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Four important Arab nations have cut all diplomatic and other links with Qatar accusing the phenomenally wealthy country of “financing terror and undermining security,” according to the FT.
The report will present significant problems for global news channel Al Jazeera as well as its sports offshoot beIN Sports.
Saudi Arabia, long having had an antagonistic attitude to Qatar, leads the bans with Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain also joining.
The spat started May 24th when both Sky News Arabia and Dubai-based news channels including MBC-owned Al Arabiya carried reports alleged to have come from Qatar’s ruler which were interpreted as being supportive of Iran and Islamist movements, according to the FT’s report. The news coverage provoked a media storm throughout the Gulf and saw Al Jazeera being banned in Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain.
Al Jazeera, in a web-statement, said the reports were false despite being carried on Qatar’s official news platform, the Qatar News Agency. Al Jazeera added that the Qatar News Agency had suffered a four-hour “cyber-attack”.
Reports from Qatar say that local viewers are cancelling their pay-TV subscriptions to Dubai-based OSN in protest over the platform banning broadcastings of Al Jazeera.