Tahlka News Bureau
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates announced on Monday they were severing diplomatic ties with Qatar, as tensions escalated in the region over accusations Doha sponsors terrorism.
Saudi news SPA said Riyadh cut diplomatic ties and closed borders with its neighbor to "protect its security from the dangers of terrorism and extremism".
A Saudi official cited by SPA said the country decided to "sever diplomatic and consular ties with Qatar, and to close all land, sea and aviation ports".
The Saudi-led colation has announced that Qatar's participation in its joint military operation in Yemen has been canceled and accused Doha of supporting the Al-Qaeda and Islamic State terrorist groups.
The state said all Egyptian ports and airports would be closed to Qatari vessels and planes.
According to a statement, "Qatar has promoted Al-Qaeda's ideology, and give support to ISIS and terrorist operations in the Sinai. Qatar has insisted on interfering in the internal affairs of Egypt and the countries of the region in a manner that threatens Arab national security promotes the seeds of sedition and division within the Arab societies."
The United Arab Emirates have cut all ties and gave diplomats 48 hours to leave the country, citing their 'support, funding and embrace of terrorist, extremist and sectarian organisations', state news agency said.
Doha have long faced accusations that it is a state sponsor of terrorism.
In recent weeks, Qatar has been accused outright of terror funding in article which have appeared in the American media.
It was also criticized for sanctuary of former Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal, who earlier this month used his Doha base, where he lived in exile for several years to launch a new policy document.
The Afghan Taliban opened an office in Doha in 2013.
Qatar is also set to host 2022 football World Cup and is also a member of the US-collation to defeat the Islamic State group.
The country is also home to the Al-Udeid airbase, where the US conducts all coalaton air operations for region.