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Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE, and Bahrain cut diplomatic relations with Qatar

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE, and Bahrain cut diplomatic relations with QatarSaudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain severed diplomatic relations with Qatar in a coordinated move. Yemen, Libya's eastern-based government, and the Maldives joined later. Transport links shut down, triggering supply shortages.

This is reported by Reuters.

Qatar, a small peninsular nation of 2.5 million people that has a large U.S. military base, denounced the action as predicated on lies about it supporting militants. It has often been accused of being a funding source for Islamists, as has Saudi Arabia.

Closing all transport links with Qatar, the three Gulf states gave Qatari visitors and residents two weeks to leave, and Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt banned Qatari planes from landing and forbade them from crossing their airspace.

Qatar's stock market index sank 7.3 percent, with some of the market's top blue chips hardest hit, and some Egyptian banks said they were suspending dealing with Qatari banks.

Supply difficulties quickly developed. Two Middle East trade sources spoke of thousands of trucks carrying food stuck at the Saudi border, unable make the sole overland frontier crossing into Qatar.

About 80 percent of Qatar's food requirements are sourced via bigger Gulf Arab neighbors. Trade sources pointed to the likelihood of shortages growing in Qatar until the crisis eased.

Along with Egypt, however, the UAE and Saudi Arabia could be vulnerable to retaliation, being highly dependent on Qatar for liquefied natural gas.
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