The nation of Chad has recalled its ambassador from Qatar, the latest African nation to distance itself from the small Arabian Gulf state following Bahrain’s severing of ties with Qatar over terrorism.
Chad’s foreign ministry confirmed its decision in a statement Thursday, according to Reuters.
Bahrain, immediately followed by Saudi Arabia, Yemen, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Egypt, announced Monday that it had broken off ties with Qatar over its alleged role in supporting terrorists and extremism – a charge that Qatar firmly denies. The Maldives quickly followed suit.
The regional powers closed borders, sealed off air routes and halted shipping, isolating Qatar in what is fast becoming the Gulf’s worst diplomatic crisis in years. Qatari diplomats and citizens are being expelled from some of the aligned Gulf States, while some 11,378 citizens of Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and UAE have been ordered to return home, drawing concern from a Qatari human rights organization.
Chad’s government joins the African nations of Comoros, Mauritania, Mauritius and Senegal in cutting ties with Doha, while Al Jazeera reports that Djibouti has “downgraded” its diplomatic relations. Gabon’s foreign ministry issued a statement condemning “the recurring actions of Qatar in favor of terrorism.”
The rival government in eastern regions of Libya, aligned with Egypt and other regional powers breaking ties with Qatar, also has done so although they are not internationally recognized as Libyan authority.
President Emmanuel Macron of France is among world leaders calling for calm amid the crisis, and offering to help mediate the conflict and promote regional stability.
Image: Government of Qatar