Saudi shuts Al Jazeera channel in Qatar row -state media

Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani attends a Gulf Cooperation Council summit in Doha Qatar. Bahrain says it is cutting diplomatic ties to Qatar amid a deepening rift between Gulf Arab nations. Pho

The State of Qatar reiterates its commitment to working with the worldwide community to combat terrorism in all its forms regardless of its source.

A diplomatic crisis is only the latest complication as Qatar prepares to host the 2022 World Cup.

The closure of the only land route into Qatar as well as the airspaces of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain in effect established a blockade on Doha, which relies nearly entirely on imports to feed its population.

Qatar backed Morsi, in a dispute that led Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the UAE to withdraw their ambassadors from Doha for several months in 2014.

Qatar is the biggest supplier of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and a major seller of condensate - a low-density liquid fuel derived from natural gas.

They unanimously cited Qatar's ideological and financial support for the Muslim Brotherhood, Islamic State and al-Qaeda, and accused Qatar of trying to destabilize their respective governments.

A Saudi official said the move was a response to "gross violations committed by authorities in Qatar over the past years", according to an AFP report.

"The measures are unjustified and are based on false and baseless claims", the Qatari foreign ministry said in a statement. It immediately wreaked havoc with long-haul carrier Qatar Airways, sending its stock market tumbling and raised questions about how a country reliant on food imports would be affected.

In a statement on its website, Etihad said it will suspend all flights to and from Doha beginning June 5 until further notice. It was unclear whether the suspension would be extended.




Saudi Arabia also said Qatari troops would be pulled from the ongoing war in Yemen.

He encouraged Qatar and its neighbors to "sit down together", adding that Washington was ready for "any role that we can play" in helping to overcome divisions.

Egypt accused Qatar of taking an "anti-Egyptian course" and said Cairo had been unable to dissuade it from supporting terrorism.

Less than a month ago, US President Donald Trump visited the region to cement ties with powerhouse Saudi Arabia - the first foreign stop of his young presidency.

U.S. secretary of state Rex Tillerson has urged representatives from across the Gulf to "sit down together and address their differences". Qatar said its state-run news agency and Twitter account were hacked and the story was fake, but state-linked media continued to publish the comments.

It has long faced the controversy of having links with the terrorists especially because the Afghan Taliban launched one of its office in Doha in 2013.

Doha denied all the comments and said it had been the victim of a "shameful cybercrime".

Qatar said it has been the target of a "smear campaign" in recent weeks to tarnish its reputation by associating it with terrorism. Its Gulf Arab neighbours responded by blocking Qatari-based media, including Al-Jazeera.

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