Egypt closes airspace to Qatari flights as diplomatic rift grows

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Egyptian Civil Aviation Ministry decided Monday to suspend flights to and from Qatar as of Tuesday amid a growing diplomatic crisis between Cairo and Doha.

In a press statement, the ministry also said the Egyptian airspace would be blocked to all Qatari flights starting Tuesday.

The decision came hours after Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Yemen, Libya, the United Arab Emirates and the Maldives severed diplomatic ties with Qatar as they accused the gas-rich Gulf state of “supporting terrorism.”

Later on the day, Egyptian Foreign Ministry summoned the Qatari ambassador and handed him an official memorandum on ending his accreditation as ambassador to Egypt.

The ties between Egypt and Qatar have dramatically deteriorated since the ouster of Egyptian Islamist affiliated leader Mohamed Morsi in 2013 in response to the mass protest against his one-year rule.

Experts say Qatar has been providing sanctuary and funds to fleeing members of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood which has been outlawed by Egypt.

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