The number of countries that have cut diplomatic ties to Qatar have risen to six after Yemen and Maldives joined United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.
The six countries on Monday withdrew their diplomatic staff from Qatar over claims that the country supported Islamist groups.
Emirates, Etihad Airways, Air Arabia, FlyDubai and Saudi Arabian Airlines have suspended all flights to Qatar, after the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain said they would cut all air, land and sea links with Qatar within 24 hours.
Qatar has slammed the decisions of the six nations to sever ties with it, saying they were ‘unjustified’ and aimed to put Doha under political ‘guardianship’.
‘The measures are unjustified and are based on false and baseless claims,’ the Qatari foreign ministry said in a statement, referring to the steps taken by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt.
‘The aim is clear, and it is to impose guardianship on the state. This by itself is a violation of its (Qatar’s) sovereignty as a state,’ Qatar added.
The diplomatic broadside threatens the international prestige of Qatar, which is set to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup. It has for years presented itself as a mediator and power broker for the region’s many disputes.