Baku, Azerbaijan, June 5
Saudi Arabia on Monday shut the local office of Al Jazeera, Qatar's influential satellite channel, hours after the kingdom and other Arab powers cut ties over Doha's alleged support for Islamists and Iran, the Daily Sabah reports.
Riyadh views Al Jazeera as critical of its government, but the outlet says it is an independent news service giving a voice to everyone in the region. The move was announced by state television.
Saudi Arabia and three other Arab countries severed ties to Qatar on Monday and moved to cut off land, sea and air routes to the energy-rich nation that is home to a major U.S. military base, accusing it of supporting regional terror groups.
Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates made no demands of Qatar as their decision plunged the international travel hub into chaos and ignited the biggest diplomatic crisis in the Gulf since the 1991 war against Iraq.
Qatar, which will host the 2022 FIFA World Cup and is home to some 10,000 American troops, criticized the move as a "violation of its sovereignty." It long has denied supporting militant groups and described the crisis as being fueled by "absolute fabrications" stemming from a recent hack of its state-run news agency.