QATAR – Several Middle Eastern Countries Sever Diplomatic Ties
On Monday 5 June 2017 the governments of Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) cut diplomatic ties with Qatar with immediate effect, and closed access to Qatar for air, sea and land traffic, citing the need to protect their national security.
Following this, Egypt, Yemen, Libya, the Maldives, Mauritius, Mauritania, Comoros, Djibouti and Senegal have all cut or downgraded their ties with Qatar, while the Philippines announced that it has stopped sending migrant workers to Qatar.
Please note that the situation is fluid and further changes are likely. It is not clear for how long the below restrictions will remain in place.
What has been restricted?
Qatari diplomats were given 48 hours to leave the UAE and Bahrain and have been expelled from other territories. Qatari citizens were given until 19 June 2017 to leave the UAE and Saudi Arabia, while citizens from Qatar have also been banned from passing through UAE and Saudi airports. Non-UAE national holders of a Qatari residence permit can no longer obtain visas on arrival to the UAE. Emiratis, Saudis and Bahrainis are now banned from visiting or even passing through Qatar by any means. Those currently in Qatar are requested to leave as soon as possible. UAE, Saudi and Bahraini airspace has been closed to air traffic from Qatar. Airline flights to and from Qatar have been halted by the three Gulf countries imposing the blockade. Qatar Airways has in turn stopped flying to destinations in those countries. Saudi Arabia has said Qatari troops will be pulled from the coalition in the ongoing war in Yemen. In addition, it has shut down Al Jazeera’s office and recalled all Saudi journalists in Doha. Kuwait and Oman are the only remaining Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Member States that maintain a relationship with Qatar.
Employers of foreign nationals in the region should consult an immigration specialist for the latest situation. Travellers to, from and through the region should consult a visa provider to confirm the latest requirements and recommendations.