A hacking dispute which revealed leaks and comments falsely attributed to Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, against the Gulf’s Arab countries has spiraled, forcing Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE and Egypt to cut ties with the oil rich country.
On Monday, the Saudi government made the announcement via its state-run Saudi Press Agency early on Monday, saying it was taking action for what it called the protection of national security- an announcement which was followed by a statement issued by Bahrain which said it was cutting ties with Qatar and halting air and sea traffic between the two countries.
Reuters news agency also reports that Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and UAE have also given Qatari visitors and residents two weeks to leave their countries.
Reacting to the developments, Qatar’s foreign ministry said it regretted the measures by the Arab nations, calling the decisions “unjustified”.
“The measures are unjustified and are based on claims and allegations that have no basis in fact,” the statement said, adding that the decisions would “not affect the normal lives of citizens and residents”.
“The aim is clear, and it is to impose guardianship on the state. This by itself is a violation of its [Qatar’s] sovereignty as a state,” it added.
Qatar also called the decision by Gulf nations and Egypt ‘unjustified’, saying allegations against Doha have ‘no basis in fact’.
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