By: Yasmin Fouda
Stocks in Qatar slumped to their lowest in more than a year on Monday after Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Yemen and Libya have broken off diplomatic relations with Qatar on Monday.
Qatar’s benchmark stock exchange plunged as much as 8% on Monday, Energy stocks were particularly hard hit, with Qatar Gas Transport Company and Qatar Fuel Company Q.S.C. both dropping more than 10%. On the other hand, an economic fallout was immediate as some of the Middle East’s biggest airlines announced they are suspending flights to Qatar. Etihad, Emirates and FlyDubai on Monday announced they are halting all flights in and out of Doha, the Qatari capital, starting Tuesdaymorning. Saudi Arabia banned Qatar Airways from flying to the kingdom, or using its airspace, starting Tuesday. And all Saudi carriers were banned, with immediate effect, from flying to Doha. Saudi Arabia said it’s closing all land, air and sea ports. Qatari nationals have been given two weeks notice to leave the UAE. The UAE government said it’s closing its airspace and seaports for Qatari’s and “banning all Qatari means of transportation.”
The reason behind this Arab stand and decision to cut ties with the Qatari government was a result of “serious and systematic violations committed by the authorities in Doha over the past years with the aim of creating strife among Arab internal ranks, undermining its sovereignty and embracing various terrorist and sectarian groups aimed at destabilising the region.”
Qatar is accused of supporting and harbouring terrorist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS and al-Qaeda, by means incitement through its media channels. “Qatar has also supported the activities of the Iranian-backed terrorist groups in the Qatif province of Saudi Arabia and in neighbouring Kingdom of Bahrain. It has also financed, adopted and is harbouring extremists who seek to destabilise unity at home and abroad. It has used the media that seeks to fan internal strife.
Egypt stated: “Qatar has promoted al-Qaeda’s ideology, and given support to ISIS and terrorist operations in 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 and promotes the seeds of sedition and division within the Arab societies.”