4 nations cut diplomatic ties to Qatar as Gulf rift deepens

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Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain say they are severing diplomatic relations with Qatar.

Qatar said on Saturday that six of its soldiers were wounded on the Saudi border with Yemen while serving in a Saudi-led military coalition fighting against the Iran-aligned Houthi group.

Saudi Arabia cut all land air and sea contacts with Qatar 'and urges all brotherly countries and companies to do the same'.

Etihad Airways, the UAE's flag carrier, said it would suspend flights to and from Qatar beginning Tuesday morning.

The Emir's comments appeared on Qatar's official news agency, but Qatar claimed that the website was "hacked", the report fabricated by the culprits.

The tiny island nation of Bahrain blamed Qatar's "media incitement, support for armed terrorist activities and funding linked to Iranian groups to carry out sabotage and spreading chaos in Bahrain" for its decision.

Qatar and the surrounding countries.

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But several Gulf Cooperation Council states rejected Qatar's explanation, leaving local media to unleash a barrage of attacks accusing the emir of cozying up to Iran.

Bahrain, meanwhile, accused Qatar of backing terrorism and interfering in Bahrain's internal affairs.

A fourth country, the United Arab Emirates, echoed the same accusations and accused Qatar of was undermining regional stability.

Former interior minister Senator Rehman Malik has written a letter to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif urging him to play his role in mediation between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic of Iran on an urgent basis.

Global oil prices rose 1.24 percent to $50.57 a barrel in early trading Monday in Asia amid the Gulf diplomatic crisis.

The two leaders also met during U.S. President Donald Trump's visit to the region last month, and were featured in a group photo along with Trump holding their hands over a glowing white orb to mark the opening of a counterterrorism center in the Saudi capital, Riyadh.

"It is highly important to mention here that [the] Kingdom of Saudi Arabia being our trusted old friend and Iran too is our Muslim neighbouring country and the tension between both countries will subsequently create a wedge among Muslim world, hence, it is high time for Pakistan to take initiative to defuse the tension between the two Muslim countries", he wrote. Trump asked at the meeting.