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Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt snap ties with Qatar



Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt snap ties with Qatar

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The move comes as a major shock in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia has also accused Qatar of supporting terrorists

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt severed diplomatic relations with Qatar on Monday and announced the withdrawal of their diplomatic staff from Doha within the next 48 hours. Qatari forces will also be pulled out of the ongoing Saudi Arabia-led war against Yemen.

Riyadh has closed border, air and sea traffic with Qatar, urging “all brotherly countries and companies to do the same”.

Egypt’s foreign ministry accused Qatar of taking an “antagonist approach” towards Egypt and said “all attempts to stop it from supporting terrorist groups failed”. Cairo announced the closure of its airspace and ports for all Qatari transportation “to protect its national security”.

Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain gave two weeks to Qatari visitors and residents to leave their countries. This will effectively cut off Qatar from the rest of the Arabian Peninsula.

Kuwait and Oman, considered closer to Iran, have not yet followed the Saudi diktat on Qatar. All these countries are part of the Gulf Cooperation Council, which is yet to come up with its decision on Qatar’s continued membership of the council.

According to statement issued by the Saudi Press Agency, Riyadh took the decision to cut diplomatic ties due to Qatar’s “embrace of various terrorist and sectarian groups aimed at destabilizing the region” including the Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda, the Islamic State and groups supported by Iran in the kingdom’s restive eastern province of Qatif.

Shias in the eastern region have been demanding their religious and political rights where Riyadh has accelerated demolition of some Shia neighbourhoods. A large number of casualties and fatalities were recently reported from the region. A revered Shia leader, Sheikh Baqar al Nimr, was executed in January 2016.

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

Bahrain’s foreign ministry also issued a statement saying it would withdraw its diplomatic staff from Qatari capital Doha within 48 hours and all Qatari diplomats should leave Bahrain within the same period.

The fast changing developments were witnessed after the recent visit of US President Donald Trump to Saudi Arabia where he addressed heads of 55 Muslim states. According to Al Jazeera, the Doha-based TV channel, Qatari Foreign Ministry regretted the measures by the Arab nations calling the decision “unjustified.” The Foreign Ministry statement said that “the measures are unjustified and are based on claims and allegations that have no basis in fact.”  However it said that the decisions would “not affect the normal lives of citizens and residents”.

Criticising Saudi Arabia’s big brotherly behaviour Qatar said “the aim is clear, and it is to impose guardianship on the state. This by itself is a violation of its (Qatar’s) sovereignty as a state,” it added.

The dispute between Qatar and Gulf Arab countries was escalated after a recent hacking of Qatar News Agency when it falsely attributed a statement to Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani expressing support to Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah and Israel. It had also reportedly suggested that US President Donald Trump may not last in office.

Qatar’s government, however, categorically denied the comments were ever made. On Wednesday, Qatar’s Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani was quoted as saying “there are international laws governing such crimes, especially the cyber attack. (The hackers) will be prosecuted according to law.”

Meanwhile, on May 27, Qatar’s Emir called Iranian President Hasan Rouhani to congratulate him on his re-election. Qatar shares a massive offshore gas field with Iran. Saudi Arabia sees Iran as its enemy number one and a threat to regional stability.

Moreover, the Saudi-supported Yemen’s government headed by Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi also announced cutting ties with Qatar, accusing it of working with its enemies in the Iran-aligned Houthi movement, state news agency Saba reported. Hadi and his cabinet colleagues mostly stay in Riyadh and Yemen is virtually ruled by Al-Houthis headed by Abdul Malik al-Houthi. Saudi Arabia blames Iran of supporting them.

Senior Iranian official Hamid Aboutalebi, the deputy chief of staff of Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani, tweeted that the measures by the Arab nations would not help end the crisis in the Middle East.  “The era of cutting diplomatic ties and closing borders … is not a way to resolve crisis … As I said before, aggression and occupation will have no result but instability.”  He was referring to the Saudi-led coalition’s involvement in Yemen.

Qatar is home to the sprawling al-Udaid Air Base which hosts the US military’s Central Command and some 10,000 American troops. Bahrain, one of the countries severing ties with Qatar, hosts the US Navy’s 5th fleet.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who is currently visiting Australia, said he did not believe the diplomatic crisis would affect the war against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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Bigg Boss 14 contestant Rahul Vaidya struggles walking in knee deep water, compares Dubai rains with Mumbai floods

Singer and TV personality Rahul Vaidya was recently stranded in the Dubai rains.



Rahul Vaidya, who was in Dubai ahead of his show which was scheduled to take place today, left the country due to heavy rains and reached Kolkata. The artist shared on social media his encounters in the UAE city, including challenges like walking through knee-deep water. Rahul provided an update regarding the heavy rainfall in Dubai on his Instagram profile.

The Bigg Boss 14 contestant revealed that he was in Kolkata and prepared to do an evening performance. Recalling the terrifying period he went through, Vaidya said there was a lot of confusion and panic in Dubai. The situation was similar to that when heavy floods hit Mumbai in 2005.

Vaiday also posted seval other images and videos of cars that were underwater and flooded roadways. The Bigg Boss 14 contestant, who shared his ordeal, claimed that even though it had just rained for two hours, the situation was dire.

In one of the video, which went viral he can be seen struggling in walking in knee-deep water. He can be also seen holding his sneakers in one hand and with other hand he was seen managing other things.

This is the result of the two hours of rain that it had, he can be heard saying in the video. Vidya also said he dosen’t believe Dubai is accustomed to a lot of rain. Everything had stopped working, he remarked.

After taking part in the first season of the singing reality show Indian Idol, Rahul Vaidya gained widespread recognition. In addition to Bigg Boss, he took part in Khatron Ke Khiladi 11.

Meanwhile, heavy rains that triggered flooding in the UAE and Bahrain, which left 18 people dead in Oman on Sunday and Monday, have paralyzed the financial hub of the Middle East, Dubai.

A lot of incoming flights were diverted from Dubai’s international airport because of the rain. At 7:26 p.m., the busiest airport in the world for foreign visitors stopped accepting new arrivals; a gradual resumption was announced for more than two hours later.

Images of planes navigating flooded tarmacs are making the rounds on social media.

According to pictures shared on social media, the flagship malls Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates both experienced heavy floods, while at least one Dubai Metro station had water up to the ankles.

There were several road collapses, severe flooding in residential areas, and numerous reports of leaks from windows, doors, and roofs.

Due to the unfavourable weather, schools around the United Arab Emirates were forced to close, and as more storms are predicted, the closures are anticipated to last until Wednesday. The government of Dubai allowed its staff to work remotely till this Wednesday.

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Latest world news

Dubai sky turns green during storm in UAE, video goes viral

The UAE witnessed record-breaking rainfall on Tuesday and the National Centre of Meteorology recorded 254 mm of rainfall in less than 24 hrs in the Khatm Al Shakla area in Al Ain.



1 person was killed in UAE as it witnessed heavy rainfall on Tuesday, stranding commuters, flooding roads, disrupting trains and flights and resulting in water leakage from mall ceilings. The UAE witnessed record-breaking rainfall on Tuesday and the National Centre of Meteorology recorded 254 mm of rainfall in less than 24 hrs in the Khatm Al Shakla area in Al Ain. It is being said that the rainfall was the highest documented since the start of data collection in 1949.

The heavy rainfall in UAE came days after a similar situation in neighbouring Oman, where 13 people were killed in flash floods. Many parts of Oman saw torrential rains, which caused students to be trapped in buses and swept away motorists and trapped people in their homes.

Videos from Dubai circulating on social media showed widespread waterlogging on roads in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and other important cities. This left daily commuters in cars and other vehicles struggling to get back home. Dubai metro station too was seen flooded and closed.

One such video circulating on social media shows the aerial view of the city of Dubai from the top of a building. In the video the stormy winds are seen blowing over the city of Dubai. As the storm intensifies the Dubai sky turns green and ultimately gets covered by heavy rainfall. The video has gone viral on social media with more than 1.1 million views.

Another video showed water leakage from the ceilings of shopping malls, flooding the floors and destroying goods. A video which was shot in the famous Mall of the Emirates, showed pieces of ceiling falling as the rainwater gushed inside. Videos from many outlets of the Deira City Centre mall chain showed escalators being rendered unusable. Majid Al Futtaim, the company which owns the Mall of Emirates, said that the shopping complexes have been kept open and the customers are being sent away from the flooded areas. 

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Sri Lankan Minister Douglas Devananda says statements on reclaiming Katchatheevu island from Sri Lanka have no ground

Devananda told the media on Thursday that it is not unusual to hear such claims and counterclaims about Katchatheevu as elections are taking place in India.



Sri Lankan Minister Douglas Devananda has said the statements from some political leaders in India on reclaiming Katchatheevu from the island nation have no ground. He told the media on Thursday that it is not unusual to hear such claims and counterclaims about the strategic island as elections are taking place in India.

The Sri Lankan Minister said he thought India is acting on its interests to secure this place to ensure Sri Lankan fishermen would not have any access to that area and that Sri Lanka should not claim any rights in that resourceful area. According to the 1974 agreement, Devananda said Indian and Sri Lankan fishermen can go fishing in the territorial waters of both countries until the pact was reviewed and amended in 1976.

The amended agreement resulted in fishermen from both countries being barred from fishing in neighboring waters. India’s ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Thursday steered clear of the row surrounding Katchatheevu island. To a volley of questions on the Katchatheevu issue, MEA spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal reffered to External affairs Minister S Jaishankar’s recent comments on the matter.

He said he would like to talk about the issue that has been raised. He added the External Affairs minister has spoken to the press here in Delhi and also in Gujarat and has clarified all the issues. He said everyone should look into the press engagements and they would find the answers to their questions there.

The remarks from Devananda, a Sri Lankan Tamil, came days after the Narendra Modi government accused the Congress and its ally DMK in Tamil Nadu of overlooking national interests by handing over Katchatheevu island to Sri Lanka in 1974. The BJP has also been slamming the 2 parties for not ensuring the rights of the fishermen wanting to fish in waters around the island.

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