Saudi, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt cut ties with Gulf state Qatar

Gulf countries are home to 8 million Indians and vital to India's energy supply.

Qatar Airways did not immediately respond to a request for comment on how they plan to overcome this challenge.

Saudi Arabia and several of its allies on Monday cut relations with Qatar, accusing it of supporting extremism, in the biggest diplomatic crisis to have hit the region in years. "Sudan is fully ready to undertake all efforts in order to achieve calm and reconciliation that would help serve the interests of the people of the region", the ministry said in a statement.

The White House said Monday that the United States was committed to de-escalating tensions in the Gulf after some Arab countries made a decision to sever ties with Qatar.

Libya, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain on Monday accused Qatar of destabilising the region.

Winning the right to host the 2022 World Cup was a major coup for Qatar, which has used its natural gas riches to promote its profile.

Qatar's relationship with Iran also plays a role in the latest development.

"We don't want to see some kind of permanent rift and I suspect we won't", said the senior Trump administration official on condition of anonymity, adding the United States would send a representative if the Gulf Cooperation Council nations met to discuss the rift with Qatar.

Just two weeks ago, President Donald Trump called upon the Muslim-majority nations of the world to quash the jihadist movements both inside and outside their countries' borders.

Qatar specifically is home to one of the largest USA military bases in the Middle East, Al Udeid Air Base, with over 11,000 US and coalition service members deployed there and more than 100 aircraft. Qatar was also expelled from the Saudi-led coalition fighting Houthi rebels in Yemen. And the United Arab Emirates stopped air service to Qatar by its three airline carriers.

"The aim is clear, and it is to impose guardianship on the state", it said, insisting authorities would "take all measures necessary... to foil attempts to affect or harm Qatar's society and economy". "What we're seeing now is a very brutal exercise in humiliation, to break Qatar's independent spirit", Knights said, "score settling within the Gulf states".

But the bottom line, Roberts notes, is "there's been a feeling for decades that Qatar is an individually focused state doing what it wants to do, and hasn't paid enough attention to GCC security issues".

The state-run Kuwait News Agency says Kuwaiti Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah spoke with Qatar's emir Monday evening and urged him to give a chance to efforts that could ease tensions.

Qatar said it had been the victim of a "shameful cybercrime".

However the crisis is resolved, if at all, Tillerson and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said in Sydney, after talks with their Australian counterparts, that it would not undermine the fight against the Islamic State.

The decision by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE and Bahrain plunged the global travel hub into chaos and ignited the biggest diplomatic crisis in the Gulf since the 1991 war against Iraq.

  • Zachary Reyes