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Egypt cuts ties with Qatar: statement
Last Updated: 2017-06-05 15:39 | Xinhua
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Egypt announced on Monday the cut of diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing the Gulf Arab state of supporting "terrorist" organizations, according to a Foreign Ministry statement.

"The Arab Republic of Egypt decided to cut diplomatic ties with Qatar in light of the Gulf Arab state's persistence to take a path against Egypt, and the failure of any attempts to prevent it from supporting terrorist organizations, topped by the Muslim Brotherhood," said the statement. The Brotherhood has been outlawed by Egypt.

It added that Qatar is sheltering leaders of the Brotherhood who targeted security and safety of Egypt by conducting terrorist operations.

The statement attributed cutting ties with Qatar to the state's promotion of extremist thoughts of al-Qaeda and the Islamic State, its support for terrorist operations in Sinai, as well as its intervention in Egypt's internal affairs in a way that threatens its national security.

Ties between Egypt and Qatar have been deteriorated since the ouster of the Egyptian Islamist affiliated leader Mohamed Morsi in 2013 as a result of a mass protest against his rule.

The statement said Egypt would close all the air and marine spaces, ports for all the Qatari transportation means to preserve Egypt's national security.

The move came as Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) took similar decisions by cutting diplomatic relations and all land, sea, and air contacts with Gulf Arab country Qatar, citing "terrorism" and "flagrant violation" of international law.

The official Saudi news agency said Saudi Arabia had decided to cut ties with Qatar "for protection of national security from the dangers of terrorism and extremism."

Bahrain said it broke relations "on the insistence of the state of Qatar to continue destabilizing the security and stability of the Kingdom of Bahrain and to intervene in its affairs."

The UAE also gave Qatari citizens 14 days to leave the country and asked the Qatari diplomatic mission to leave in 48 hours.

In 2014, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Bahrain withdrew their ambassadors from Qatar to protest its support for the Muslim Brotherhood, a group that is labeled a terrorist organization in the three countries.

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