On June 5, 2017, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain followed by the United Arab Emirates, Egypt Yemen, and one of Libya’s interim governments cut diplomatic relations with, and trade ties with Qatar. The UAE issued a statement which said it was “based on the insistence of the State of Qatar to continue to undermine the security and stability of the region.” In the statement the UAE said the following steps were taken:
1-In support of the statements issued by Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates severed all relations with the State of Qatar, including breaking off diplomatic relations, and gave Qatari diplomats 48 hours to leave the UAE.
2-Prevented Qatari nationals from entering the UAE or crossing its points of entry, giving Qatari residents and visitors in the UAE 14 days to leave the country for precautionary security reasons. UAE nationals were likewise banned from traveling to or staying in Qatar or transiting through its territories.
3-Closed UAE airspace and seaports for all Qataris within 24 hours and banned all Qatari means of transportation, coming to or leaving the UAE, from crossing, entering or leaving the UAE territories, and took all legal measures in collaboration with friendly countries and international companies with regards to Qataris using the UAE airspace and territorial waters, from and to Qatar, for national security considerations.
The UAE said it was taking these measures as a result of the:
“Qatari authorities’ failure to abide by the Riyadh Agreement on returning GCC diplomats to Doha and its Complementary Arrangement in 2014, and Qatar’s continued support, funding and hosting of terror groups, primarily Islamic Brotherhood, and its sustained endeavours to promote the ideologies of Daesh and Al Qaeda across its direct and indirect media in addition to Qatar’s violation of the statement issued at the US-Islamic Summit in Riyadh on May 21st, 2017 on countering terrorism in the region and considering Iran a state sponsor of terrorism. The UAE measures are taken as well based on Qatari authorities’ hosting of terrorist elements and meddling in the affairs of other countries as well as their support of terror groups – policies which are likely to push the region into a stage of unpredictable consequences.”
The Washington Post stated that “The closure of land borders and the disruption to air traffic will have serious consequences for the Qatari economy and its society that will quickly prove prohibitively expensive, even for a rich state like Qatar.” Social media reports from Doha showed supermarket shelves empty as nervous consumers began to worry that stocks of food and water would run out. As much as 40% of Qatar’s food comes over the Saudi border, Qatar’s only land border which is now closed.