Qatar sports network blocked in UAE

But Qatar's Foreign Minister, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, told broadcaster Al Jazeera the country would "still have access to the world through worldwide sea lanes and global airspace". "They trust other countries will get involved as the mediators, such as Kuwait and Oman", he said.

Amir of Qatar His Highness Shaikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, spoke by telephone overnight with his counterpart in Kuwait, which has maintained diplomatic ties with Qatar, and chose to postpone a speech to the Qatari people as requested. The call came after a senior Saudi royal arrived in Kuwait with a message from the Saudi king.

Travel disruption is expected as the airport in Doha, Qatar's capital, is a major hub for worldwide flight connections.

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain severed diplomatic ties with Qatar on Monday, accusing the small but wealthy Gulf state of supporting extremist activities. Yemen's internationally backed government, which has lost the capital and large portions of the war-torn country, also cut relations with Qatar, as did the Maldives and one of conflict-ridden Libya's competing governments.

President Donald Trump threw his weight behind the Saudi-led diplomatic isolation of Qatar, calling it just punishment for the country's financial support of Iran and Islamic extremists. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the move was rooted in longstanding differences and urged the parties to resolve them.

It is also set to host the 2022 football World Cup. It did not elaborate.

Broadly, two key factors drove Monday's decision: Qatar's ties to Islamist groups, and to Iran, Saudi Arabia's regional rival.

"This will be a very significant disrupter both in loss of air routes to these particular countries, but also because Qatar Airways would now have to fly around those countries rather than over them", Mr Thomas, editor of Airlineratings.com, said. "They said they would take a hard line on funding, extremism, and all reference was pointing to Qatar", he said.

The Gulf states and Egypt banned all flights to and from Qatar and ordered Qatari citizens to leave within 14 days.

Doha-based satellite news network Al-Jazeera reported trucks carrying food had begun lining up on the Saudi side of the border, apparently stranded. The Qatar Stock Exchange fell more than 7 percent in trading Monday.

According to media reports, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and UAE announced to cut all land, sea and air links with Qatar on Monday.

"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. FlightRadar24, a popular airplane tracking website, said Qatar Airway flights already had started to be affected.

  • Leroy Wright