Saudi Arabia revokes Qatar Airways licence

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Qatar has repeatedly faced criticism for alleged support of the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist group considered a terrorist organization by Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Asian football officials are monitoring the diplomatic crisis between Qatar and other Arab states, hoping to minimise the impact on worldwide competitions being played in the Gulf region.

The diplomatic broadside threatens the worldwide prestige of Qatar which is set to host the 2022 World Cup.

Qatar's leader is expected to address his nation Tuesday, one day after the country was thrust into the center of an unprecedented diplomatic crisis that threatens to disrupt everyday life and leave the oil-rich nation isolated from key allies.

Yemen, Libya's eastern government, and the Maldives shortly followed suit.

Qatar had called the nations' decision to isolate it a "violation of its sovereignty", and vowed to its citizens that the decision won't affect them.

Though Qatar is 1 of the wealthiest countries in the world, it relies heavily on imported food from Saudi Arabia, UAE among other places.

All three countries have refused to allow Qatar the use of their sea ports or airspace and have closed off the only land route into the country. More recently Bahrain has been accusing Qatar of encouraging the Bahraini Sunnis to migrate to Qatar.

"All customers booked on Emirates' flights to and from Doha will be provided with alternative options, including full refunds on unused tickets and rebooking to the nearest alternate Emirates destinations", the airline said.

Saudi Arabia's government says it's cutting ties to protect itself "from the dangers of terrorism and extremism", the Saudi Press Agency reports.

Gulf countries previously recalled their ambassadors from Qatar in 2014, ostensibly over its support for the Brotherhood, but Monday's moves go much further.

A commercial banker in fellow GCC state Kuwait, which did not sever diplomatic ties with Qatar, said on Tuesday that business with Qatari institutions was continuing as normal.

In the wake of the 2011 revolts in the Middle East, Qatar and Saudi Arabia backed rival proxies.

The comments lent credence to a view held by some analysts that Trump in his Middle East trip emboldened the Arab nations to take action even though Qatar is a USA ally and hosts a US military base.

Qatar already has said it wants Kuwait to mediate the rift.

Trump, who traveled to Saudi Arabia for a recent conference of Arab nations, had told Qatar's ruler at the time that "we've been friends now for a long time".

A Turkish official said President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is "actively involved" in efforts to resolve the diplomatic crisis.

"The Middle East is not at a point where it can endure a new crisis", he said.

Qatar is home to nearly two million foreign nationals - mainly workers from India, Nepal and the Philippines. It did not elaborate. Full details of these charter flights are available on Qatar Airways Travel Alert page. "Restrictions on vessels calling into Qatar and associated uncertainty could impact the inherent value of crude loading from Qatar", it said.

In May, Saudi Arabia blocked access to Qatari news networks, including Al-Jazeera, after they broadcast comments purportedly by Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani criticizing Saudi Arabia. Qatar shares a massive offshore gas field with Iran.

On Monday Kuna news agency, an official state news service based in Kuwait, confirmed the phone call between the two leaders. Its Gulf Arab neighbors responded by blocking Qatari-based media, including Al-Jazeera.

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