India's Petronet: no impact on Qatar LNG as Saudi, others cut ties

Qatar backed the democratically elected Muslim Brotherhood government of Mohammed Morsi in Egypt, a move which angered Saudi Arabia which partly financed the military ouster of the Morsi-government.

Egypt was the next country to jump on board, with Cairo stating that "the government of the Arab Republic of Egypt has made a decision to sever diplomatic relations with Qatar because of the continued hostility of the Qatari authorities towards Egypt".

Qatar is home to some 10,000 American troops based at the al-Udeid air base, the United States military's regional command centre.

The rift started between Qatar and the Arab nations after Doha in May alleged that the hackers took over its government run news agency and fake comments have been published from its Emir with regards to Iran and Israel.

Qatar has land borders with Saudi Arabia and is separated by Gulf waters from nearby Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.

Relations have always been strained between Qatar and regional emirates and Saudi Arabia, a close ally of Bahrain and the United States.

As David notes, "the biggest US air base in the Middle East is in Qatar, while the Navy's fifth fleet is based in Bahrain".

In a statement on its website, Etihad said it will suspend all flights to and from Doha beginning June 5 until further notice.

The Egyptian Foreign Ministry said that Qatar's policy "threatens Arab national security and sows the seeds of strife and division within Arab societies according to a deliberate plan aimed at the unity and interests of the Arab nation", Al Ahram news agency reported.

Despite this, Qatar is a formal ally of the United States and Turkey in the region.

"Another theory is that this is a product of month's tension, all brought to a breaking point after the Qatar news agency hacking story".

The government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi said it severed ties with Qatar in part over is support of extremist groups in Yemen "in contradiction with the goals announced by the countries supporting the legitimate government". It said the decisions would "not affect the normal lives of citizens and residents".

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait and Qatar form a close regional alliance known as the Gulf Cooperation Council, established in 1981.

UAE based airlines including Emirates, Etihad Airways, Air Arabia and flydubai have chose to cancel flights to Qatar.

National carrier Qatar Airways has already faced disruption because of the change in airspace restriction.

Bahrain and the UAE have given Qatari diplomatic missions 48 hours to leave.

The Saudi-led Arab coalition in Yemen's two-year war also said it had expelled Qatar.

"We certainly would encourage the parties to sit down together and address these differences", Tillerson said early today.

  • Zachary Reyes