Etihad airline suspends flights to Qatar

Qatar and the surrounding countries

Qatar and the surrounding countries

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen have cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of destabilising the region.

Some of the Middle East's biggest airlines are suspending flights to Qatar as a major diplomatic crisis roils the region.

The reason for this decision was the suspicion of Qatar in supporting the terrorist groups, including the Islamic state, "al-Qaeda" and "Muslim brotherhood".

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has called on Saudi Arabia and Qatar to stay united and solve their differences, after Riyadh severed ties with Doha and asked its Persian Gulf allies to follow suit.

The official state news agency, citing an official source, said Saudi Arabia had chose to sever diplomatic and consular relations with Qatar "proceeding from the exercise of its sovereign right guaranteed by global law and the protection of national security from the dangers of terrorism and extremism".

Bahrain, the first country to cut ties with gas-rich Qatar, accused it of backing terrorism "at all levels" and interfering in its internal affairs.

The announcement by the Saudi-led coalition to severe diplomatic ties with Qatar marks the culmination of a year-long dispute between some Gulf Arab states and Qatar.

In the time since, Qatar repeatedly and strongly denied it funds extremist groups.

"From the morning of June 6, 2017, Etihad Airways will suspend all flights to and from Doha until further notice".

"Qatar has been the target of a systematic incitement campaign that promoted outright lies which indicates that there was a prior intent to harm the state", the statement said. The Ministry also added that Saudi citizens were prohibited from traveling to Qatar.

"The Qatari government will take all measures necessary.to foil attempts to affect or harm Qatar's society and economy", the statement said.

The Saudi statement accused Qatar of collaborating with Iranian-backed militias.

Qatari nationals in the UAE would have 14 days to leave while Qatari nationals would be prevented from entering the UAE.

Relations between Qatar and the other Gulf Arab states suffered an eight-month breach in 2014 over the kingdom's support for the Muslim Brotherhood.

Trump visited the region two weeks ago and met with Qatar Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani.

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