Qatar leader to address nation after Arab nations cut ties

The last flights operated by Emirates and other major regional airlines left the capital, Doha, early Tuesday after Arab nations cut ties with Qatar.

FILE: The Emir of Qatar, Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - Qatar's leader is expected to address his nation on Tuesday, one day after the country was thrust into the centre of an unprecedented diplomatic crisis that threatens to disrupt everyday life and leave the oil-rich nation isolated from key allies.

The last flights operated by Emirates and other major regional airlines left the capital, Doha, early Tuesday after Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen and the Maldives said Monday they are indefinitely severing ties with Qatar - a country of 2.4 million people, mostly foreign workers.

Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani had been due to make a speech Monday, but it was postponed after Kuwait made last-minute efforts to try to resolve the dispute, Qatar's Foreign Minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani said.

Qatar wanted to solve the crisis through dialogue, the Foreign Minister added.

"Regarding the reasons for this escalation, honestly, we don't know if there were real reasons for this crisis or whether it was based on things we're unaware of," he said.