Egypt has abolished visa-free travel for Qataris, the latest measure taken against Doha in the ongoing Gulf crisis.
The North African country’s foreign ministry made the announcement on Monday, saying there was no need to continue making exceptions for Qatar nationals amid the ongoing stalemate.
“It does not make sense to keep making exceptions for Qatar and giving it privileges in light of its current positions,” said Ahmed Abu Zeid, Egypt’s foreign ministry spokesman.
The restrictions will however not affect spouses and children of Egyptian nationals, as well as for Qatari nationals who are studying at Egyptian public universities, Abu Zeid said.
Local media reported sources from the Cairo International Airport as saying that the decision would be implemented as of Wednesday or Thursday.The development comes six weeks after Egypt, along with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, cut ties with Qatar on June 5 and imposed an air, sea and land blockade on the country.
The quartet accused Doha of supporting “extremists” – an allegation that Qatar denies.
More than two weeks after the Gulf Crisis began, the blockading countries issued a list of 13 demands that included the closure of Al Jazeera Media Network.
The move was condemned by various international rights organisations, the United Nations and heads of states.