> The worst rift in years opening between powerful Arab states. Saudi Arabia joining Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, in severing their ties with Qatar on Monday. Accusing their neighbor of supporting terrorism, and meddling in their internal affairs. Yemen, the Maldives, and Libya's eastern-based government quickly following suit.
Reuter's correspondent in Dubai, Sylvia Westall, explains the implications.>> The developments, they are serious. They're probably the most serious breach in the GCC for a generation. They include travel restrictions, restrictions on diplomatic activity, and are likely to affect Qatar's economy.>> The three gulf states giving Qatari visitors and residents two weeks to leave.
Air travel in the region facing major disruption. Etihad, Emirates, Qatar, and Air Arabia all plan to suspend flights. Saudi Arabia also seems to reference Qatar's influential state owned satellite TV station, Al Jazeera. Claiming the country broadcasts militant groups' ideology. The coordinated move dramatically escalating a dispute over Qatar's support of the Muslim Brotherhood, the world's oldest Islamist movement.
And adds accusations that Doha even backs the agenda of regional arch-rival Iran. Qatar denies all the accusations, blaming a campaign of lies and fabrications, aimed at putting the gulf Arab state under guardianship. A number of countries encouraging the parties to sit down together, to resolve their differences.>> It's going to take some serious mediation efforts by countries possibly like Oman or Kuwait.
Or other countries, perhaps even the United States, to try and heal this rift between the GCC countries. There seems to be very little that Qatar can do, to resist the pressure that's coming from the other GCC countries now.>> The diplomatic rift could cost the region billions, slowing trade and investment, and making it more expensive to borrow money.
The closure of land and air borders could also wreak havoc on the timeline and delivery of the 2022 FIFA World Cup being held in the country.