Qatar hits out at neighbours as Arab rift enters third week

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut ties with Qatar on 5 June in the worst diplomatic crisis in the region in years.

A general view taken on 5 June 2017 shows the corniche in Doha. Arab nations including Saudi Arabia and Egypt cut ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting extremism, in the biggest diplomatic crisis to hit the region in years. Picture: AFP

DOHA – Qatar hit out on Monday at four Arab nations for cutting diplomatic ties and transport links over Doha’s alleged support for terrorism, accusing them of a “publicity stunt” aimed solely at attacking its image and reputation.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut ties with Qatar on 5 June in the worst diplomatic crisis in the region in years.

“The blockade has been ongoing for two weeks and the blockading nations have offered no formula for resolving the crisis,” Sheikh Saif Bin Ahmed al-Thani, Director of Qatar’s Government Communications Office, said in a statement.

“It is unfortunate that our neighbours have chosen to invest their time and resources in a baseless propaganda campaign... The blockading nations are using terrorism as a publicity stunt.”

The four countries accuse Qatar of fomenting instability in the Middle East, funding terrorism and cosying up to Shi’te power Iran, accusations that Qatar denies.