A map of Qatar is seen in this picture illustration June 5, 2017.
A map of Qatar is seen in this picture illustration June 5, 2017. Reuters/Thomas White/Illustration

Qatar has been shunned by its neighbours over its alleged ties with terrorism in the region. Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Yemen and Egypt have all cut their diplomatic ties with the Western Asian country after accusing it of backing militant groups such as the Islamic State (IS) and al-Qaeda. Qatar has denied the accusations.

SPA, the Saudi state news agency, said it has closed its borders to Qatar, which lies in its northeast. Saudi is accusing the other country of collaborating with Iranian-backed militias, which Qatar said was “unjustified” and has “no basis.”

“(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 message and schemes of these groups through their media constantly,” SPA said. It added that Qatar supports Iranian-backed militants in Eastern region of Qatif and in Bahrain.

Egypt’s state news agency (via Reuters) also said Qatar’s policy “threatens Arab national security and sows the seed of strife and division within Arab societies.” UAE, Egypt and Saudi Arabia have given Qatari nationals two weeks to leave their countries. For Qatari diplomats, they have 48 hours to leave the UAE.

The Gulf nations also said that they have closed their airspace to Qatar Airways. UAE airlines Etihad, Emirates and Flydubai will suspend their flights to and from Doha from Tuesday.

Following the events, flight schedules to Australia and Asia are expected to be disrupted. Qatar Airways operates a daily flight from Doha to Perth.

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