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Arab Nations Cut Ties with Qatar

Saudi Arabia, Egypt and several Arab nations have ended diplomatic relations with their Gulf neighb-or, Qatar.

The move follows criticism over Qatar’s support of what many Arab nations consider terrorist organiz-ations. Adding to the conflict is Qatar’s close ties to Iran, Saudi Arabia’s rival.

Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Yemen, the Maldives and a government group in Libya also ende-d diplomatic relations with Qatar on Monday.

The state-owned Saudi Press Agency said Qatar supports “terrorist and sectarian groups aimed at -disturbing stability in the region, including the Muslim Brotherhood, Islamic State, and al-Qaida.”

Qatar’s Foreign Ministry said the kingdom is facing a campaign based on “fabrications,” or false stor-ies. The goal, the ministry said, is to “cause damage” to Qatar.

The conflict between Qatar and other Arab nations grew in recent weeks, when Qatar officials said its state-run news agency and Twitter account had been hacked. Officials said the result was the pu-blishing of a fake, or untrue, news story.

The story said Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, had called Iran “a regional and Islam-ic power that cannot be ignored.”

State-supported media in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries continued to report the story, desp-ite protests from Qatar that it was false.

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