Five Major Arab Countries Cut Ties With Qatar On Monday

Five major Arab countries have broken their ties with Qatar on Monday- severing political ties, halting all travel to and from there and instructed its citizens to leave.

The Decision

Saudi Arabia, Egypt and three other Arab countries abruptly decided to sever all ties with Qatar on Monday. Not only did they cut their political ties with the country, a move they’ve pulled before, but they also cut all air, sea and land travel to and from there, and instructed their citizens living in or visiting Qatar to leave.

This appears to be a bold decision in the face of US President Trump’s recent visit. Qatar, as well as other countries in the region, is one of the US’s close allies. It also hosts a large US military base which helps fight against ISIS. This also gets in the way of the US’s attempts to “create broad coalitions against Iran” as well as against Middle Eastern terrorist groups.

One SPA, Saudi Arabia’s State News Agency said: “(Qatar) embraces multiple terrorist and sectarian groups aimed at disturbing stability in the region, including the Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS (Islamic State) and al-Qaeda, and promotes the message and schemes of these groups through their media constantly,” Saudi state news agency SPA said.

The Qatari foreign ministry completely denied its interference in other countries’ affairs, saying: “The campaign of incitement is based on lies that had reached the level of complete fabrications.”

Hassan Rouhani, the Iranian President, said: “What is happening is the preliminary result of the sword dance,”

The US on This Decision

Rex Tillerson, the US Secretary of State, said on Monday: We certainly would encourage the parties to sit down together and address these differences.” He also offered to mediate a negotiation between the countries, in an attempt to preserve common interests of the fight against terrorism in the region.

Kristian Ulrichsen, a US expert on the regions affairs, said: “It seems that the Saudis and Emiratis feel emboldened by the alignment of their regional interests — toward Iran and Islamism — with the Trump administration. (They) have decided to deal with Qatar’s alternative approach on the assumption that they will have the (Trump) administration’s backing.”