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Saudi Arabia Cuts Ties with Qatar to ‘Protect itself from Terrorism’ | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Media ID: 55375715

The Saudi Arabian flag. (AFP)

Riyadh – Saudi Arabia severed its diplomatic and consular ties with Qatar “in order to protect its national security from the dangers of terrorism and extremism,” announced a government official.

Out of Riyadh’s keenness to practice its sovereign rights, the Kingdom has also decided to close all land, sea and air passages to Qatar and to bar the transport of Qatari vessels and vehicles in its land, air and maritime territories.

Riyadh has started the immediate legal measures to reach an understanding with friendly and brotherly countries and international companies to apply these measures as soon as possible.

Saudi Arabia took its decisive action as a result of the “grave open and secret violations committed by the authorities in Doha for years. These violations have aimed at dividing the Saudi internal scene and encouraged attempts to undermine its sovereignty.”

It accused Qatar of harboring several terrorist and sectarian groups that seek to target stability in the region. These organizations include the Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS and al-Qaeda.

It also accused Doha of “constantly promoting” the plans of these groups through its media. It has also supported the Iran-backed terrorist groups active in al-Qatif province in Saudi Arabia and others in Bahrain. Qatar has even backed the Houthi rebels in Yemen despite the announcement of the Arab coalition to support the country’s legitimate powers.

Saudi Arabia said that Qatar has financed these groups and harbored extremists, who seek to “target the nation’s unity on the internal and external scenes.”

The Kingdom announced that it has taken the decision to sever ties with Qatar in solidarity with Bahrain that is subject to campaigns and terrorist operations that are backed by the authorities in Doha.

Since 1995, Saudi Arabia and its brothers have sought tirelessly to urge Qatar to commit to its pledges and respect agreements, however its authorities have violated their international commitments and breached deals signed with the Gulf Cooperation Council on ceasing hostile actions against the Kingdom. The latest of these breaches was the failure to implement the Riyadh agreement.

To this end, Saudi citizens are barred from traveling to or residing in Qatar. They are prohibited from passing through the country and those currently living there or visiting it must leave in a period that does not exceed 14 days.

Qatari residents, unfortunately, will also be barred entry to the Kingdom for security reasons. Those residing in Saudi Arabia must leave within a period of 14 days.

This decision excludes Hajj and Umrah pilgrims, stressed Saudi Arabia. It said that it will be keen to offer all possible services to Qatari pilgrims.

Saudi Arabia declared that it has long been patient despite the Doha authorities’ conspiring against it. The Qatari people are a natural extension of their brothers in the Kingdom, which will remain a supporter of the brotherly people. It will continue to back their stability and security despite the hostile actions of the authorities in Doha.