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Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain install hotline for citizens with Qatari relatives after blockade Open in fullscreen

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Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain install hotline for citizens with Qatari relatives after blockade

Families with Qatari citizens face uncertainty after Qataris were given a 14 day ultimatum [Getty]

Date of publication: 11 June, 2017

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Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE have announced that they have activated hotlines to help families with Qatari members who are stuck between a diplomatic crisis.
Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE announced the activation of hotlines to help families with Qatari members stuck between the diplomatic crisis after the three Gulf Arab countries severed ties with Qatar.

Qatari citizens in Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain were given a 14 day ultimatum to return to Qatar. However, it seems the decision was ill thought out after the political dispute caused "heartbreak and fear" for thousands of ordinary individuals making the Gulf states backtrack. 

The conundrum surfaced after the case of popular Emirati TV star Ahlam Al-Shamsi was reported by Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Anba to soon be dealing with the UAE residency status of her Qatari husband, after all Qatari citizens were ordered to leave the three GCC countries.

Many other Saudi, Bahraini and Emirati families with Qatari spouses or relatives face the same situation.

Severing ties

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain all cut off diplomatic contact with Qatar after officially accusing it of "sponsoring terrorism".

In what appears to be a coordinated move, foreign office officials alleged Qatar was responsible for supporting the Islamic State group and al-Qaeda "at all levels" in an unprecedented diplomatic spat for the Gulf region.

In a tweet sent out early on Monday morning, the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs said: "Protecting national security from threats of terrorism and extremism, Saudi Arabia has decided to sever diplomatic and consular relations with the State of Qatar."

Riyadh announced on state television that Qatar would no longer participate in the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, claiming Doha had helped support its enemy, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

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