qatari diplomats 48 hours to leave the country. UAE
airlines Etihad Airways, Emirates and Flydubai said they would suspend all
flights to and from the Qatari capital Doha from early Tuesday, local time
The Gulf allies said they had closed their airspace to Qatar Airways,
which has suspended all its flights to Saudi Arabia

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Bahrain's state news agency said it was cutting its ties because Qatar was
"shaking the security and stability of Bahrain and meddling in its
affairs"

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The Saudi-led Arab coalition fighting Yemen's Houthi rebels also expelled
Qatar from its alliance because of its "practices that strengthen
terrorism" and its support of extremist groups.

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While the severing of ties was sudden, it has not come out of the blue, as
tensions have been building for years, and particularly in recent weeks.

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Two weeks ago, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE blocked Qatari
news sites, including Al Jazeera. Comments purportedly by Qatari emir
Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani criticising Saudi Arabia had appeared on
Qatari state media.

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The government in Doha dismissed the comments as fake, attributing the
report to a "shameful cybercrime".

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Back in 2014, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE withdrew their ambassadors
from Qatar for several months in protest over alleged interference in
their affairs.

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The story behind Qatar 'hack'

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More broadly, two key factors drove Monday's decision: Qatar's ties to
Islamist groups, and the role of Iran, Saudi Arabia's regional rival.
While Qatar has joined the US coalition against IS, the Qatari government
has repeatedly denied accusations from Iraq's Shia leaders that it
provided financial support to IS.

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Wealthy individuals in the emirate are believed to have made donations and
the government has given money and weapons to hard line Islamist groups in
Syria. Qatar is also accused of having links to a group formerly known as
the Nusra Front, an al-Qaeda affiliate.



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The complete article may be read at the URL above.

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Sincerely,
David Dillard
Temple University
(215) 204 - 4584
[hidden email]
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