On Monday, Saudi Arabia, along with the United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Libya, Bahrain and Maldives (the only non-Arab nation) severed their ties with Qatar. Gulf Arab states and Egypt have long resented Qatar’s support for Islamists, especially the Egyptian-based Muslim brotherhood, which they regard as a dangerous political enemy.

The coordinated move, with the Maldives and Libya’s eastern-based government joining in later, created a dramatic rift among the Arab nations, many of which are in OPEC.

Announcing the closure of transport ties with Qatar, the three Gulf States gave Qatari visitors and residents two weeks to leave. Qatar was also expelled from the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen.

“There has been a long standing tension between the Qataris and the other GCC members particularly the Saudis and the UAE,” Mabon explained.