Saudi Arabia defends cutting ties with Qatar

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Saudi Arabia said on Saturday it has severed diplomatic ties with Qatar to protect the kingdom’s national security from terrorism and extremism.

Saudi Arabia reiterated in a statement that its decision has been taken due to Qatar’s violations against the kingdom, since Doha has hosted terrorist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood, Isis and Al-Qaeda.

The kingdom and member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have exerted efforts to urge Doha to adhere by treaties and agreements but in vain, the statement said.

The statement pointed out that Qatar has breached its agreements signed with the GCC countries for destabilizing the region, so these countries had to protect their national security.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain withdrew their ambassadors from Qatar in March 2014 over its support for the Muslim Brotherhood and other terrorist groups. The ambassadors returned in November 2014 after Qatari authorities singed another agreement.

The Anti-Terror Quartet of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt have operated a diplomatic, trade and travel boycott of Qatar since June 2017.

Saudi Arabia reaffirmed its support for the security and stability of the Qatari people, and said that it had taken steps to help both Saudis and Qataris who have been affected by the decision to sever ties with Qatar.

A committee has been formed by the Saudi Ministry of Interior to deal with humanitarian cases of Saudi-Qatari families affected by the crisis, and a hotline has been set up so that people can report such cases.