Tillerson: scandal surrounding Qatar won't affect counter-terrorism

Tillerson: scandal surrounding Qatar won't affect counter-terrorism

The country "has no such plans", the spokesman, Nafees Zakaria, said, following Monday's surprise severing of ties with Qatar by Islamabad's key ally, Saudi Arabia, and three other Middle East nations.

The citizens of Qatar have 2 weeks to leave the country, and diplomatic missions gave 48 hours.

"(Qatar) embraces multiple terrorist and sectarian groups aimed at disturbing stability in the region, including the Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS (Islamic State) and al-Qaeda, and promotes message and schemes of these groups through their media constantly", SPA said.

In a statement published on its website Qatar's foreign ministry said the allegations were "not justified" and were based on "unfounded" claims.

Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates all announced that would withdraw their diplomatic workforce from Qatar, a gas-rich country that will schedule to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

However, eight months later they returned their ambassadors as Qatar forced some Brotherhood members to leave the country.

Abu Dhabi-based airline Etihad said it was suspending flights to Qatar "until further notice".

It also stated that it supports the decision by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen to remove Qatar from its ranks.

Western officials have also accused Qatar of allowing funding of Sunni extremists like Al-Qaida's branch in Syria.

The Saudis on June 5 said the move was made for the "protection of national security", while Bahrain accused the Qataris of backing terrorism and interfering in Bahrain's internal affairs.

The ministry added that the decision taken by the four Gulf nations would not affect the normal lives of its citizens and residents.

Flights to Australia and Asia are expected to be severely disrupted as they fly over the UAE and will now require lengthy diversions over Iran, which will make some unviable, while others will lose passenger capacity.

Following the hacking, comments "falsely" attributed to Qatar's emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, were broadcast in Qatar.

OPEC accounts for a third of global oil production and includes numerous world's largest oil exporters such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

But Tillerson and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, appearing alongside him and their Australian counterparts, said that they did not think the developments would affect the USA -led coalition fighting Sunni extremists in the Middle East.

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