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Bahrain suspends issuing entry visas for Qatari nationals

Tue, Aug. 21, 2018
CAIRO – 21 August 2018: Bahrain’s Ministry of Interior announced on Tuesday the suspension of issuing entry visas for Qatari nationals to Bahrain. Only students and holders of valid visas will be excluded from the decision.

According to a statement reported by the official Bahraini news agency (bna) this comes in light of the June 5, 2017 decision to sever political ties with Qatar.

“The decision was not made because of Qatari nationals who share brotherly ties with Bahrainis, but as a result of the irresponsible acts of Qatari authorities that do not consider the rights of neighboring countries or the principles of the international law,” the ministry's statement read.

More than a year ago, Qatar was hit by its biggest diplomatic crisis after multiple Arab nations, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain cut ties with Doha, accusing it of destabilizing the region with its support for Islamist groups.

The Arab quartet halted all land, air and sea traffic with Qatar, and withdrew their diplomats and ambassadors from the Qatari peninsula. The Arab quartet issued 13 demands to Doha – then shortened to six principles - including closing Al Jazeera television, curbing relations with Iran and shutting down a Turkish military base.

The four Arab countries severed relations with Doha over what they say was its close links to Iran, which has been accused of interfering in Arab countries’ affairs and being behind terrorist plots. Doha restored full diplomatic relations with Tehran amid the crisis.

One major disagreement between Qatar and its neighbors has been the former’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood, which has been outlawed as a terrorist group by the boycotting countries.

Since the eruption of the crisis, Qatar showed no intention of solving the strife. However, Qatar placed several people and entities on its terrorism list in March, including several Qatari nationals already blacklisted by the Arab quartet that accused Doha of supporting militants. Qatar’s issuance of a terror list of 19 individuals and eight entities has done little to impress decision-makers in the four Arab countries.
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