Qatar on Monday slammed the decisions of three Gulf states to sever ties with it, saying they were “unjustified” and aimed to put Doha under political “guardianship”.
“The measures are unjustified and are based on false and baseless claims,” the Qatari foreign ministry said in a statement, referring to the unprecedented steps taken by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt.
“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.
The host of the football World Cup 2022 said it has been subjected to an “incitement campaign based on fabrications, which reflects an intention to harm Qatar”.
Doha insisted the sanctions, which include the Gulf states severing air, land and sea links with Qatar, “will not affect the daily life of citizens and residents”.
“The Qatari government will take all measures necessary… to foil attempts to affect or harm Qatar’s society and economy,” the statement said.
Qatar has land borders with Saudi Arabia and is separated by Gulf waters from nearby Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.
Qatar Airways suspends all flights to Saudi Arabia
Qatar Airways said it had suspended all flights to Saudi Arabia as the major diplomatic crisis escalates.
Several airlines from Gulf countries earlier announced they would no longer fly to Qatar.
“Qatar Airways has suspended all flights to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia” until 11.59am GMT the same day, a statement from the airline said.
A spokesperson said it was unclear if the suspension would be extended.
Qatar Airways flies to nine cities in Saudi Arabia.
UAE carriers Emirates, Etihad, Fly Dubai and Air Arabia, as well as Saudi Airlines, all announced earlier on Monday they would suspend flights to Doha starting from Tuesday morning.
It was not immediately clear if Qatar Airways would also suspend flights to other countries.
Regional powerhouse Saudi Arabia on Monday ordered its nationals to leave Qatar within 14 days and barred Qataris from the kingdom.
Saudi Arabia has also closed its border with Qatar. – Agence France-Presse