Maldives, June 5 (newsin.asia) – The Maldives Foreign Ministry, on Monday said it decided to sever diplomatic relations with Qatar after the Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates announced the same decision.
A statement by the Maldives Foreign Ministry said the Maldives took the decision because of its firm opposition to activities that encourage terrorism and extremism. “The Maldives has always pursued a policy of promoting peace and stability in the Middle East. The Maldives reiterates its commitment to work with countries that promote peace, stability, and show solidarity in the fight against terrorism,” the Foreign Ministry said.
The Maldives established diplomatic relations with Qatar on 26 May 1984.
Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE and Egypt have accused Qatar of supporting terrorism and destabilizing the region.
Qatar — which shares its only land border with Saudi Arabia — has rejected the accusations calling them “unjustified” and “baseless”.
Monday’s decision by the Gulf state to severe ties with Qatar comes two weeks after Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt blocked several Qatari media outlets — including Al Jazeera — over comments allegedly made by Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim Al Hamad Al Thani. Al Thani reportedly hailed Iran as an “Islamic power” and criticized US President Donald Trump’s policy towards Tehran.
The Emir’s comments appeared on Qatar’s official news agency, but Qatar claimed that the website was “hacked”, the report fabricated by the culprits, the CNN reported.
Qatari nationals are to be banned from entering the UAE, and Qatari residents of the country have been given two-week notice to leave the leave the country.
In a statement, the UAE cited Qatar’s “ongoing policies that rattle the security and sovereignty of the region as well as its manipulation and evasion of its commitments and treaties.”
Dubai-based airline Emirates said it is suspending all flights to and from Doha starting Tuesday. Emirates said it was instructed to do so by the UAE government.
Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways will also suspend its Doha flights on Wednesday. Other airways in the countries involved are expected to follow suit.
Meanwhile, Bahrain’s foreign ministry said it was suspending diplomatic relations “in order to preserve its national security,” according to a statement.
Qatari diplomats had 48 hours to leave and airspace and ports between the countries would be closed within 24 hours of Bahrain’s announcement, it said. Bahrain said its decision was based on what it said was Qatar’s destabilizing actions.
In a statement, Egypt said that Qatar had taken an “anti-Egyptian course” and that Cairo had been unable to dissuade it from supporting terrorism, CNN reported.