Monday, June 5, 2017
Saudi, Egypt lead Arab states cutting Qatar ties, Iran blames Trump
Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain severed their ties with Qatar on Monday, accusing it of supporting terrorism and opening up the worst rift in years among some of the most powerful states in the Arab world.
Iran -- long at odds with Saudi Arabia and a behind-the-scenes target of the move -- immediately blamed U.S. President Donald Trump for setting the stage during his recent trip to Riyadh.
Gulf Arab states and Egypt have already long resented Qatar's support for Islamists, especially the Muslim Brotherhood which they regard as a dangerous political enemy.
The coordinated move, with Yemen and Libya's eastern-based government joining in later, created a dramatic rift among the Arab nations, many of which are in OPEC.
Announcing the closure of transport ties with Qatar, the three Gulf states gave Qatari visitors and residents two weeks to leave. Qatar was also expelled from the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen.