Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 6 December 2019

Jordan downgrades relations with Qatar and bans Al Jazeera

Amman announces that it has decided to downgrade, though not sever, its diplomatic ties with Qatar after “examining the reasons behind the crisis”.
File photo of the newsroom in Al Jazeera, the international news network headquartered in Doha, Qatar. Jordan became the latest country to downgrade relations with Qatar, and has revoked the licence of Al Jazeera television channel. Wolfgang Kumm/ EPA
File photo of the newsroom in Al Jazeera, the international news network headquartered in Doha, Qatar. Jordan became the latest country to downgrade relations with Qatar, and has revoked the licence of Al Jazeera television channel. Wolfgang Kumm/ EPA

AMMAN // Jordan has asked Qatar’s ambassador in Amman to leave the country within days and revoked the licence of Al Jazeera television channel.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain severed diplomatic relations and cut transport and trade links with Qatar on Monday, accusing Doha of support for Islamist militants and Iran.

Amman announced on Tuesday night it had decided to downgrade, though not sever, its diplomatic ties with Qatar after “examining the reasons behind the crisis”.

“The decision to scale down the diplomatic representation means the ambassador leaves the country in days,” a Jordanian official said.

However, the Qatari embassy’s chargé d’affaires will still represent Doha’s foreign ministry, he added.

Mohammad Momani, minister of state for media affairs, said achieving regional peace and stability and having Arab countries agree on policies to end crises in the Arab region are top priorities for the kingdom.

“The government hopes that Arab countries would overcome this regrettable stage and resolve the crisis to ensure that Arab countries cooperate to built a better future for their people,” he said.

Dr Anwar Gargash’s, the UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, said on Wednesday that more punitive measures on Qatar, including further curbs on business, remain on the table in the dispute.

“What we are hoping is that our action will send some sense into the decision-makers in Qatar when they will see their overall interest is in not undermining their neighbours,” he told Reuters.

Dr Gargash said he hoped further steps were not needed but could not be ruled out.

“We hope that cooler heads will prevail, that wiser heads will prevail and we will not get to that,” he said.

foreign.desk@thenational.ae

Updated: June 7, 2017 04:00 AM

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