Timeline of Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt and Bahrain severing ties with Qatar

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain severed their ties with Qatar on Monday, accusing it of supporting Islamist groups, opening up the worst rift in years among some of the most powerful states in the Arab world.

The coordinated move dramatically escalated a dispute over Qatar’s support of the Muslim Brotherhood, the world’s oldest Islamic movement, and added accusations that Doha even backs the agenda of regional rival Iran.

Announcing the closure of transport ties with Qatar, the three Gulf states gave Qatari visitors and residents two weeks to leave their countries.

Qatar was also expelled from a Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen.

Economic disturbances loomed immediately, as Abu Dhabi’s state-owned Etihad Airways, Dubai-based Emirates and flydubai said they would suspend all flights to and from Doha from Tuesday morning until further notice.

The measures are more severe than during a previous eight-month rift in 2014, when Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE withdrew their ambassadors from Doha, again alleging Qatari support for armed groups. At that time, travel links were maintained and Qataris were not expelled.

A split between Doha and its closest allies can have repercussions around the Middle East, where Gulf states have used their financial and political power to influence events in Libya, Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Yemen.

The announcements come 10 days after President Donald Trump visited Riyadh to call on Muslim countries to stand united against armed groups, and singling out Iran as a key source of funding and support for armed groups.

Here is a timeline of the recent main events that led to the escalation of disputes between the GCC nations. Yemen’s sacking of southern leaders

April 28 2017
Tens of thousands of Yemenis protested in Aden against President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi‘s sacking of the provincial governor and a cabinet minister widely praised for helping drive Iran-aligned Houthis from the city in 2015.

The two men sacked, Aden provincial governor Aydaroos al-Zubaidi and cabinet member Hani bin Brek, were both seen as supporting separatism for southern Yemen.

Zubaidi was one of the leaders of the Southern Resistance that helped expel the Houthis from his city. 

Yemen accuses UAE of behaving like ‘occupation power’

May 2 2017 
President Hadi of Yemen accused the United Arab Emirates (UAE) of behaving “like an occupation power in Yemen rather than a force of liberation” in a meeting with the crown prince of Abu Dhabi Mohammed Bin Zayed.

Hadi reacted by sacking Aden’s governor Aydarus Al-Zubaydi, and Hani Ali bin Braik, a minister of state and General Commander of the forces of the Security Belt, run by the UAE. 

Trump arrives in Saudi Arabia

May 20 2017
US President Donald Trump arrived in Saudi Arabia on the first leg of his first foreign trip since taking office to hold a series of meetings with the king and other Arab and Muslim leaders.

In a red-carpet airport welcome, Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud greeted Trump, his wife Melania and his entourage shortly after they landed in the capital, Riyadh. 

‘Give them hell’

May 22 2017
A series of leaked emails revealed that the night before former US Defense Secretary Robert Gates was scheduled to speak at a high-profile Washington conference on Qatar, UAE’s ambassador to the US, Yousef al-Otaiba, using a nickname of UAE Crown Prince Muhammed Bin Zayed emailed Robert Gates asking him to “give them hell”.

May 23 2017 
The next day, Gates offered a scathing assault on Qatar, criticised its support for ‘Islamists’, at an event hosted by the hawkish Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

“Tell Qatar to choose sides or we will change the nature of the relationship, to include downscaling the base,” Gates said.

May 24 2017
Qatar News Agency was targeted by hackers with “fake” comments purportedly criticising US foreign policy attributed to Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani on QNA platforms that sparked a regional media war.

Qatar denied the statement attributed to the emir. purportedly criticising US foreign policy. The Emir’s false remarks were picked up by Saudi and UAE media, and sparked angry responses in Riyadh and Abu Dhabi. 

FBI help Qatar in QNA hacking investigation

June 2 2017
The US Federal Bureau of Investigation has been in Doha for the past week after the Qatari government asked the United States for help following a security breach by hackers last month who posted fake remarks on its official media platform, Qatar News Agency (QNA). 

Hackers leak emails

June 3 2017
Hackers released the first series of emails which were taken from the inbox of the UAE’s ambassador to the United States , Yousef al-Otaiba.

The Intercept reported that the emails, released by a group called “Global Leaks”, show a close relationship between al-Otaiba and a pro-Israel, neoconservative thinktank – the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD).

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE sever ties with Qatar

June 5 2017
Several Arab nations cut diplomatic ties after Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE and Bahrain announced they would suspend relations with the Gulf state.The Saudi kingdom made the announcement via its state-run Saudi Press Agency, saying it was taking action for what it called the protection of national security.

The news agency released a statement in which it accused Qatar of “harbouring a multitude of terrorist and sectarian groups that aim to create instability in the region”.

Reacting to the fallout, Qatar explained that the decision was in “violation of its sovereignty,” vowing to its citizens and the hundreds of thousands of residents that the measures would not affect them. – Al Jazeera 

Al Jazeera
Official Al Jazeera Mubahser News account آخر وأهم الأخبار تتابعونها عبر هذا الحساب.. كما يمكنكم متابعة حساب الجزيرة مباشر @ajmubasher Al Jazeera has over 663268 followers on Twitter.

Court date finally set for death in detention Haffejee inquest

Another apartheid era death will be investigated after NPA pressured to finally act

State capture commission granted a 13-month extension

Judge Wendy Hughes says this is the final extension because finality is "owed to the nation"

DA’s Moodey joins leadership race

The head of the Democratic Alliance in Gauteng says he wants to take his experience to the national level

Press Releases

TFSAs are the gymnasts of the retirement savings world

The idea is to get South Africans to save, but it's best to do your research first to find out if a TFSA is really suited to your needs

Achieving the litmus test of social relevance

The HSS Awards honours scholarly works based on their social relevance and contribution to the humanities and social sciences

Making sense of tax-free savings and investment

Have you made the most of your tax-free investment contributions?

Response to the report of the independent assessors

VUT welcomes the publishing of the report of the independent assessors to investigate concerns of poor governance, leadership, management, corruption and fraud at the university.

NWU student receives international award

Carol-Mari Schulz received the Bachelor of Health Sciences in Occupational Hygiene Top Achiever Award.

Academic programme resumes at all campuses

Lectures, practicals, seminars and tutorials will all resume today as per specific academic timetables.

Strategic social investments are a catalyst for social progress

Barloworld Mbewu enables beneficiaries to move away from dependence on grant funding

We all have a part to play to make South Africa work

Powering societal progress demands partnerships between all stakeholders