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Gulf crisis grows with Qatar flight ban

Qatar flight ban begins as Gulf crisis grows

Qatar flight ban begins as Gulf crisis grows

Several countries have cut ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorism in the Gulf region.

Qatari nationals in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have been given two weeks to leave. Qatar denies backing militants and its foreign minister has called for "a dialogue of openness and honesty". Egypt said it was closing off its airspace to Qatar from 04:00 GMT on Tuesday "until further notice". Travel disruption is expected as the airport in Doha, Qatar's capital, is a major hub for international flight connections. Airlines affected will include Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways and Emirates. When avoiding the massive neighbour to the west, Saudi Arabia, Qatari planes will inevitably have to take longer routes leading to longer flight times. But Qatar's Foreign Minister, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, told broadcaster Al Jazeera the country would "still have access to the world through international sea lanes and international airspace". An anonymous Somali official told AP news agency at least 15 Qatar Airways flights had used Somalia's airspace on Monday, many more than on a normal day.

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