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Irish citizens in Qatar being urged to register with government as diplomatic crisis deepens

Yesterday, Saudi Arabia and several of its allies cut relations with Qatar.

Doha, Qatar.
Doha, Qatar.
Image: Kamran Jebreili/PA

FOREIGN AFFAIRS MINISTER Charlie Flanagan has urged all Irish people living in Qatar to register with his department as the diplomatic crisis in the region worsens.

Yesterday, Saudi Arabia and several of its allies cut relations with the nation, accusing it of supporting extremism, in the biggest diplomatic crisis to have hit the region in years.

Bahrain, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Yemen and the Maldives also severed ties with gas-rich Qatar, which Riyadh accused of supporting groups, including some backed by Iran, “that aim to destabilise the region”.

Qatar denied any support for extremists and accused its neighbours of seeking to put the country under “guardianship”.

The crisis was likely to have wide-ranging consequences, for Qatar and its citizens as well as the Middle East and Western interests.

Following these developments, Charlie Flanagan said the Irish embassy in Abu Dhabi is “closely monitoring the developing situation in Qatar and the wider region”.

He said:

My immediate priority is the welfare of Irish citizens in Qatar where there is a growing and active Irish community.

Flanagan said he has spoken with Ireland’s non-resident Ambassador to Qatar and that he remains in close contact with him.

The Gulf states and Egypt banned all flights to and from Qatar, leaving many Irish there worried about how they will be able to leave the region.

Flanagan added:  ”I am aware there is some concern about air connectivity.  I am advised that Qatar Airways flights are continuing to operate and alternative flight paths are being identified where difficulties may arise in the future.  A direct flight between Qatar and Ireland is due to commence later this month.”

With reporting by © – AFP, 2017

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