Qatar-Gulf crisis: How it all got started on June 5

Four Arab countries triggered the Qatar-Gulf crisis by cutting their ties with Qatar on Monday June 5 (all times local Doha time)

Here is how it all unfolded:

5:50am – Bahrain cuts ties with Qatar

  • Bahrain‘s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issues a statement early on Monday saying it would withdraw its diplomatic mission from the Qatari capital, Doha, within 48 hours, and that all Qatari diplomats should leave Bahrain within the same period.

6am – Saudi cuts ties with Qatar

  • Saudi Arabia says it is cutting diplomatic ties to Qatar and it has pulled all Qatari troops from the ongoing war in Yemen.

  • Saudi Arabia makes the announcement via its state-run Saudi Press Agency early on Monday. It appears to be timed in concert with an earlier announcement by Bahrain, similarly cutting ties.

  • The dispute between Qatar and the Gulf’s Arab countries had escalated over a hack of Qatar’s state-run news agency. It has spiralled since.

6:10am – UAE, Egypt cut ties with Qatar

  • Both the UAE and Egypt make the announcement on their state-run news agencies within minutes of each other.

8:35am – Etihad suspends flights from Tuesday

  • Abu Dhabi-based airline, Etihad, says it is suspending flights to Qatar from June 6 “until further notice”.

  • Etihad says its last flights will leave early Tuesday morning.

  • Etihad gives no reason for the decision. It is the flag carrier of the United Arab Emirates.

9:55am – Qatar’s official reaction

  • Qatar says there is “no legitimate justification” for four Arab nations to cut diplomatic ties.

  • Qatar also says the decision is a “violation of its sovereignty”, vowing to its citizens that it will not affect them.

10am – US urges GCC unity

  • US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson tells reporters in Sydney: “It is important that the GCC remains a unified [front].”

  • Tillerson does not expect the rift “to have any significant impact, if any impact at all, on the unified fight against terrorism”. Qatar hosts the largest US military base in the Middle East.

10:20am – Emirates flights cancelled from Tuesday

  • The Dubai-based airline, Emirates, says it is suspending flights to Qatar amid a growing diplomatic rift.

  • Emirates says on its website on Monday that flights would be suspended until further notice, starting on Tuesday.

10:45am – Yemen cuts ties with Qatar

  • Yemen’s internationally recognised government cuts relations with Qatar, and says it supports the decision by the Saudi-led coalition to end Qatar’s participation in the war on the Houthis in Yemen. Qatar had been part of the coalition since March 2015.

  • The government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi says it severed ties with Qatar in part over its support of extremist groups in Yemen, “in contradiction with the goals announced by the countries supporting the legitimate government”.

11:05am – FlyDubai flights cancelled from Tuesday

  • Dubai’s budget carrier, FlyDubai, says it has cancelled its flights to Qatar amid a diplomatic dispute between it and other Arab countries.

  • The carrier says on Monday that, starting Tuesday, all flights would be suspended. It offers no other details.

  • FlyDubai’s decision follows that of Emirates and Etihad in cancelling flights to Doha. 

12:10pm – Saudia flights suspended from Monday

  • Saudi Arabian Airlines says it is suspending flights to the Qatari capital, Doha.

  • The airline, also known as Saudia, posts on Twitter that it would be halting flights from Monday morning, without elaborating.

1:15pm – Air Arabia flights suspended from Tuesday

  • Air Arabia, a low-cost airline based in the United Arab Emirates, says that, along with other Emirati airlines, it is suspending flights to Qatar over a growing diplomatic crisis.

  • Air Arabia says its flights will be suspended from Tuesday “until further notice”. 

1:20pm – Updates from FIFA

  • Football’s world governing body says it remains in “regular contact with Qatar”.

  • FIFA issues a short statement saying it has spoken with “the Qatar 2022 Local Organizing Committee and the Supreme Committee for Delivery Legacy, handling matters relating to the 2022 FIFA World Cup”.

  • It says: “We have no further comments for the time being.”

1:30pm – Saudi border line up

  • Reports of trucks being lined up across the border in Saudi Arabia, unable to enter Qatar.

2pm – Saudi closes border with Qatar

  • Saudi Transport authority confirms immediate border closure with Qatar, by land and by sea.

2:50pm – Libya’s Haftar cuts ties with Qatar

  • The faction led by Khalifa Haftar, one of three rival governments in Libya, announces it is cutting ties with Qatar.

  • Haftar’s foreign minister accuses Qatar of “harbouring terrorism”.

3:10pm – Egypt recalls ambassador

  • Egypt’s foreign ministry says it has given the Qatari ambassador in Cairo 48 hours to leave the country, and has ordered its own envoy in Doha to return home, also within two days.

3:15pm – Maldives cuts ties with Qatar

  • Decision made because of the Maldives‘ “firm opposition to activities that encourage terrorism and extremism”.

3:30pm – Iran calls for dialogue

  • Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi is quoted on the ministry’s website as calling for a “clear and explicit dialogue” among the feuding nations. Iran says rising tensions among its Arab Gulf neighbours threaten the interests of everyone in the region.

3:30pm – UAE port to turn away Qatar-bound vessels

  • UAE’s Port of Fujairah says all vessels flying the flag of Qatar or destined for Qatar will not be allowed to call at the port.

4pm – Iran’s food ‘can reach Qatar in 12 hours’

  • Food shipments sent from Iran can reach Qatar in 12 hours, says Reza Nourani, chairman of the Iranian Union of Exporters of Agricultural Products.

4:40pm – Turkey expresses ‘sorrow’

  • Turkey is ready to help, however it can, to bring the disputes to a manageable level, says Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, speaking at a joint news conference in Ankara.

  • Cavusoglu adds: “We see the stability in the Gulf region as our own unity and solidarity.”

5:10pm – Egypt suspends air and sea links

  • Egypt’s foreign ministry says in a statement that the country is suspending air and sea links to Qatar, citing national security.

5:40pm – No Qatari vessels allowed in Saudi ports

  • The Saudi Ports Authority notifies shipping agents not to receive vessels carrying Qatari flags or ships owned by Qatari companies or individuals.

6:25pm – Saudi shuts Al Jazeera office 

  • Saudi Arabia shuts down Al Jazeera Media Network’s local office, according to Saudi state media.

6:30pm – Israel praises anti-Qatar moves

  • Avigdor Lieberman, Israel‘s defence minister, praises the measures against Qatar, saying: “There is no doubt that this opens very many possibilities of cooperation in the struggle against terror.”

7:30pm – Egypt airspace to close on Tuesday

  • Egypt’s Ministry of Civil Aviation civil aviation announces that the country’s airspace will be closed to Qatari flights starting Tuesday 04:00 GMT.

8pm – US military has ‘no plans’ for change

  • The US military’s central command says it has “no plans to change our posture in Qatar” amid a Gulf diplomatic crisis. Major Adrian JT Rankine-Galloway says in a statement that US military aircraft continue to fly missions in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria from Qatar’s Al-Udeid airbase.

8:30pm – Turkey is seeking to resolve Gulf spat

  • Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is “actively involved” in efforts to resolve the diplomatic spat between Qatar and its neighbours, according to Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus.

8:30pm – Saudi banks asked to sell Qatari riyals

  • Saudi Arabia’s central bank asks local banks to sell Qatari riyals and not to buy any more, local media and Reuters report.

10:40pm – Kuwait calls for restraint

  • Kuwait‘s Emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah calls Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and “urges him towards restraint and not to take any measure that could escalate” the situation in the Gulf, according to the state-run KUNA news agency.

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Source: Al Jazeera